When Twitter filed for an IPO last fall, it revealed that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo owns more than 7.5 million shares in the company.
Today, Twitter shares are worth $US57. That means Costolo stake is worth something like $US430 million.
Obviously, Costolo’s professional life is a wild success.
But it turns out he’s only had this success, because he was once a such failure. We learned this watching a Pando Monthly video
Back in December, Costolo told PandoDaily editor-in-chief Sarah Lacy a funny story about how, after college, he pursued his dreams — and failed.
The story started when Lacy asked Costolo if it was true that he was once a comedian. “Was that like, a class you took, or actually a profession?”
Costolo, laughed and said: “Well, maybe in retrospect, I should have been thinking about it as a class I took” — but yeah, being an improv comedian was once his job.
He said that when he was senior working on a Computer Science degree from Michigan, he needed Arts credits to graduate.
He said he looked through course catalogue for a class where there would be “no homework.” He found a theatre class. He started doing open mics.
He said he ended up liking his classes so much he called up his parents and told them he wasn’t taking any of the CS job offers he’d gotten. He was moving to Chicago to do improv comedy.
He told Lacy he got a gig with famous improv group Second City, and later another at The Annoyance Theatre. He did it for years.
Costolo said the job was really hard. He worked with lots of really talented comedians. Some, like Steve Carrell made it big. Others, who were you thought were sure bets to make it on Saturday Night Live, didn’t.
Costolo said he always got all the invitations to audition that everyone else always got — but he never got the big parts.
Lacy asked him if he looks back on it as a heart-breaking time.
Costolo said “no, it awesome. I don’t have any regrets…I had no money though.”
“You’ve got quite a lot now,” Lacy said.