Dustin Moskovitz at 31 is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. He is the co-founder of Facebook, the omnipresent social media giant lurking just behind your smartphone screen and is currently the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the organization app Asana. According to Moskovitz, he regards his fortune as a resource to promote a better society rather than to fulfill his own ambitions.
Forbes estimates the net worth of Moskovitz to be around $9.8 billion (April 2016). When asked by a popular magazine about how he feels being a billionaire, whether he is comfortable being a billionaire and where the money will go after his death, he quoted Louis C.K and told the questioner that he viewed the world via the Louis lens. He never sees money as his money; as per Moskovitz, it is a resource and if it accumulates around him, he will flush it right back into where it came from – the system.
Moskovitz says that he regards both, himself and Cari, his wife, as stewards of their capital. It is collected around them at this time, but it is the property of the world. Moskovitz admitted that he is not perfect when it comes to applying this attitude, but he tries hard to do so.
Moskovitz admits that it has turned out to be quite difficult to return such a huge amount of money back to the world where it will be spent for the betterment of the human race. This is the reason why Moskovitz started Good Ventures and he also works closely with GiveWell, the non-profit, charity evaluator. But he is learning something new every day and is also speeding up the charitable process. He does not want to leave much of his wealth behind when he dies.
Moskovitz posted an update about how he feels to reinvest his wealth into a business. In the update he had written that a large number of people have sent him personal messages or commented to mean that business is great for the world and that there is no sense in donating to charity. Moskovitz says that he is in full agreement with this view and works full time with building Asana for that reason. Moskovitz adds that there are still a few decades left to invest the capital until the “burn down” stage begins to restrict the opportunities which can be pursued in business. He had already made one excellent investment in America, Vicarious, the start-up which claims to create software that learns and thinks like a human.
Dustin Moskovitz is not the person who would laze about in the Caribbean after becoming a billionaire. Instead, he jumped right back into the San Francisco startup world and with Justin Rosenstein, launched a company called Asana. Justin Rosenstein himself is a former Facebooker with a net worth of more than $150 million.
Asana had already started the first paid version of the project management service which is provided exclusively online. Both Moskovitz and Rosenstein still go to work every day as they need something constructive to do for the rest of their lives. They regard their work as a service to humanity and say that they can’t think of retiring. Like Mark Zuckerberg, they are uninterested in the status and flashy lifestyle that comes with substantial wealth.
The Asana office
The Asana office has the typical open floor plan of a startup where the founders sit among other employees and do not have separate offices of their own. There is no personal staff and the two cycle to work.
Both dress casually, with Moskovitz seen frequently in an untucked shirt and Rosenstein in Chuck Taylors and a sweater. Their sartorial sense is perfect for the hipster geek neighborhood of their offices. What differentiates them from the rest of the technologically savvy population is the financial freedom they enjoy to pursue their dream of changing the world. They are confident that their software is capable of doing that.
Asana will accelerate human progress by transforming the manner in which people partner to work together. The software will free up valuable time and enable people to do things which are more important than routine jobs. In their words, they are working on a “meta-problem”. The software permits users to access web-centric lists of what is to be done so that a group concentrated on a common end result can utilize to assign jobs and also keep track of what gets completed.
Both Moskovitz and Rosenstein believe that Asana will be the task management software of choice due to its versatility, speed and the ability to maintain flow as its name suggests in Sanskrit. Asana means yoga which helps in spiritual energy flow in the human body. Incidentally, yoga sessions are one of the many benefits of working at Asana.
A number of high technology companies have already become Asana clients, like LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Twitter. A number of financial backers have already invested in the company, including Mark Andreessen and Peter Thiel.