Two things happened last week.
First, somebody won $425,000,000.00 less than a mile from my home. When we learned about it, it was a lot of fun to speculate which one of our neighbors was probably the winner. Then we'd estimate how much they get to actually keep, and what one would do with all that unexpected money. Then we'd wonder if we'd change our lottery ticket buying habits.
It wasn't more than a day before we returned to our regular routines. And no, we weren't really going to change our lottery ticket buying habits. It's fun to think about winning the lottery and to hope for it, but it's not anything you can hang your hat on, as it were. Nobody was left any more inspired.
Second, Brian Acton, who had been turned down by Facebook in 2009 when he was looking for a job, started a new project with a colleague of his, and later sold it to Facebook for 19 billion dollars.
It's that second story that fascinates and inspires me. Amir Salihefendic points out what he thinks is so interesting about the sale. For me, the numbers don't have to be so modest and hyperbolic at the same time. I love the core story that Brian felt intrinsic worth, he didn't give up despite suffering some setbacks and he eventually made good on his vision.
The story of the individual who somehow persists and makes good on his vision carries much more weight with me than the story of a random lottery winner. Hoping to win the lottery is nice, but it's that story of perseverance and ingenuity that's going to inspire me for years to come.