The Facebook IPO Players Club: Dustin Moskovitz

They were doing just fine before, but Facebook’s biggest minority owners are about to be catapulted into a far more elite bracket. Dustin Moskovitz, modestly, seems set to keep going as usual, building products that help the rest of us boost our productivity.



Who he is: Dustin Moskovitz was born May 22, 1984–the year the Apple Macintosh landed, if that makes you feel old–and he’s just eight days younger than Mark Zuckerberg. Wikipedia calls him an “internet entrepreneur,” the Los Angeles Times labels him a “self-taught programmer” while Forbes considers him a “drop out, Harvard university.” Roommate to Zuckerberg at Harvard where for two years, he was an economics major, he’s a native Floridian, and in 2008 he founded and is CEO of Asana–a company who’s eponymous app helps people organize group collaboration and project work. He’s also the biggest angel investor in new social network darling Path. He dislikes Google+, still flies Virgin America (not in first class) and Zuckerberg once noted he’d “always be someone I turn to for advice.”

His connection to Facebook: He left Harvard with Zuckerberg and other friends and moved to Palo Alto to cofound Facebook proper, after first building it as in their dorm to help resident Harvard students relate. He was its first CTO, followed by being VP of Engineering, building many infrastructural elements still in place today.

What he’s worth already: Forbes guesses his net worth as of September 2011 at around $3.5 billion, and once called him the world’s youngest billionaire–based on his stake in Facebook.

How much Facebook’s IPO will earn him: Moskovitz has a 5% stake in Facebook, which for an $85 billion company would equate to $4.25 billion. That’s around $157 million for every year of his life.

What he might do with his money: Moskovitz is, so the rumors go, pretty unassuming about his billionaire status. He’s invested in Path and other startups like Venmo and Flipbook, so we may guess he’ll do a bit more of this–and probably Asana will get some attention too. Philanthropy could follow, as he signed up to Giving Pledge late last year, and has established Good Ventures with his partner–a mechanism for donating to worthy charities.



How much he’ll make at IPO: A 5% stake will earn Moskovitz the equivalent of $5 billion, assuming Facebook prices at a valuation of $100 billion. That’s more than one and a half times JP Morgan (an entire company) may lose this year. 

What he’ll do with it: The Daily Mail recently drew sharp comparison between Moskovitz and some of his peers, noting he likes to dress down and “sit among his employees in a modest office.” This is a normal kind of guy, we’re led to believe, one who keeps working through a “love of humanity.” His work efforts, and, we guess a decent slice of his money, will go into his Asana project. This, he recently explained to Fast Company, really is just part of his bigger human-boosting plans, destined to act as a digital whiteboard to help boost pretty much every company’s productivity.


Moskowitz seems to be a quiet guy, but right now he’s got the tech world abuzz with Asana–a tool that some suggest may be a better solution than email for certain sorts of corporate activity, and indeed even Facebook is said to use it in place of internal email. Asana has just had a serious update that added an “Inbox” section that corrals user’s activity into one place, so it’s easier to track conversations, progress on projects and so on. Power to connect to external services was also recently added to Asana via the release of its API.


Moskowitz was fomerly Facebook’s CTO, and his successor Bret Taylor has recently announced his intention to leave Facebook in the Summer to start his own firm–the first high-profile departure since IPO.

Read about others in the Facebook IPO Players Club:


[Image: Flickr user Kevin Krejci]

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I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)