What’s Your Number?

I met the team over at RedCoil today. They’re a bunch of savvy veterans (“Over 70 years of executive experience,” notes their Web site) who are onto an interesting market in the security space.

The interesting question is, why are a bunch of guys with so much experience and plenty of their own money are still working long hours in a subleased office by a trailer park?

The answer, of course, is that it’s *fun* to work with smart people, make a difference, and oh yeah, make even more money. I work with folks every day who have more than enough money never to work again, yet they still work longer hours than I do. This may have something to do with the fact that they no longer have to pick up their kids from day care every day, but it’s still impressive.

When I was at my first job with folks like Matt Josefowicz, us youngsters often asked ourselves “What’s your number?” That is, how much money would you have to make before you’d retire. The assumption was that once you had, say, $10 million, you’d stop working your ass off. This discussion was prompted by one of us receiving an email from our ultimate boss, David Shaw (net worth at the time: an estimated $500 million), which he had written at 2 AM on a Saturday morning.

Obviously, not all of the wealthy continue to work–witness the career of heiress and quasi-celeb Paris Hilton. But most of the entrepreneurial set do. Dave Filo at Yahoo! is still known to sleep under his desk.

Is the entrepreneurial life more fun than the traditional means of gaining wealth? Are we just more driven to achieve? Who knows! But I’d love the opportunity to find out what I’d do after I made my first $20 million.

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