Live The Live You Dare
What if CEO’s gave employees their stock dividends? One has, all $3 million of it. It’s a move that flies in the face of the countless news stories on CEO greed and pay inequity. Not surprisingly, a lot of people are applauding Markus Persson for bucking the norm by offering his 2011 dividends to employees.
And this is one CEO who’s comfortable flipping the usual paradigms on their head. In 2010 Markus, called ‘Notch’ in the gaming world, created a gaming sensation when he starting a little online gaming project called Minecraft in 2009. That one man show, quickly evolved into a small game dev. company in Sweden, called Mojang Specifications.
Minecraft was so successful that in 2010 Mojang’s Paypal account was actually locked down for “suspicious activity” because his indie game was bringing in too much money too quickly. The issue was cleared up… because though success and viral growth may be surprising, it’s totally legal! (Here’s his post on the fiasco.)
So, this small Swedish company’s game became a runaway success in 2010. Mojang’s still growing; Minecraft has over 23 million registered users and over 5.1 million of them bought the game –15,000 bought the $27 game in the last 24 hours of this posting.
In a nutshell: They’re kicking butt and at some point Markus decided he wanted to do something pretty darn uncommon (much like himself).
When he gave the announcement about Mojang’s new company ‘bonus,’ several employees broke into tears. And who wouldn’t? A recent writeup by Escapist Magazine says that they have a modest staff of perhaps 20 employees. So, an even distribution would equal $150,000 each. No doubt there’s a lot of love at Mojang this week and probably quite a few dream shopping lists circulating!
Most of us can’t even begin to comprehend giving that kind of money away, but Markus Persson is sending a clear message. He’s succeeded. Their company is flourishing. He’s going to do very well financially and he wants to share MORE of the wealth with the people who helped to make that success and vision a reality. Here’s hoping that this generosity will inspire other CEO’s to emulate and spread some of the wealth.
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