Marci Csuzi

Marci Csuzi

fellow of Bridge Budapest, Prezi, San Francisco, 2014

What would you rather have, a hotel in Vegas or a successful app?

A couple of days ago I’ve visited the famous Las Vegas. The city taught me a valuable lesson about the power of mobile applications.

… the road leads through rocky mountains and vast deserts to one of the most spectacular places on earth, Las Vegas. The magic city, home of the big dreams and lost fortunes, Las Vegas is beyond imagination. Glamorous hotels with exceptional luxury accommodate their thousands of guests every night. The famous fountain of the Bellagio, the 541 foot replica of the Eiffel tower, the flashing neon lights, and the exclusive interior designs take your breath away. The Strip that every tourist refers to as Las Vegas today, was greatly shaped by a man, Steve Wynn. Wynn’s father a bingo parlor owner died while Wynn was still in college leaving a $350,000 gaming debt behind. Wynn took over the business and successfully turned it around, that allowed him to invest in Las Vegas from 1967. He was later involved in the construction of Mirage hotel and casino in 1989 which ignited a 12 billion dollar building boom on the Strip. He developed and later sold several other hotels, and currently owns the Wynn and Encore, two of the most luxurious hotels of Las Vegas.

This man is the 428th richest man in the world with 4 billion dollar net worth. He became a billionaire in 2004 at the age of 62 after a life of hard work, boldness, risk taking, excellent management, networking and who knows what else. A typical 20th century success story… but not a 21st century one. Not like Jan Koum’s. Jan, a 38 year old Ukrainian living in California bought an IPhone in 2009 and realized apps are going to be the next big thing. So he convinced some ex-Yahoo coworkers and created the world’s most popular messaging app, WhatsApp. The app that all of us know so well was recently sold for $19 billion to Facebook, leaving Koum with an astonishing personal wealth of $7.5 billion at the age of 38. In 5 years Jan made almost twice as much money as one of the world’s most successful hotelier and casino magnate in a lifetime.

So what would you rather have a hotel in Vegas or a successful app?