How Markus Persson Won by Quitting
Markus is a programmer and he just wrote his most brilliant line of text. It has nothing to do with the company he started but has everything to do with his work. In a public letter he wrote, "It's not about the money, its about my sanity." And with those words he shared his plans to step away from one of the worlds greatest success stories and a finale of 2.5 billion dollars.
Its about my sanity.
Markus Persson is famous within the gaming community. His iconic hat, recluse personality, and independence are unique qualities in the booming industry of today. You may not recognize Markus by name but the name Minecraft should ring a few bells. Minecraft, and its parent company Mojang, have been in the headlines over the past few years. The independent start up has sold millions of copies of their games, raked in tons of cash, and created a sub-culture to rival those of Lego and Youtube. The cultural influence of the game is hard to measure but can call it the biggest thing sense Super Mario Brothers.
The latest news from the Swedish developer is that his company has been acquired by Microsoft for 2.5 billion dollars. That and Markus is quitting so that he can get back to his real work: programing games. He writes, "As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately."
If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately.
Markus wins because he knows what he is and what he isn't. He isn't a business mogul, startup genius, or culture consultant. He is a programmer, a tinkerer, and an inventor. He has fun making things and is demonstrating an important level of self awareness, modesty, and focus. He just made a ton of money but he didn't sell out. Success has not corrupted his self image and or commandeered his identity. The Minecraft guy is becoming "Notch" again and is going back to the thing he loves more than Minecraft: making minecrafts.