Profile of Minecraft creator's life as a billionaire: "a dog chasing cars"


Having read horror stories of people who win big lotteries, I’m sadly not too surprised.

One of my ambitions in life is to not get rich.


On the one hand: Markus has obscene amounts of money. He will have to work incredibly hard to become broke. He will probably never have to work again in his life.

On the other hand: Markus is probably never going to equal Minecraft in success. Any idea for a game he entertains will be sitting in the shadow of that one. I can’t imagine it’s easy trying to play around and find something fun when there’s a voice in the back of your head asking if this is going to be the next Minecraft.

I’m not sure I envy him. Well okay I envy the “bought an awesome mountaintop LA mansion and didn’t make a real dent in his finances”. But as someone whose life is mostly built around creating? I don’t envy that part of it at all.

I think we’ve already seen this in action, no?

How sad.

If he’d settled on two million dollar house, and $10,000 gambling sprees at an Indian casino, he could have used the “excess” to start an educational foundation to encourage kids to do cool things with software tools, and have enough left over to house L.A. homeless.


And yet, he created this.

So, he knows. Which doesn’t mean he won’t forget.


Yep! It’s still going on, too - check out this quote from the part about Rubberbrain, the new game studio he’s set up with another Mojang cofounder:

“It’s like a day care for us–grown-up day care,” says Persson. Every time a concept comes up, “we try for a couple days and we go back to playing games.”

I mean I’m sure there are other reasons too, like “wanting a long break after being done with Minecraft”. But I’d bet “is this idea another potential Minecraft?” hangs in the air there a lot.

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I’m always a little surprised about lottery winners wasting so much money on extravagant crap, because I can’t think of a more fun and interesting way to spend both money and time than giving away piles of money to charitable, artistic, or scientific endeavors.


I’m kind of surprised, actually. Initially he seemed to be dealing with the success of Minecraft really well - he was giving away some money, but otherwise didn’t seem to have changed his lifestyle much. I guess it got really big after that point, and of course, once he sold it all off to Microsoft for billions, he became both insanely wealthy and didn’t have anything to do.
It’s pretty sad, really.


Poor, poor Notch. Ah well, now back to work until I am dead.


Better Notch than Koch.

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I find it interesting that his response to the negativity he receives is to become more worthy of hating. His personal troubles are certainly unfortunate, but someone needs to convince this dude to read a book or two on how not to fuck up. Maybe take a few hours during man-baby daycare each day and try to turn things in a more positive direction before you get chewed up and spit out on the other side.

“must now figure out exactly who he is.” I’m up for that challenge.

But seriously, just because he made a mega shit-ton of money, why do we expect him to be any different than anyone else when it comes to “life”?


Not sure if I solved this or missed the point:

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At one point the lottery went up high and like every idiot out there I plunked down $20 on some hope. I started dreaming what I’d do with all the cash. After buying my parents some nice places and myself, I decided I’d hold a big party and invite my friends. I’d set up a table and write out checks for all their projects they were working on and fund all their dreams.

I don’t know what I’d do with the other billion or so but that’s where I’d start.


Perhaps I’m not self-aware enough, but I think that I would not be like this. I could see setting up a hackspace with all the toys. I could see travelling. I could see getting someone to help keep me focused on writing books. That’s really about it. Perhaps that lack of desire to be extravagant has led me to not push hard to become rich in the first place.

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You reminded me of an apocryphal quote by Joseph Heller. When an interviewer made the pointed observation that he had never written anything better than Catch 22, his response was “Who has?”

Expectations for follow-ups are misguided, I think.


For example…

If I had a spare billion, I’d buy every radio station in town and convert them all to commercial-free versions of themselves, but better. Because radio could be really good, if it were run by people who weren’t in it for the money.


While Minecraft is often trivialized because it’s a game, he made a greater contribution to humanity than most of us ever will. There should be no expectation to contribute even more. So he’s welcome to spend the rest of his days doing whatever makes him happy, up to and including the ultimate luxury - doing nothing. The only surprising thing is that his contribution actually paid him well enough to make that kind of retirement feasible. Most people who make a massive contribution never see that kind of monetary return for it, and many people who do get that kind of money get it without contributing.


He earned his money fair and square. He can spend his time and wealth how he wishes.