Is this a case of being awestruck and/or inspired by someone who may be worth billions in the future? What could he possibly say to really inspire someone?
It would be interesting if he was actually frank and said something along the lines of "See the person next to you, they might have a great idea, but you have the potential to make it better and more marketable. While that person's initial idea is what the foundation of your start-up might be, remember, above all else, to make it yours. That is how you make it rich."
I think Spiegel's past public presentations have been prescient and sharp. Employing an academic researcher is not a bad investment! I also think 25 years is a long life cycle for any consumer facing app/company, even one that has found a way to make money. I would credit Snapchat in get widespread attention for ephemerality and an alternative to FB/Twitter. But that does not = 25 years. It's unclear to me if Twitter or Facebook will last 25 years.