Meet Joe Gebbia. Joe founded Airbnb with another guy in 2008, and still works there. Airbnb is doing well, and maybe someday it'll be a valuable public company. For now, would you like to pay $2,500 to Skype with Joe for 60 minutes?
"Joe will provide guidance on topics related to entrepreneurship: getting an idea started, growing a company, design, etc.," reads the description at Charitybuzz, which hopes to auction off an hour of this man's life to support the The Tyra Banks TZone Foundation. What a sentence.
There are a lot of suppositions involved here. One is that Joe Gebia can provide you with anything approaching meaningful "guidance" in the span of an hour, of any sort whatsoever. I don't think you can walk someone through the assembly of an Ikea bookshelf in an hour, to say nothing of corporate structure and coming up with a billion dollar startup.
Who's even to say that Joe Gebbia is particularly good at expressing these things to someone else—to some idiot like you or me? Can market wisdom be imbued? Is it innate, like morality, blond hair, or large hips? Can you teach a miracle? Did Airbnb arrive in Joe Gebbia's brainpan after a Skype sesh? Is this paying it forward, and forward, and forward? Will the winner of the auction have to provide an auction of their time, at some point in the future? Is this just the latest link in a causal chain, or some sort of Aztec curse?
Can you choose what Joe Gebbia wears during the Skype session? The fine print is silent.
Can you choose what you wear during the Skype session? Can you use FaceTime instead of Skype?
Why is there a "processing and handling charge" for the auction in the amount of $9.95? How can a $2,500 Skype session be handled? With the hands of God?
What if the final bid is $5,000—will the Skype session be extended to two hours? Indefinitely? Joe Gebbia is potentially staring down a millennium of Skyping with some panicked Stanford dropout.
Can you talk about non-startup stuff?
Can you confess to Joe Gebbia?
Can you ask him to insult you for being a coward, for being a bad son, for being a bad parent?
Can you roleplay?
Why not just donate $2,500 to The Tyra Banks TZone Foundation?
Can you just stare at him for an hour in complete silence?
What if you co-found a startup based upon the recording and retransmission of this hour-long Skype session with Joe Gebbia (filters, stickers, mobile-first)? Would he invest? How much?
I have a lot of questions for Joe Gebbia but I don't think I can afford to ask him.