Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg thought it was funny that people scrambled to catch the money they threw out the window. Pavel Durov, founder of VKontakte, Russia’s biggest social network, said that the spectacle they created in 2012 when they threw paper planes made of money out the window was hilarious because it showed how “different” they were from those people.
The young millionaire made headlines in May 2012 when he, along with some of VK’s big bosses, threw paper planes made of money out of the company’s St Petersburg office. They had thrown out the window around 5,000 roubles [approximately AUD165], to the delight of the passersby on the street.
But what started as harmless excitement turned out violent for the people eager to catch the notes.
“People turned into dogs as they were literally attacking the notes,” an eyewitness told RT.com. “They broke each other’s noses, climbed the traffic lights with their prey – just like monkeys. Shame on Durov!”
As Durov explained on his Twitter, “We had to stop soon, though, as people turned into animals... Definitely more such actions to follow.”
The social experiment was met with criticisms, with online bloggers accusing Durov of being “too cruel” to watch and laugh at how people, who probably didn’t have a lot in the first place, fight each other for money.
But the 29-year-old entrepreneur was unrepentant. More than a year after his bizarre show of wealth, he explained to TechCrunch how he came up with the childish idea of making paper planes out of money and throwing them out the window.
“This is one of the funniest moments in the history of our company,” he told in an interview with TechCrunch.
According to him, they were bestowing a friend and company vice president a big bonus, telling him that “You’re a rich guy now.”
But the vice president claimed that money wasn’t important to him, adding that “the idea is what’s important to me.”
And since his friend claimed that he didn’t “work for money,” Durov suggested that they just throw his money away.
“Look, if it’s only the idea that’s important, why don’t you throw away the money? Get rid of it,” he told his friend.
When the VP started throwing his bonus cash out the window, Durov suggested that they became creative. He then folded paper planes out of the bills, and then tossed them out the window.
“Unfortunately, people at some point started to fight for the money and we stopped our actions, of course.”
And if there’s one thing that their flabbergasting display of wealth thought him, it’s that “Not everybody’s actions are based on ideas. Some people’s actions are based on profit.”
He realised that rich, successful guys like them were “pretty much different from the guys downstairs.”
Durov launched VK in 2006. He is said to be worth around 7.9 billion roubles [AUD260 million].
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