The story of Kevin Rose may at first glance appear like a mirror image of the story of almost every entrepreneur computer geek. Just like with Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Kevin Rose had to abandon his studies in pursuit of his innovative ideas, this was Digg at the time. This raises the question of why computer science students always have to drop of college to be able to fully chase their dreams. But at a second glance, however, Kevin Rose proves to be more than just a geeky kid from Las Vegas.
What is Kevin Rose’s Net Worth?
As of January 2020, Кеvіn Rоѕе was estimated to have а nеt wоrth оf 35 mіllіоn dollars. He made a chunk of his money from his early days working at Digg and as an internet entrepreneur. He has also made good investments over the years.
Kevin Rose was born on February 21st, 1977 and, although he spent most of his childhood and adult years in Las Vegas, he was born in Redding, California. His family moved to Vegas when he was still a child and that was where he graduated from VO Tech High School. He even became an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America.
He then got admission to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to study computer science. While at the University of Nevada he began to realize how crappy the internet was back then and how user-unfriendly its interface was. That was what first gave birth to the idea of Digg. He wanted to create a site that allowed easier navigation and allows users to access various information with less stress.
Before he went into Digg, Kevin Rose used to work as an IT support guy for TechTV, the Giants of Technology Shows at that time. His job was pretty much the same as every IT guy until he got a chance to impress Leo LaPorte, one of the managers of the show. Leo gave Kevin Rose his first five seconds of fame, and it turned out he was quite a natural. The viewers loved him. He became the production assistance for TechTV in 1998.
Between the stress of juggling his studies, the TV show job, and Digg, it must have been too much for him. In 1998, he quit his studies to focus on his new project. But he was investing more than his time into Digg, he also invested $1200 to make the project a reality.
Building and Growing Digg
If you are a millennial, then you probably have no idea what Digg is. But if you were born in the 80’s or 70’s and went to work around 2005, especially one of those boring jobs like clerks or you were a bored housewife or househusband, then digg must have been a haven for you. It was a website that displayed stories all over the world. So, instead of looking for interesting content on the internet yourself, digg compiled all the interesting content and put it as the homepage of its website.
The web site worked in two ways, it was amazing for the owners of the website because once a website made the front page of digg that increased the viewers by 100,000. It also helped users navigate to what was happening without actually looking for stories manually.
People could visit a website and upvote or downvote it. Upvoting was called digging, if you like or dig a site then you upvoted it. Having a lot of up votes from voters, however, was not enough to propel your site to the main page of digg. You needed votes from power diggers – frequent and trusted diggers. This was where Kevin made his first couple of millions. There was even a story of a power digger who made 6 million dollars in less than two years by digging for powerful companies.
It did not come as a surprise when Google came in 2007 with their fat checkbooks to buy digg. Blogs suggested that while Kevin Rose was smart enough to sell digg, the deal got messed up along the way. Google retracted on their offer, and later on that week Kevin Ross would go on to announce that his company digg was not for sale. History, however, later shows this to be a fatal mistake on his part.
Shortly after this, Digg came plummeting down. This was due to the introduction of Twitter. Twitter came in a blaze of light and human contact and ran Digg out of business. People started tweeting and users responded more to actual tweeting than articles written on Digg.
This was because the people who have been written about could now actually say something themselves. Instead of reading an article about Michael Jackson, it was more fun to read what Michael Jackson tweeted about his day.
He could say “I just took a bath today” and people will be more interested in that than an article on Digg about Michael Jackson dropping a child. Barrack Obama also announced his presidential win via Twitter in 2008. Before long, Digg started descending into a slow death.
In a desperate attempt to save the company, the production team redesigned a second version that imitated Twitter. Sad people gave them horrible feedback about this shift. In 2012 the website that was once valued at 200 million dollars sold for a mere $500,000. This broke the hearts of Digg fans everywhere but Kevin Rose at this time was already working at Google ventures.
Ventures After Digg
Before losing Digg, Kevin had already started and failed to establish Pownce, a free social networking platform.
Coding was not the only thing that Kevin Rose did. He was also co-founder of the National internet television network called Revision 3. This new show was based in San Francisco and he started it immediately after Digg in 2004. Revision 3 aired in 2005 and took on topics like political ideas, television shows, comedy and much more.
This show was a huge success when it started and people loved it so much that Kevin Rose quit his job as co-host of the show The Screen Savers to come and work full-time at Revision 3. The show went on very well for a couple of years before it sunk in 2017 and was acquired by Discovery Digital Network.
IT TV shows and coding were not the only things that dominated Kevin Rose’s life. In 2013 he got married to Darya Pino, after becoming unpopular for a couple of months when he made his infamous joke about cutting a woman’s breasts off. He would later apologize for the sexist comments. By then, many people had a sore spot for him already.
Years later, protesters almost laid waste to his house in San Francisco. According to the 2020 Wikipedia, the protesters held up a banner calling Rose a “parasite” and distributed a pamphlet accusing Rose of directing “the flow of capital from Google into the tech startup bubble that is destroying San Francisco.” One banner read “I’ma Snip Snip Yr Ballz,” an allusion to Rose’s 2008 video podcast on Diggnation in which he joked about cutting off women’s breasts. That goes to show just how much people were unwilling to let it go.
After the death of his beloved Digg, Kevin promptly announced his new project, Milk. One thing was very peculiar to Kevin. He never liked be to idle and never got discouraged. After the failure of both Prownce and Digg, he still started a prototyping application lab called Milk. During several interviews with both Rose and his colleagues, it has been identified that Kevin was more interested in the science and ecstasy of starting a new project than maintaining or working on a pre-existing one. that was the same thing that happened with Milk. He got top-notch engineers and programmers to work on it.
Soon enough, there was discord among them. While most of the team wanted to link with Instagram and make Oink better, Kevin wanted to work on Milk alone. This eventually led to Kevin shutting down both Milk and Oink and migrating to Google where he would always have a bunch of new projects to work on.
Kevin Rose, despite everything, is a huge success. He came from being the kid with big ideas to someone who contributed to the world of technology and made a name for himself. He went on to create one of the first internet breaker networks. He is also currently a father of two beautiful kids and is working his dream job and keeping technology alive at Google.