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'It is a huge mind bender': Former Facebook exec now pursues his comedy dreams

Ameya Pendse

Paul Ollinger was one of Facebook’s first 250 employees and worked his way up to being VP of sales. However, the office life just wasn’t what he had hoped to be doing for the rest of his life.

After nearly five years at Facebook, Ollinger decided to ditch Silicon Valley to purse his dreams as a stand-up comedian and host of a podcast.

“We all have this romanticized version of how perfect life going to be… but when you leave work, you leave behind a big part of your identity,” he told Yahoo Finance. “It is a huge mind bender at first because there you are alone, by yourself in your house. And now it’s up to you to decide who you are and what you want to stand for.”

Paul Ollinger let Facebook and is now a comedian. (Photo: screenshot/Yahoo Finance)


Despite being out of business world, Ollinger still has opinions about companies today. It’s something he shares on his podcast, “Crazy Money.” Uber is expected to price its IPO on Thursday night and begin trading on Friday, with a price range that would value it at up to $91 billion. Ollinger shared his thoughts about the company.

“I think Uber and Lyft have totally changed the world,” he said. “I think Uber could take advice from Tinder’s business model. Number one, they should absolutely enlist surge pricing, right when the bars close. I think that would be a huge profit maximizer.”

When asked to choose a company he’d want to work for if he’d ever plan a return to corporate life, Ollinger only had one pick.

“I always think about Spotify,” he said. “I’m just a huge music fan, and huge fan of podcasts and content. And I use their products every single day. And I just love it. And if I went back, I’d want to go at it based on passion as opposed to even profit maximization.”

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