Dear Ashton-

Congratulations on a record-setting opening weekend for Valentine’s Day.  I can only imagine how you must be also still basking in the warm afterglow of your sure-to-be-too-good-to-be-true Valentine’s Day celebration with Demi.  You are an incredibly fortunate man.  I still have her 1992 Vanity Fair cover photo on my wall.  Love is a beautiful thing.

While I am thrilled for you in this regard, you and I know that this is not the reason for my writing. Since we briefly made eye contact when you launched BlahBlah Girls at TechCrunch50 in 2008, I feel like I know you.  Or, more candidly, that we were twin brothers separated at birth.

I was catching up on my Tivo the other night and saw that you hosted SNL for the second time.  (I admit that I still “watch” SNL- if you mean by watch- see who is hosting, scan on fast forward until I see that Scared Straight sketch, Seth Myers and the musical guest.)  Congratulations.  I thought you did a good job; it seems like an incredibly difficult and stressful gig.  But also very rewarding.  Or at least that’s what everyone that hosts it seems to say.

Anyway, something you said in your monologue before you took off your pants gave me real cause for concern: you mentioned you were, in addition to your film duties, also the CEO of a 51-person technology startup that makes enterprise social software for large organizations, such as the United Nations.  As someone who has been (partially) in your shoes (my head would likely explode if I could fill those size 12’s for just a day), I am writing to implore you to hand the reigns to someone else and get out.  Quickly.  Your working at technology startups makes no sense to society and zero sense for you.  Plus you don’t need the unnecessary headaches.

The economic theory of comparative advantage states that some parties are able to produce a particular good or service at a lower opportunity cost than another party.  For someone that has a lucrative acting and producing career, such as yourself, you are doing society and yourself a massive disservice by spending your valuable time on frivolous technology, rather than on entertaining us.

According to BoxOfficeMojo, you are now the 204th highest grossing actor of all time, ahead of both Sean Penn and Rob Schneider, with $638.2MM in total receipts.  More than half a billion dollars is no joke and you average $49.1MM per picture.  Assuming DVD sales, each of your movies is close to a $100MM enterprise!  While I have not seen any of your movies (and I am going to refrain from the layup that is “Dude, Where’s My Car?” jokes), you must be good enough for people to want to see you in a new vehicle.

While most people just know as an actor, you are also a tireless creator and producer.  Punk’d was pure genius and gave us regular folk an opportunity to laugh at celebrities in awkward situations.  Punk’d ran for 8 seasons and 64 shows.  More important, the show became a cultural phenomena and has been remade in 5 countries.

There is no doubt you are a lover of technology and all things geek.  You love you some Twitter.  Your experiences at phone company startup, Ooma, notwithstanding, I think your production company, Katalyst Media, which produces television shows and Internet ad campaigns will be successful.  That is exactly what you should be doing: investing in scalable entertainment that you know and do better than anyone else.

Tech startups are laborious, stressful, not-sexy affairs with remote chance of success.  You definitely do not need the hassle.  Plus they take all of your time.  Just one job.  And I dont want you to have to give up your day job for it.  You are too good at what you do.  Let someone else, like me, do these jobs because your (and our) opportunity cost is just way too high.


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