MISSING: 32-year old Australian-Belarusian web entrepreneur, owner of Kogan.com, often bespectacled, history of saying outlandish things to grab headlines.
That’s right: the Ruslan Kogan we all knew from a hit parade of crazy challenges, outlandish statements and an an ego the size of his multi-million dollar fortune seems to be M.I.A..
The last time we heard anything remotely crazy from Mr Kogan was when he ran out of juice for his BMW i8, and even then it’s not the Ruslan we’re used to.
We’re used to the Kogan who lost his licence on the Melbourne F1 street circuit, the guy who launched a “campaign” against the Carbon Tax, the web-guru who charged customers a tax for using a shitty browser and even the guy who labelled big retailers in Australia “Apple’s bitch“.
We’re in a new age of Sensible Kogan, and it’s weird.
Sensible Kogan even recently commented on one of his crazier stunts, explaining his actions through the lens of hindsight.
Back in the heady days of 2011 Ruslan challenged the then-CEO of JB Hi-Fi to a $1 million bet over whether Apple products would still sell in his stores by March 2014. He had lawyers draw up the contract for the bet, but the JB Hi-Fi CEO never signed on. That’s probably a good thing for Ruslan: almost a year after the bet was meant to be claimed and JB Hi-Fi has expanded the Apple presence in its stores with new stands and dedicated Apple staffers helping customers out with purchasing decisions.
When asked about it on Twitter, Ruslan said he was a “young punk”.
“I was a young punk, a little too aggressive with the timing, but the principle was intact,” he wrote.
To give you a bit of a timeline, it looks like Crazy Kogan gave way to Sensible Kogan following the massive legal battle over his MVNO telco, Kogan Mobile. The MVNO he created went bust after it backed the wrong wholesaler, and the whole thing blew up in the courts.
So if he’s not spending time beating his chest, what does Ruslan do with himself? These days he seems to spend his time gallivanting around the globe with his partner, Anastasia (which looks like awesome fun) and writing intelligent things for LinkedIn.
He wrote something on unsuccessfully applying for a job at McDonalds, the mysterious invention of the dishwasher and something about “social proof” which sounds like a marketing thing I probably won’t read.
The guy who made a career of saying
stupid bonkers things in public has gone missing. I want him to openly challenge Gerry Harvey to a mud wrestle for $1 million or something for old time’s sake.
Perhaps this new, quieter Kogan is a side-effect of growing up or just being too busy to be stupid. Either way, we’re looking at a world without the feisty up-start who wants to mud wrestle Gerry Harvey for a trillion internet-bucks. Sigh.