A brief history of WhatsApp’s success involves food stamps and IKEA

While unlikely to become a movie, WhatsApp’s $16 billion-plus sale to Facebook yesterday marks one of the biggest tech deals ever, and one that bears some resemblance to the working class success stories told by Horatio Alger. A new feature story in Forbes chronicles how co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton managed to do it all while squeaking by in WhatsApp’s early days, and for Koum long before that. The short version: it wasn’t easy.

Before WhatsApp was founded, Koum briefly lived with help from welfare after immigrating to the states with his mother. And not too long ago, employees “wore blankets for warmth and worked off cheap Ikea tables” in a nondescript office building, Forbes recounts.

WhatsApp also went through a period where all the expenses were running out of Koum’s bank account, which eventually ran dry, something that was later solved with outside funding and incredible growth. When the paperwork was finalized yesterday, Acton and Koum signed the deal at a nearby social services office where Koum used to pick up food stamps.

He now stands to make billions from the deal.



Source: The Verge - Read the original article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On