At this point, pretty much everyone knows about Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion. You may also know that both founders came from very humble beginnings. Jan Koum used to live on food stamps and Brian Acton was rejected for jobs at Facebook and Twitter.
It’s also fun to take a trip back in time to see where today’s successful entrepreneurs came from. Check out a forum thread posted by Jan Koum five years ago below.
i hate shameless self promotion, but i couldn’t resist posting here because i wrote this app with people like us in mind (those who travel a lot)
ever since i semi-retired a little over a year ago, i been traveling A LOT and i hated it when people tried to reach me when i am on the plane or out of the country. so i asked myself — wouldn’t it be cool if i just set a status for my iPhone, similar to how you can set a status on yahoo messenger or skype.
problem found – problem solved. so i spent a couple of months and developed a little tool called WhatsApp – it can let you set a status like “On the flight to munich, send email instead of calling me”or “In Japan for two weeks, my cell there is +81 829 282718”
i would like to hear your feedback and suggestions on the idea. hit or miss?
(of course app is useless ’til your contacts begin to use it also)
P.S. – i know a lot of you are BlackBerry users, and we are working on a BlackBerry version already (wish there was more hours in the day)”
Literally no one cared except for one person that asked a question:
It appears that this requires the other party to also have the app installed, right?
Two months later, Koum posted another message announcing the release of WhatsApp’s Blackberry version.
just wanted to mention that version for blackberry is available. you can see BB screenshots of the app in action here:
and you can download the BB app from http://www.whatsapp.com/bb/
.And that post was met with the sound of crickets.
Finally, in September 2013, about four years since his last message, Koum posted this:
“so i was looking on this forum for something else (trying to use my M&M miles) and remembered i posted this thread 4 years ago. i am thinking some of you might be using WhatsApp now :)”
Since the acquisition, that forum has exploded with messages.
In the words of Kanye West, “It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow, to everybody on your dick… no homo.”
You can check out the full thread here on FlyerTalk.