Brian Acton and Jan Koum the co-founder and CEO of the most successful instant messaging app available in the world. They believe that the things work out best for those who make best of how things work.
The success story of WhatsApp is one of proven example of innovation in technology takes people and their communication. Billions of users are now addicted to ‘WhatsApp’ style of keeping in touch, it is worthwhile to explore what went behind making this phenomenon happen.
Jan Koum was not from a rich family. He stayed with his grandmother and mother in a small apartment. He made all hard work to get him admission into San Jose State University where he trained on programming.
Jan later join Yahoo as engineer and met his business partner Brian while working at Yahoo for nine year and then left the company together to join Facebook, but were rejected by Facebook.
They did not dream to become wealthy until they thought of making an app for iPhone users.
Both the partners started develop one app which received tremendous success in a very short time. This App was pretty easy for the users to use as users are not required to register anywhere in order to use the application. This was the first turning point for both founders and their dream come true.
Founding of WhatsApp
The WhatsApp Inc. was founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton the two ex-pat of Yahoo!. They bought an iPhone and looking at the new appstore, make them realised that it was going to be a rapidly growing industry for apps.
Koum decided the name, and they started talking about building an app where people would have their statuses just next to their names.
Got the initial failing in the models, Koum was disheartened, and was almost about to give up when Acton Brian persuaded him to keep at it.
In November 2009, the day when history of instant messaging going to change space, after several months of beta testing, WhatsApp launched in the app store for iPhones users.
The blackberry version was released just two months later of iOS version launch.
Earning through the App
Jan and Brian earned millions dollars without any advertising on the their app. They primarily made the money in two ways. They started charging one time installation fees for iPhone users and annual fee from Android users.
Huge number of people used the App and paid for using the same. Reports state that approx 250 million people use WhatsApp in a month. This is a high number for any application to reach in the smartphone world.
With the more number of WhatsApp users, the more money in pocket of both the partners. They did not had any outside investment in making the whole app. The entire development of the app is done in Russia.
Main attraction of WhatsApp
Both the partners worked at Yahoo and with their experience in Yahoo they learnt the tricks of the trade. Yahoo works with advertisements and most of the users do not like advertisements flashing, popup while using the application.
Understanding this, the duo made this app which is very simple to use devoid of barriers in the form of advertisements. This special feature alone made WhatsApp most loved by the users worldwide.
The main aim of the app is to provide simple communication medium enabling users to stay in contact with their loved ones.
Acquisition by Facebook
In February 2014, with the deal of 1900 Billion Facebook bought the WhatsApp and this made both the partners, Jan and Brian billionaires in a very short period of time.This was Facebook’s largest acquisition till then.
This acquisition was the largest transaction done by any two companies backed by venture capitalists.