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How Did the WhatsApp Owner Become Rich


How Did the WhatsApp Owner Become Rich

Two decades ago, there was no war or revolution in Ukraine. Things caused death to many inanest people and incinerate so many children’s dreams, but everything was not good and appropriate in that time. Poverty, unemployment, inflation and growing social restrictions did not give the chance for optimism. In this situation migration and going to distance eastern countries, seemed the only way. Many families were shattered with the same excuse and big changes happened in the context of Ukraine.

Fundamental changes that the country's current unrest can be traced them. Childhood and innocence could not resist this wave. The storm of these events took them all and threw them away.

From village to America

Jan Koum was one of those children. He was raised in a small village outside of Kiev, Ukraine, the capital city which had no signs of the other European capitals glory. His father was a construction engineer. Hospitals, schools and public buildings were built and delivered by him. His mother was a housewife and they managed their costs with a lot of difficulties to have something to eat. They lived in a house with no hot water. But this cold winter did not mercy in these conditions. Difficulties were continuing. These changes affected his life and his family’s life. At first, it was managed that his father go to America and then they would join him but everything went wrong. Jon, his mother and his grandmother traveled to America, a travel to Mountain View, California which was so changing his destiny obviously. His father stayed in Ukraine and His father had intended to join the family later, but finally remained in Ukraine. Saying goodbye to his father and his town was hard. Even though it seemed temporary and then they figured out how optimistic they were. Destiny was different for Jon and his family. The sixteen-year-old-Ukrainian boy had to make him ready for many good and bad events.

A Place for Difficulties and Opportunities

The father never went to America. He passed away after 5 years of family migration, a wistful death. Three years after his father’s death, he became lonelier. His mother had cancer; a cruel disease that took her life step by step. They had a hard life after entering to America. A social support program helped the family to get a small two-bedroom apartment. Koum's mother worked as a babysitter, while he himself worked as a cleaner at a grocery.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw was always humorist but this quotation was taken serious by Jan. “I had to change. I wanted new conditions and opportunities. I had no choice except changing. I just wanted to improve the situation to my family.” He was good in school, spoke English very well and had no problems in connecting with others but he was not interested the kind of behaviors in American high schools. In Ukraine and Russia you are with a small group from the start to the end; so friendships are real and you know a person completely. Of course he had no time for theorize. The daily costs had to be paid. He tested working as guardian and tester in security companies, working in restaurants or any other simple job but he know that he is interested in something else. Computers, programming, networking and internet were the main keys that he wanted his life formed by them. Joining in a hacker group and learning different computer gigs, were an interesting experience for teenage Jan.

Even Yahoo Is Not Interesting

Going to San Jose State University was a great step in his life. At least he thought the same at first but the most important event in his life was not related to his university. Meeting Brian Acton in Yahoo changed everything to them. “From the first I liked Jan. He had an interesting behavior and was rebellious to everything. I was the same, so that was not strange to understand each other.”

Jan Koum and Brian Acton’s friendship became closer. That caused Jan to find a full time job in Yahoo. Although dealing with Yahoo infrastructure and later on advertising projects were not attractive to him. “You help no one to improve their lives with these kinds of jobs. Advertisements never help people.” Of course working in Yahoo had other different advantages. Brian Acton was always there and it was possible to meet him. Brian was the closest person to Jan after his parents passed away. For nine years they were in all the ups and downs of the Yahoo Company. Finally they decided to leave Yahoo in September 2007. It was easy for them to say goodbye to all memories in Yahoo. Later on, Jan later wrote in his LinkedIn profile he did something during the years of his presence in Yahoo, this expression shows that he failed to reach his ambitions and never could make dreams on them. Traveling to Southern America and having fun there was their only plan for one year. “We were sharpening our saws. A free mind for dreaming needed this kind of travel. Jan Koum is forever indebted to this holiday. The holiday made him one step closer to his teenage dreams.

For the Dreams

January 2009 will stay in Jan and Brian’s mind forever. Buying an IPhone and researching App Store made something clear for them. IT programs future was for these small applications. There is no need to write perennial strategies and such things. Everything was planned in his mind. The first thing to do was calling Alex Fishman. He was a Russian friend who he had met in Eastern European Association. Eating pizza, in front of the kitchen counter the main plan of a messaging application was programming. Jan chose the name of ‘WhatsApp’ immediately, because it was so close to ‘what’s up’. He registered WhatsApp Company one week after his birthday. It was February 24, 2009. Everything from idea to operation was done by Jan fast. Alex Fishman was remembering he was doing crazily but did not write even one line code of WhatsApp but he was registering company and talking to everybody about his idea. At first, WhatsApp became popular in Russia. Despite repeated hang up, users gradually became familiar with different capabilities of the program. Apple's notifications system changes came to help WhatsApp users become double. Skype and Bee talk were strong competitors but relying on simplicity in using WhatsApp and registering only with phone numbers made this application special. I several times thought about closing WhatsApp. Each time he stopped me. He said to give more time to this project. After two years of patience, it finally paid off. WhatsApp was welcomed by the users and raised 8 million dollars investment. World and future became sweet.

The Patience Which Worth $ 19 Billion

The first buying suggested was rejected in 2012.

Some Chinese and Indian companies wanted to buy WhatsApp 300-200 million dollars. These suggestions did not even need thinking. WhatsApp was growing. In February 2013, WhatsApp had more than 200 million users but only 50 employees. Even costing money did not stop users to use WhatsApp. Everyday 1 million people added to the list of users. It means about 30 million people added to users list in only one month. The number Instagram could achieve after one year. Now Silicon Valley Companies wanted to buy it. Google and Facebook were the main competitors in this race. Google's $ 10 billion proposition caused Facebook to take a bolder action. $ 19 billion buying offer was stunning enough but Mark Zuckerberg made the WhatsApp management team sure he will not manipulation in the way they work. Despite Zuckerberg, Google wanted to buy WhatsApp and mange it on the own way. The final negotiations were conducted a few years ago at Mark Zuckerberg’s home. The meeting was an opportunity to review some old memories. Jan Koum and Brian both a few years ago gave applications to work in the Facebook, a rejected application. Now, that company suggested to buy their product and both were set in its managing board. It was dealt and WhatsApp is a part of Facebook online arsenal. Some years ago, Jan Koum wanted to have a trace in the history of technology. After 5 years, WhatsApp can be called that bequest; an application which sent him between billionaires and changed his life forever. “ I have always wanted to focus on one thing and do it well.” Of course his approach was successful, all the people know it now.

Why did Facebook pay $ 19 billion to buy WhatsApp?

For the future market!

Most of the Facebook users are the young people joined few years ago. The young people who have little activities after the initial flurry reduced and sometimes log in. Today's young people prefer mobile social networking. Run applications such as those in smartphones and the same age groups present in. That's why Mark Zuckerberg sees the future of Facebook as dark as Yahoo chat room, Yahoo 360, etc.

His defense is reasonable. Using all the features and possibilities to help the brand created by Facebook. Very simply a multi-engine instead of an engine makes the solution that whenever the engine fails, the other engines catch up. This is despite the fact that the possibility of an engine failure is very much. In addition a shock in the world of technology among users could face the Facebook recession to stimulate. The financial reasons for buying WhatsApp are quite compelling. Having 450 million users and an increase in this number, an annual infusion of at least $ 450 million on the other hand few employees and low maintenance costs brings a safe and profitable investment for Facebook. Finally buying WhatsApp is a clever action in order to survive Facebook in technology in the coming years. This strategy has been a quite forward-looking view. Accuracy of Facebook's recent moves correctly was approved with buying the acquisition of Oculus because the process of wearable technology is changing. After computers and mobile devices, now this is the time for technology to change the market.

Industry that could be the philosophy of Facebook as a social network can have more serious form of social communication. It is natural that extending this process is going to be more popular, because these messaging applications are simply doing their duties and they are increasing the number of their users.


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