Facebook has acquired super-popular social messaging app WhatsApp for a heady $16 billion in cash and stock, plus another $3 billion in restricted stock over the next four years.
Not bad for a company that was founded less than five years ago. And it’s a huge win for founder Brian Acton, who was turned down for positions by both Twitter and Facebook before launching WhatsApp.
Rewind back to 2009 and Acton, whose role at Yahoo had come to an end after 11 (probably long) years, was looking for a new challenge. So he applied at Twitter, and was turned down.
Got denied by Twitter HQ. That's ok. Would have been a long commute.
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) May 23, 2009
Then he applied at Facebook… and was turned down.
Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life's next adventure.
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) August 3, 2009
So he and Yahoo colleague Jan Kourn decided to do something themselves, and launched WhatsApp. Four and a bit years and 450 million users later, that turned out to be a very smart decision indeed.
Bottom line? Keep your chin up. Acton’s tweets are extremely bullish, and reveal a lot about his character. And that kind of forward-thinking just might turned into an absolute boatload of cash.