If you’re like most Americans, when you found out that Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion today, you responded with, “what’s that”? It is the most popular messaging app for smartphones, and adds a remarkable million users per day to it’s already incredible base of 450 million users. This is why Facebook execs were so eager to purchase the service, but they’re probably kicking themselves in the profile for turning away one of the WhatsApp co-founders five years ago:
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
Brian Acton and Jan Koum founded the company, which allows users to send messages using smartphones’ broadband capabilities.
Got denied by Twitter HQ. That's ok. Would have been a long commute.
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) May 23, 2009
Many are seriously questioning the enormous $19 billion price tag on the company. Twitter and Facebook are probably regretting not hiring or funding Acton for a fraction of that price five years ago.
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.
— jan koum (@jankoum) August 28, 2011
Now these two brilliant young men are going to be able to buy all the junk they’ll ever not need, and then some.
Correction: This post was modified to indicate that, based on Acton’s tweets, only one of the WhatsApp co-founders (Acton) was turned down by Facebook and Twitter. The initial version of this post stated that both Acton and Koum were rejected.