We all use WhatsApp, we have all asked one person or the other to join Whatsapp, but do you know anything about the brain behind this beautiful messaging platform Lets take you into his personal life with our list of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About WhatsApp Founder, Jan Koum:

Jan Koum

1. Facebook Takeover Began 2 Years Ago

Reports have it that the takeover by Mark Zuckerberg’s company was two years in the making. In 2012, Mark began the conversation by contacting Jan first. After that, they started hanging out. They even went out on hikes, ate dinner even if Koum failed to yield. They however kept in touch for 2 solid years.

2. He Agreed To The Deal On Val’s Day

On the 9th of February 2014, Mark invited Koun to his house for dinner. He seized the chance to propose his deal for WhatsApp. Mark Zuckerberg told him that they will be partners and it will not just be like the regular startup acquisition.

Koum exited his house and told him he should be given time to sleep over it. At last, On the 14th of February, Koum interrupted Zuckerberg’s Valentine’s dinner with his wife and said yes to the deal.

3. He Detests Advertising

Jam has a note in his office that reads “No Ads! No Games! No Gimmicks!” It is a constant reminder of his love for offering a clean messaging experience to WhatsApp users. After the takeover though, we have been seeing ads.

4. Koum immigrated To The U.S. From Communist Ukraine As A Teenager

Years after being a student of San Jose State University, he secured employment at Yahoo and was an employee there for 9 years, initially in systems security and then he got into infrastructure engineering. Koum met Acton in Yahoo and 12 years ago, they quit Yahoo and developed WhatsApp.

5. He Is A Drop Out

Yahoo co-founder, David Filo actually convinced Koum to drop out of school. A particular incident involving Koum studying at San Jose State University when one of the servers at Yahoo broke made this happen.

Must Read: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Google

David Filo insisted he came right away and that was the end of all things school for Koum. He eventually confessed that he never really fancied education anyways.

6. WhatsApp Did Not Fancy Marketing

Under Koum, WhatsApp did not do any marketing. WhatsApp spent zero money on user acquisition and did not even bring in a marketer or a PR person when Koum was fully in charge.

WhatsApp becoming a hit was all centered on amazing users spreading the service to their buddies and loved ones.

7. Facebook And Twitter Turned Him Down

After quitting Yahoo in 2007, Jan sought employment at Twitter and Facebook but got rejected. No one cares about that now though since Jan did business with the brain behind Facebook himself, Mark Zuckerberg.

8. The Deal Was Signed On The Door Of A Government Building

Jan Koum, Acton and Jim Goetz of Sequoia Capital, a company who invested in WhatsApp signed the agreement to hand over WhatsApp to Mark on the door of a white building where Jan Koum used to stand in line for food stamps. Proper grass to grace story.


9. He Once Worked At A Grocery Store

To survive, Koum and his mum filled their suitcases with pens and notebooks to ensure cash was saved on school supplies in America. His dad never reached the USA. After Koum’s mum was diagnosed with cancer, he survived her disability allowance. It has been all happy stories since then though.

10. WhatsApp Had 55 Employees When The Takeover Happened

Before Jan and Brian became sudden billionaires, their employees only benefited from the huge size of the Facebook shares issued and the little number of staff that was involved – which was about $344 million per staff. Being at the right small company at the right time made these 55 companies millionaires overnight.

Hope you found these facts about Jan Koum, to be interesting. If you have more interesting facts about him, feel free to share it in the comment box below.


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