By now, you’ve probably heard that Facebook is acquiring WhatsApp to the tune of $19 Billion. That’s a lot of dough.
Entrepreneurs can take a lot of flack from people who don’t see their vision. It’s true that a lot of ventures don’t work out. It’s not about being right all the time. It’s about being wrong a lot of the time but being super right, when you’re right. Jan Koum was super right.
Jan Koum incorporated WhatsApp on February 24th, 2009. That’s about 1822 days from the publishing of the Forbes article mentioned in this post. Since he sold his app for $19 Billion and owns about 47%, he’ll make roughly $6.8 Billion before taxes. That works out to be roughly $3.7 Million a day in profits since the second he incorporated WhatsApp.
Koum couldn’t have known that he’d sell his app for the amount he would or even that he’d have an exit at all. He did, however, believe in what he was building; and, that is very important.
Koum signed his $19 Billion deal at an old building in Mountain View, CA — where he used to collect food stamps. That kind of moment is what all entrepreneurs long for. It’s not the payday that we really desire (though we’ll take that too)… it’s to remember when we struggled to build something relevant. We want to remember moments when we were so close to giving up and despair was at our door but we kept going. We want to look back and see that during those hard times, we were actually making $$$.