The story of WhatsApp — the messaging app just purchased by Facebook for an insane $19 billion — is pretty fascinating.
Seems that the app’s founders did everything right by doing everything wrong. They flouted Silicon Valley rules like getting press and adding features, and instead focused on making the app do one thing well: send messages. It all sounds very Apple-like, and it’s been well covered in fascinating features from Forbes and Wired that are currently doing the rounds.
One detail in the Forbes piece flew out at me in particular — detailing how Apple accidentally created the core element of WhatsApp by adding a new iOS feature.
In June 2009 WhatsApp’s founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton were ready to give up and throw in the towel. They had been trying to create a status app — kind of like Twitter, but which would automatically broadcast the user’s status to members of their network. They weren’t having a whole lot of luck, however, and a May app launch had gone nowhere.
Read more here.