5 Lessons I Learnt From the Transaction between Facebook and WhatsApp
On Wednesday 19th February, 2014 we got a breaking news that Facebook owned by Mark Zuckerberg has not only concluded agreement to buy WhatsApp founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton for Nineteen Billion Dollars but that he has fully paid for it both in cash and in shares.
This news got me thinking but I am grateful my thoughts didn’t end without some lessons to learn which I am about to share with you in this post.
These five lessons are so critical and greatness-provoking that if you can look deep into it well enough, it can spark off the lying giant in you to take action.
Before I proceed, let me tell you brief info about WhatsApp and Facebook. Facebook started 10 years ago and WhatsApp 5 years ago. Facebook has 1.2 billion registered members and WhatsApp 450 million registered members with over 1 million people registering every day..
Top 5 Lessons to learn from the transaction between WhatsApp and Facebook
1. Don’t let your background limit you from maximizing the hidden potentials in you.
Everyone has got a background. Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp had his own background – in fact an ugly one to mention. Jan Koum had to be employed as a Grocery store sweeper in order to assist his mother cater for the family, but it never limited him from becoming a self-made billionaire today. According Forbes release Jan Koum is now worth over 6.8 billion dollars.
2. Don’t let your employer limit you from becoming an entrepreneur.
Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp worked with Yahoo as the Vice President of the Engineering department before leaving Yahoo as a job seeker. He applied for a job to work with Facebook in 2009 but was rejected. Look at what Brian Acton tweeted; “Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure.”
Despite being rejected by Facebook, he never rejected himself instead; he called out the creative power within to initiate a process Facebook was over-willing to buy even if they lose.
3. Starting your own business today could be the wisest decision you will ever make in a lifetime in the next 5 to 10 years to come.
Robert Kiyosaki was right when he said that becoming a business owner is the easiest means to becoming and staying wealthy in life. Who would have accepted to pay his employee to become a Billionaire which Brian Acton and Jan Koum are today? Definitely nobody in his right frame of mind can do that. Research has shown that no employer pays you to be rich. I know you can’t doubt that.
If Brian Acton had continued carrying his files about in search of a new job after leaving Yahoo, he wouldn’t have become $3 billion richer today.
Now you have got the experience and the expertise, what is then hindering you from becoming an Entrepreneur of distinction? Don’t forget you will always lose 100 percent of the shot you never made.
4. When making negotiation make sure you won’t lose in the long run.
The negotiation to buy WhatsApp started in 2012 but being a wise man Jan Koum was, he never accepted the offer he was made. Google offered to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion but Jan Koum refused not because WhatsApp was really worth 10 billion dollars but because he knows his own worth. He knew he’s worth more than that. So when Facebook finally came up with their $19 Billion bids, Koum jumped at it. Today, that has made him a fortune.
When negotiating a contract, make sure you aren’t losing. Don’t panic about pricing. Believe in who you are and what you have. If you can position yourself well enough, buyers will only see greatness, opportunities and strengths in you and your products and services – they will never get to see the threats.
5. Don’t sell or merge because you are frustrated. Do it because you’ve got something to gain.
When making deals, make sure you aren’t making it because you are frustrated or because you are afraid of competition. Make it clear to your buyer that you are ready to face any form of competition in case he decides to start a similar business.
I am of the believe that Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook inc. decided to buy WhatsApp at such an exorbitant price because he was afraid of the threat WhatsApp was posing to his business. **Apologies** There’s no doubt the biggest competitor of Facebook in the last one year was WhatsApp.
If WhatsApp will continue at this growth rate, definitely they will surpass Facebook in the nearest future and I guess it was the fear of having such a relentless competitor that made Facebook accept to pay Jan Koum and Brian Acton such amount of money.
However, whether WhatsApp will make Mark Zuckerberg richer than he is today, I don’t know but I still see this as a big risk which will either pay off in future or may not. Whatever that happens, we are watching and I wish my Billionaire Mentor, Mark Zuckerberg the very best. He has always remained the biggest inspiration to any young person that wants to become a Billionaire before 30.