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Jan Koum: The Story Behind WhatsApp Co-Founder

Early Life of Jan Koum:

Jan Koum was born to a Jewish family in 1976 in Kyiv, Ukraine. His father was a worker in construction while his mother stayed home with their son. Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp, was a young child who became aware of the negative effects of growing under a Communist regime. This led to his strong commitment to Privacy.

Jan Koum’s Career:

Jan Koum was a member of the Ernst & Young security team during his freshman year at San Jose State. While working at Yahoo!, Jan Koum met Brian Aston, his future business partner.

Jan Koum joined Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer after a few months. He was still at San Jose State University. After joining Yahoo, a system crash occurred, and Koum, who was still attending San Jose State University at the time, was forced to leave immediately.

Aston and Koum worked together at Yahoo! for nine years. They became good friends and realized their common interest in the rapidly growing world of social media. Yahoo didn’t offer them the opportunity to explore other media, so they decided to quit their jobs and seek out new opportunities.

The Birth of WhatsApp!

The pair and their family returned to the U.S. to plan their next move. They would either join another organization or start their own. Jan Koum started to think of ways to improve user experience as new technologies were developed, such as Skype.

He wanted to create a simple-to-use messaging system that would make phone messages and calls more accessible to his friends and family. He met Alex Fishman in 2009 to discuss his ideas for a new messaging app. Fishman also got him in touch with a Russian developer who would build the front-end for the messaging system.

Jan Koum was born on February 24, and he met Aston to play ultimate frisbee, one of their favorite pastime activities. He shared his idea for WhatsApp here with a friend. WhatsApp Ins was also legally established the same day.

The Rise of WhatsApp / Success:

Only a few months after the sensation, the famous application of WhatsApp went live on May 3, 2009. The app was initially informed. Apple updated iPhone software to allow rush notification a month later. The entire game plan was affected by this move. Jan Koum revised his strategy to build an app around the social networks of people.

Aston also joined the fray before the release of WhatsApp to assist with business strategy and investment.

September saw the release of the new version. It was extremely successful. Brian Aston says that too wired, ”this caused a rapid growth which led to experimentation of various business models.”

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