Ukrainian-born American computer programmer Jan Koum works & resides in the US. He owned WhatsApp prior to it being purchased by Facebook. He was ranked 62nd on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2014, with a net worth of over $7.5 billion.
Jan Koum- Co-founder, Whatsapp
- Born: 24 February 1976 (47 years age), birthplace- Ukraine
- Nationality: American
- Preparation: Dropped out from San Jose State University
- Net worth: $14.2 billion (2023) Forbes
- Known for: WhatsApp
Nobody today would disagree that social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp have become integral parts of our everyday lives. The co-founder and former CEO of WhatsApp is Jan Koum. This tall man with a skinny arrival has had a difficult childhood. Koum was born to Ukrainian parents in a tiny village outside of Kyiv. Koum’s early experiences in a Communist environment had a negative effect on him, which weakened his strong commitment to privacy protection.
When asked to explain why his establishment takes this aspect of the business so seriously, he replies that he grew up in a society where everything you did was recorded, and captured. No one should have the right to eavesdrop, or you become a totalitarian state – the kind of state I escaped from as a child.
While his father worked as a construction manager building hospitals and schools, his mother stayed at home. There was no hot water in the house, and his parents kept him away from talking on the phone for fear of being tapped by the government. At the age of 16, Jan and his mother and grandmother left Europe for the United States. In California, Jan’s mother worked as a babysitter while Jan went to school and did grocery store floor cleaning.
His father intended to join after Jan and his mother had settled down, but he became ill and died five years later, never being able to see his family again. Jan’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she died of it only three years after Jan’s father died. He learned network engineering on his own, then attended San Jose University to study computer science and mathematics while taking part in hacker groups called w00w00 (pronounced whoo-whoo) and internet networking groups.
He studied computer networking over the next two years and was prepared to start his next task. At this point, he decided to enroll at San Jose State University after discovering his love for programming. He also started working for Ernst & Young as a security tester. Jan received the chance of a lifetime when he was employed as an infrastructure engineer at Yahoo after working there for roughly six months. punctually, Jan Koum was still a student at San Jose State University.
Yahoo! had started to make Jan bored. At the age of 31, he quit Yahoo! and took some time off to travel the world with a friend who had also left. They both applied for employment at Facebook but were both turned down. In the following two years, Jan bought an iPhone. He saw the promise of the Software Store and started developing new software that would facilitate connection and communication. Jan Koum was about to give up because he was so upset with his inability to make it work.
Jan Koum persisted with his invention for a little while longer, and in 2009, when he was 33 years old, he and his former Yahoo! coworker Brian Acton co-founded WhatsApp. Its owner chose to sell it to Facebook for $19 billion and it had 400 million members worldwide in 2014.
- Jan’s family was struggling financially when they first arrived in America, long before they built the WhatsApp server. As stated earlier, her mother took care of the children while Jan was forced to work as a cleaner.
- If you believe Harvard education is required to create a technologically breakthrough product, you are mistaken. You don’t have to have a four-year degree to make a difference in the world. Jan Koum grows his own coding skills.
- Jan eventually left Yahoo in 2007 and set out on a year-long journey around the world. Most likely he did this in order to find himself and establish a new path. He applied to social media giants Facebook and Twitter but faced rejection.
- In 2005, Jan Koum became a billionaire. When he sold his mobile application to Facebook, he made a stunning 22-billion-dollar profit. WhatsApp was created by Jan, but Facebook and WhatsApp are currently owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
Inspirational Quotes By Jan Koum
- “Be simple and reliable.” Jan Koum
- “I didn’t have a computer until I was 19 – but I did have an abacus.” Jan Koum
- “I grew up in a country where advertising doesn’t exist.” Jan Koum
- “I only have one idea, that is WhatsApp, and I am going to continue to focus on that. I have no plans to build any other ideas.” Jan Koum
- “Facebook, Google, Apple– there’s a common theme. None of these companies ever sold. By staying independent, they were able to build a great company.” Jan Koum