The WhatsApp Guy Applied to Work at Facebook in 2009. They Rejected Him.

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Feb. 20 2014 11:00 AM

The WhatsApp Guy Applied to Work at Facebook in 2009. They Rejected Him.

WhatsApp's co-founder didn't need Facebook to give him a job.

Photo by Abul Hussain/Flickr.

Brian Acton, a co-founder of big ticket item WhatsApp, was an engineer at Yahoo for 11 years. But he joined lots of Americans in the hunt for a new job during 2009. And he went out for a lot of things he didn't get. As TechCrunch points out, Acton was tweeting about trying to network with recruiters and stay relaxed in May 2009.

A few days later he got turned down by Twitter, but tried to keep a good attitude.


And then three months later in August, Facebook shut the door in his face too.

Now five years later he's laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to the biggest Silicon Valley acquisition in history. Of course, he probably wouldn't have single-handedly turned Facebook messaging into the world's message service of choice if he had gone to work for the company then. He might not have even been working on messaging. Sticking it to the man by going off, doing your own thing, and eventually getting the establishment to buy you out is everyone's dream. Facebook needs to step up its bargain shopping.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 7:30 AM Ring Around the Rainbow
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.