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
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.

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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.

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