Well the financial world is reeling from the news that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg would spend $16 Billion in cash plus both public and private stock options for one single application. To us, the reason is simple … retaining the young mind. Zuckerberg is no longer a spring chicken, he’s been at this for ten years now — and some of his decisions (like letting Moms on Facebook) have sent millennials running for the hills … or at least towards technology that adults can’t figure out.
What’s ironic about the WhatsApp purchase was that both Facebook & Twitter turned down the App’s creator, Jan Koum, more than four years ago when he applied for positions in development. If only those forward-thinking companies had looked a bit further down the road, they might have saved a bundle. Instead, Koum went on to make his golden-child after an idea he had at the gym. According to legend (and Mashable), WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum came up with the idea for his company in early 2009 after his gym banned the use of cell phones. Koum became annoyed at missing calls during his workout and, being an engineer, decided to create a solution. So he made a web application that could send text messages, videos & pictures to phone numbers, without the use of a mobile connection. If only he had been on Facebook’s clock when that brain-bomb hit … you feel me Zuck?
It’s pretty clear how Facebook plans to employ the new technology, but what we found most interesting in the purchase was the $2 Billion in private stocks offered to the current WhatsApp employees in hopes to keep them on-board and continuing to develop magic. Much like after the purchase of Instagram, Zuckerberg understands what he really bought was a new room of fresh, young, talented minds … and that’s how you stay ahead of the rest.