In this success post, we are going to share the story of Jan Koum, a Ukrainian born American internet entrepreneur who co-founded the mobile messaging application Whatsapp with Brian Acton.
The extremely popular mobile application as acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion.
A billionaire today, he is counted among the richest Americans just a few years ago he was so poor that he had to live off food stamps.
Jan Koum Childhood & Early Life
Jan Koum was born on the 24th of February 1976 in Kyiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, to Jewish parents as their only child. He lived a simple life in a small town that was disrupted by the chaotic political environment and anti-Semitism in the country.
Aged 16 at the time of the immigration, Jan faced considerable challenges in adjusting to the new country, his mother took up by babysitting to earn money, and Jan himself began working as a cleaner at a grocery store.
He became interested in programming while at the time of high school and discovered that he possessed an inherent knack for it. By the time he completed his schooling at 18, he was a skilled self-taught, computer network engineer.
He enrolled at San Jose State University. While still a student, he took up a job with the global accountants E&Y as a security tester to help pay for his studies.
Jan Koum Career
Jan Kuom was assigned to the new search engine Yahoo to inspect security levels at the company advertising system. While working on this, he became acquainted with Brian Acton, one of the Yahoo earliest employees. The two men shared many similarities and struck up an immediate rapport as both of them had a similar no-nonsense approach to working.
After a few months, Jan Kuom joined Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer while still attending San Jose State University. A few days after his joining, Yahoo suffered a systems breakdown, and Koum – who was attending a class at that time – was immediately called to help with the problem. At this juncture, koum realized that he would have to choose either the University of Yahoo, and he chose the latter.
Koum and Acton worked together at Yahoo for nine years. At the time, they not only became good friends but also realized their mutual interest in the fast-growing social media world. Moreover, Yahoo did not offer them the opportunity to explore the social media network, so they quit their jobs in 2007 to explore some newer avenues. And ultimately, in the end, they found the Whatsapp Messenger.
Jan Koum Net Worth
Jam Koum has an estimated net worth of $10 billion.