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The story of WhatsApp: from failure to success of an idea

Jan Koum and Brian Acton are WhatsApp’s co-founders, the most used instant messaging app in the world. Remaining faithful to their ideas, at the height of a time shaped by advancements in digital technology, in 2009 they started developing the app that later was acquired by Facebook itself for 19 billion dollars, five years later an interview gone wrong

Audio: Listen to the podcast.

Pioneers of the future is the second podcast season by Infra Journal. A four-installments journey through the times up to the most recent years, featuring the lives and adventures of the innovators who shaped our present.

How is a breakthrough invention conceived? Which challenges had its creator to overcome? What were the needs, the fears and the beliefs of these pioneers in thought and imagination? Pioneers of the future collects the stories of the masters who changed the course of times, through a podcast narration, voices, anecdotes and interviews.

Men and women, well known and less well known, who remained faithful to their ideals and intuitions, even when nobody else was able to see along with them. Nowadays, their ideas are everyday in our hands, as Prometheus's sparkle legacy, still capable of lighting up our way of living, communicating, moving and traveling. All around the world.

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Jan Koum and Brian Acton - WhatsApp

Counting two billion active users and 100 billion messages sent every day, WhatsApp is by far the most used instant messaging app all around the world, which fully has come into our way of keeping in touch and relating with each other.

By tapping the green icon, one-fourth of the world population handles WhatsApp for texting to their beloved ones, dating, sending images, videos and voice messages, organizing parties, holidays, sharing informations, picking up, telling and commenting good and bad news, calling and seeing each other remotely: in one word, communicating.

A revolutionary intuition, starting from an apparently distant cultural environment, the ‘70/’80 soviet, made prolific through encountering the innovative mood of the Silicon Valley. A meeting of two distant worlds, which is also a two-friends story who were able to quit together an unsatisfying job, and standing by each other even when destiny seemed to turn its back on them. A pathway made of resilience, intuitions and betting on an idea, a 19 billion dollar one.


Infra Journal Newsroom - The widespread editorial staff of Infra Journal is made up of qualified journalists and experts in the sector. It aims to regularly provide data, information, trends and analysis for those who strive to put in motion the community to which they belong.

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