A brief history of WhatsApp’s success involves food stamps and IKEA

While unlikely to become a movie, WhatsApp’s $ 16 billion-plus sale to Facebook yesterday marks one of the biggest tech deals ever, and one that bears some resemblance to the working class success stories told by Horatio Alger. A new feature story in Forbes chronicles how co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton managed to do it all while squeaking by in WhatsApp’s early days, and for Koum long before that. The short version: it wasn’t easy.

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