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There are two types of people …… One that create hullabaloo and exaggerate their achievements and others are those who remain behind the scenes and yet conquer the world …… celebrities, small time actors and publicity cravers fall into former category whereas good professionals like ca’s , cma’s and cs fall into the other category (exception being some c.a / cma who consider themselves and only their institutes to be the whole and sole and doyen of the finance  while the reality is different altogether)

As you are all aware, Facebook has announced that it’s buying out whatsapp for $ 15 billion or $ 19 billion if you take into account the long term share deal. The reaction to this deal covers the entire paradigm of reactions that one can have.

Barring a few naysayers who are seeing a 1999 like scenario , most people have signaled this deal as a landmark deal that will contribute to face book’s growth for years to come.

While most of us, who looks beyond those copious study books knows zuckerberg, few know the founders of whatsapp despite using it more than facebook. The founders of this company have managed a feat few in this world have managed. Growing a company to the value of $ 20 bn in 4-5 years.

The founders of whatsapp are Jan kuom and Brian Acton , in their late thirties and early fourties who now are billionaires and sit on the board of Facebook.

Here are ten lessons that I found that we can indirectly learn from their success story.

1) Being uber cool, chic, fashionable is the only thing that people look into , or in other words , is the only thing to attract eyeballs and get professional success / personal success. Does simplicity matter.

People seem to have made up their mind on the fact that being   cool is the only thing that matters in this world . if such is your thought, then you are plainly wrong .

Take the founders of whatsapp ….. Jan , one of the co-founders still yearns for rural life , which many of us find tacky.

Steven wozniak, perhaps one of the greatest innovators and engineers on the face of this earth , believed in simplicity and so did steve jobs. Narayan murthy , nandan nilekani and rattan tata are some indian examples.

Yet I am quite aghast to see many people being madly in race to act smart.

There is difference between being classy and trashy.

2) If you think that you have worked very hard, then you are plain wrong! What you have experienced is just the tip of iceberg whereas life’s absurdities and hardships are yet to beat the hell out of you.

Time, life and opportunities once lost are hard to come back. While success or failure can never be guaranteed (3 % results in ca exams ) it can be ensured upto a certain extent that we will succeed….if you will not study and just pass time then the end result will be the same , whomever you consult , learn from or however you try hard. The only way to success still remains only hard work and nothing else. Many friends will come in your way , and say ‘arrey mujhe to government job lag gai , ab tum imaandaari ke lecture do , mujhe to upar ki aur table ki niche ki kamaai dono hai ’ or  ‘mera to kya hai , business set hai , bas kuch nahi hua to business hi sambhal lenge’. The best way to cope with such people is to ignore them and nothing else.

Both the founders of whatsapp foresaw the rise of digital age and mobile internet and knew the difficulties with text messaging …. A good idea , a spark and rest is history …… Was this that easy? A lot of hard work has gone into making of whatsapp and many sacrifices were involved. While they were reaping success , one of the founder’s mother got ill …… This is what life is …. It keeps surprising us ….

The following quatrain by one of my poet friends sums up what is life is. (from his sonnet , vilting- a flower in vase found @ http://thepoetsanctuary.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24654)

The reality is that you're losing lustre

Despite every effort to maintain your shine

All the hope and courage you can muster

Every ounce of strength that you can find.

3) I have seen life in its worst phase and therefore I am ready to face it now ……Wrong again …….what the founders of whatsapp have gone through is nothing you can ever think of.

Facing very few hardships, we act as if the burden of entire world has fallen upon our soldiers. Bas yaar ab to man hi nahi lagta or ‘ maine jitni life me hardships face kii hai utni kisi ne nahi kii ‘’. Hardships are part and parcel of one’s life and success lies in the fact that how best we tackle them.

Thanks to peaceful present times most of us who are going professional courses and most of whom are born in late eighties / nineties or from the relatively younger lot of those born in 2000’s we have never ever seen what war, starvation and rationing is all about.

Now shift your attention to the post-split ussr where everything was wild and wilder. Those not familiar with the fact what ussr was can google it or wiki it. To just have a glimpse of life in the soviet times read

A day in the life of ivan melisovich


The sword and shield by vasili mitrokhin .

One of the founders of whatsapp , Jan kuom was born in Ukraine , part of erstwhile ussr which was center of anti semitic activities. During his childhood , he never got to talk on phone , nor did enjoy computers as they were rarity then. Having migrated to California with no money , his father having died a long time ago ,and mother ill , he swept grocery stores to earn his living ….. after being rejected as engineer in facebook and twitter , he now sits on the board of directors of the company he wanted to serve as an employee.

Is this luck …….No this is hard work , determination and having your legs firm on ground.

4) I will fight on my own …. I want authority over service or bigger is not better …..Wrong!  Till some time separate existence  can be chosen over serving others, but at the end of day still bigger is better.

Many of my chartered accountant friends are in dilemma of whether to join a bigger firm which imposes authority on you, makes you do ratta work or a smaller firm which offers you mix of experience , independence and authority.

While opinions might differ, I am of the opinion that bigger is better. Why? big companies, though authoritative never let go off talent and nurture you right from the start. That’s why they have compulsions and restrictions than smaller one. While initial lax attitude at smaller firms might attract you , ultimately that will indirectly influence you to devlop a chalta hai attitude.

Why did whatsapp founder let go off their baby company ? They knew that they had hit a limit and to grow thereafter, they have to have a larger platform.

So bigger is better (however staying independent can fructify as seen in case of Zuckerberg who fended off all offers for facebook)

5) I am jobless from a long time ….. Given the constant flux of graduates, post graduates and professionals passing out, will I be obsolete by the time I pass out in my current studies?

Note one thing right now. you might be age barred for some job , but that does not at all mean that your talents , your achievements and your knowledge has become obsolete.

One has to update himself with the flow of time.

If you are ever eager to learn there is no force on the face of this earth to stop you from achieving your goals

6) I am giving up now …..Either on studies, job or in worst scenario, even life….. Never give up has been and always shall be the mantra of success.

Although its hard to predict to what extent fortune affects one’s life, yet if you are hardworking and a never say die attitude, there will be nothing like fortune , luck or shani ki durdasha in your life.

Hardships and tough time carve you and toughen you and if you emerge successfully from It then there is nothing stopping you.

A relative example can be of whatsapp co founders who remained jobless for quite some time despite having tried hard at Facebook and twitter, and then all of a sudden creating the world’s greatest messenger service.

7) Others have marched ahead of me …… I am stuck in limbo. If you have chosen the right path, then you will pounce back …….. Remember this famous dialogue from raging bull

If you win, you win…….If you lose, you still win

your time will come , however late it might be, but it will come and at that time , only you and nothing else will matter.

8) We are all future proof ……Since we are chartered accountants / Cost accountants / Company secretaries now, we have life time boon to earn money….. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong …… Read the following research paper (from reputed source and not a fluke or like a accounting standard which has no universal application)

Many of my friends especially some ca friends seem to live in an elevated and metaphorical world, where they deem themselves to whole and sole stalwarts of finance and see rest of professionals in low light (one dialogue I remember in debate of allowing cma’s to tax audit as was envisaged in dtc draft rules was -----‘arrey cost accountants to taxation ka t bhi nahi aata…. Cost accountants , no way ! ’ ). Not everyone is like this , yet there are some people who see only themselves capable of understanding finance and have made up their mind that if a person is not a c.a he has no knowledge of finance. ()

For all such people, here is a nice scoop. Read the following research paper

Read the research paper @


As the author envisages, with the onslaught of computerized automation and sophistication of computers and accounting softwares, with the passage of time , ACCOUNTANCY jobs will be replaced by computers.

Don’t try to say or consider it as  mere speculation because its written by an oxford researcher and oxford is something no chartered accountant /c.s/cma can overwrite ,at least in this fact.

Computers are replacing everything …… Better beware ….. Though this is not likely to happen durinf our lifetime at least.

10) India is yet still not investor, business friendly despite what the president, prime minister , business bodies and our own icai president claims !

Although india has had its own snapdeals , redbus and flipkarts , yet indian law , governments and governing bodies are not pro entrepreneurs. We are over over over over over regulated. Take any global competitiveness rankings and there you find where we lack.

11) It’s not necessary that if today you are ahead , you will always be ahead ! 

Time never gives a chance ….. it’s a silent killer. Don’t assume that if today you are something , the same will be the case for tomorrow. Keep adjusting or the world is a ruthless place to be in.

Take example of nokia , blackberry , Kodak , Aldus etc and there you are …….

Hmmm…….That’s it for now .

(Nothing except some biographical elements taken from the web)

Author:- https://www.facebook.com/rohitnashik


Published by

Rohit Jain
(MBA (FIN ) , CS (Professional) ,)
Category Students   Report

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