Its a story not dissimilar to Angry Birds, Rovios hit puzzle game which has been downloaded hundreds of millions of times. But unlike Rovios gregarious executives, who regularly turn up at conferences wearing brightly coloured Angry Birds gear and talking about going public at a billion-dollar valuation, Whatsapps founders stayed out of the limelight. The product is probably bigger than we are as a company, co-founder Jan Koum told the FT in his first newspaper interview. But our personalities are such that we dont seek a lot of press and attention. We didnt reply to press enquiries until two months ago. Its a far cry from the prevailing mood in Whatsapps native Silicon Valley, where new apps are launching with huge fanfare and sometimes millions of dollars in funding before a product has even been developed. Mr Koum and his co-founder Brian Acton who met while working at Yahoo in 1997 and are both some years older than the stereotypical 20-something tech wunderkind obsess over their customers experience and optimising their infrastructure, rather than becoming internet stars. Me and Brian, having worked at Yahoo, have extremely good knowledge of building for millions of users, Mr Koum said. We want to build something that is awesome for users and great for them but also something we are proud about on the tech side rather than just going out and spending lots of money on servers. Anyone can do that, it doesnt take a lot of brain. Mr Acton concurs. Jan and I are both utilitarian in nature. We want to build a product people can rely on. On the internet there is a lot of flash and fad. What we are trying to build here is a long-term persistent sustainability. But their low-key approach has won out over many of their more loud-mouthed peers. Last month, WhatsApp quietly announced that a billion messages were sent by its users in a single day. Since launching in July 2009, WhatsApp has slowly grown by word-of-mouth and the same simple viral mechanism that fuelled Skype: both sender and receiver must own the app. After reaching 1m users by the end of 2009, Whatsapps downloads increased tenfold during 2010. The company does not reveal its current user numbers but analysts assume it is in the tens of millions. Its success has been global. In the UKs Apple App Store, where it costs a one-off 69p to download, it has rarely been out of the top 10 since December 2009 and has held steady at number 1 (beating the ubiquitous Angry Birds) since June. Growth has been slower in the US, where it only entered the top 20 in spring 2010, but it is now the top-selling iPhone app in 61 countries, including the Germany, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Kenya and Taiwan. It is also among the top 10 highest revenue-grossing iPhone apps in 47 countries, alongside much more expensive or high-rolling apps such as TomToms 50 navigation system and Zyngas Poker. On BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android app stores, where it is also among the most popular apps, it is free to use for the first year but costs $1.99 per annum thereafter. None of the apps have ads and are unlikely to in future. Neither Jan or I is a big fan of advertising, says Mr Acton. I saw maybe too much of it when I was at Yahoo. Although it has made several updates over the past two years, adding the ability to chat in groups or share photos and videos, Whatsapps appeal has remained simple: an experience almost identical to traditional texting, but free after the purchase of the app. Its success is all the more remarkable because several instant-messaging apps were already available for smartphones from internet giants such as AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo not to mention Skype itself whose chat services dominate on the PC. We always concentrated on SMS as the user experience, said Mr Koum. That allowed us to separate ourselves from companies like Skype, Yahoo or MSN because they always had a desktop-first approach. We didnt have the desktop legacy to worry about. We wanted to allow people to switch from SMS to WhatsApp in a matter of seconds. The ability to send messages between any kind of smartphone gives WhatsApp an advantage over BlackBerry Messenger and Apples iMessage, which are restricted to owners of similar devices. But this year, a new set of heavy-hitters have launched competing mobile-chat apps, all for free, including Facebook and Google. There is a lot of subtlety in this. The consumers are picking up on a lot of the subtleties, said Mr Acton. We are much more of a real time and more a personal product. You could spend a lot of time talking about Google and Facebook and Twitter and the small players but fundamentally its time taken away from listening to our users and building a great product. Earlier this year, Sequoia Capital, a leading Silicon Valley venture firm, invested $8m in WhatsApp, which declined to comment on revenues or profits. While Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google fight over becoming the internets next great platform, WhatsApp is focused on more immediate challenges. Our near-term objectives are focused on food, clothing and shelter, said Mr Acton. Handset models we dont support today, potentially messaging delays we need to reduce, reliability gaps we need to work on. We focus a lot on the quality of experience, speed, reliability. Its not sexy from a lot of peoples perspective, its not glitzy in the feature set, but its what people come to rely on.
How to book Brian Acton?
Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Brian Acton for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Brian Acton, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Brian Acton or any other celebrity of your choice.
How much does it cost to book Brian Acton?
Booking fees for Brian Acton, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Brian Acton, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
Who is the agent for Brian Acton?
All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Brian Acton for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Brian Acton for your next private or corporate function.
What is a full-service talent booking agency?
All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Brian Acton or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Brian Acton or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
Brian Acton is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Brian Acton for your event is $100,000 - $200,000. Brian Acton generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Brian Acton for an upcoming event.
We are happy to assist you with your interest in booking a speaker or celebrity for your event, your organization, and the type of talent you would like to secure, and an agent will be in touch shortly.
Fill out the form below to or call us at 1-800-698-2536 if need immediate assistance.
This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.
All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.