In February of this year, Facebook’s $19B acquisition of mobile messaging platform WhatsApp set a record for the largest software acquisition of all time. It set the value of WhatsApp at more than Sony Corporation.
Most recently, the 5-year-old startup broke yet another impressive record – 64 BILLION messages processed in 24 hours. To give you some perspective, that is 10 times the amount sent in the entire US text message industry in one day. That is just insane!
I wanted to share this story with you to discuss 3 key observations:
1) 6 D’s Update – Disruptive and Demonetizing the wireless communications industry: WhatsApp is a $1-per-year service with 465M users. These users are sending 20B messages and receiving 44B messages every day. WhatsApp is both disrupting and demonetizing the entire wireless industry, and now the Facebook acquisition provides the infrastructure needed for WhatsApp to begin offering voice calls. So instead of people paying on average $80 per month, users only have to pay $1 per year for the same services. Wireless carriers, beware. This shift could disrupt more than $100B in annual wireless revenues.
2) Great example of an Exponential Organization: As we learned at Abundance 360, every exponential entrepreneur needs to have a Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP). The founder of WhatsApp, Jan Kou, has one: “Disrupt the wireless industry and stop them from stealing our money.” Jan said, “(I’m) interested in disrupting the way cellphone carriers nickeled-and-dimed customers for text messaging, which was especially useful for those looking to connect with loved ones overseas.” Not even 5 years old and with only 55 employees, WhatsApp has done just that. It is hard to comprehend how in such a short time, one company has grown to handling 3 times more messages than the entire global text message industry. This is exactly the stuff our community is discussing and I’m teaching at Abundance 360. I trust this makes perfect sense and is inspiring instead of terrifying.
3) Why You Should Care: This kind of technological disruption is happening all around us, all the time. The $100B wireless industry was completely taken off guard. If they were able to read a technology road map and knew this was going to happen, they might have had enough time to prepare and capitalize on this shift. Learning how to understand how technology evolves, using tools like a Technology Road Map, is what you need more than anything to ride ontop of the tsunami instead of being crushed by it. This is exactly what we’re going to be focusing on within the Abundance 360 community for the next 25 years.
Quick Stats on WhatsApp:
- 64B messages processed per day – 20B sent and 44B received
- 465M users on platform
- 1M join platform every day
- 70% of users come back every day
- $100B mobile communications industry being displaced
- $18B – Sony is worth less than WhatsApp
- 50X ROI – Sequoia made on WhatsApp deal
- 55 employees when sold to Facebook, that’s a price of $375M per employee!!!
[image: flickr/Álvaro Ibáñez]