After spending 11 years as an employee at Yahoo! and in turn being rejected by Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton was feeling a little spent.
He had bounced from job to job in Silicon Valley’s start-up land while experiencing intense rejection, and as he was fastly approaching 40 he wasn’t getting any younger.
However the most admirable thing about Brian is the grace and optimism with which he handled his rejection. He saw the lack of opportunity as “A great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s great adventure”.
So Brian stuck at it and ended up landing a job with an old colleague from Yahoo! -who was somebody he had hired before. As their partnership developed the now hugely popular WhatsApp ensued, as Brian claimed the title of ‘Co-Founder’.
The venture paid off as Brian and his co-founder at WhatsApp sold their company to Facebook for a mammoth $19bn, with Brian’s stake worth some $4bn.
This story speaks volumes about the importance of never giving up. You too can start a company and sell it to Facebook for astronomical amounts of money.
Brian’s story is an example of the notion that if you quit trying, you can guarantee that all of your fears will come true. You will be passed by and will not be next in line to snatch a great opportunity.
If you keep trying, sooner or later, the odds pile up in your favour and you will earn that lucky break.