WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum doesn’t like to be called an entrepreneur, even though he created a massively successful messaging company.
Journalist Nastya Chernikova interviewed Koum at Barcelona’s World Mobile Congress conference and asked him why he doesn’t like the word.
Koum thinks the word entrepreneurship is for people who create businesses to make money. He says it’s more fitting for people who sold web companies in the 1990s and are now creating mobile apps. Koum says he just wanted to build a great product, not find wealth. He thinks it’s “silly” when people compare founders like himself to rock stars.
The interview was written for a Russian website. Here’s Koum’s Google-Translated response:
“I’ve been thinking about why I’m hurt that word. Looked in the “Wikipedia”, word came from «entrepreneur», trying to understand what it means. As I understand it, the entrepreneur – a person who creates a company and the company with the task to make money. I am not one of those people.
“I started WhatsApp, to build a product. I do not want to create a company around it, the goal was not to earn. Entrepreneurs -people using the time and opportunity to create a company that will be financially successful. [all sic]”
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