This morning I had a meeting with a couple entrepreneurs whose company was recently acquired. It was just a general catch up session, no real agenda. Still, it seemed quite random when a good third of our conversation was spent talking about WhatsApp and its incredible penetration in India.
Why was this growth happening? The consensus was: focus. On what they’re good at. On what their users want. On what ultimately matters.
A couple hours later, what at the time seemed a random conversation turned almost a little spooky when it was announced that Facebook would be acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion and change.
I’m not going to spend time breaking down this extraordinary deal as I know no more about it than what I’ve read. But what I do find fascinating is what’s becoming clear from those closest to the company: in an age of pomp and circumstance around all things startups, the team behind WhatsApp was all about keeping their heads down, focusing on product, and avoiding bullshit at all costs.
Some great thoughts about the Whatsapp acquisition and the value of focus in building products.
It’s a good question — I have no idea. If I had to guess, I’d imagine it’s largely about tradition. If Apple stopped shipping them with new products, I could envision a revolt similar to if Google took away the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button (in that, while not that many people may use these things, they’re expected to be there).
I can’t even begin to imagine how many of these stickers I’ve pilled up over the years. Dozens? Hundreds? And I think the last time I actually put one of them anywhere was the very first one I got (with an iPod way back when).
In a way, they’re viral real-world marketing. I still see them on the bumpers of cars quite frequently.
Makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, I would seem that Apple knows it is a brand that people want to represent on their cars, bags, and other personal items. Providing stickers with every single purchase only reinforces that mentality. Apple has incredibly strong corporate image, and it’s noticeable even in the tiny details.