Thursday, February 27, 2014

WhatsApp's Co-Founder Shouldn't "Hate" Being Called An Entrepreneur

By, Chris Rossini

Sadly, it looks like another billionaire has been added to the ranks who do not understand the tremendously valuable role that entrepreneurs play in a market economy.

Here's a tweet from WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum from 2012.

It was dug up by BusinessInsider:

BusinessInsider goes on:
Journalist Nastya Chernikova interviewed Koum at Barcelona's World Mobile Congress conference and asked him why he doesn't like the word.[...]

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]"
So as we can see, Koum went to Wikipedia to look up the meaning of the word "entrepreneur" and apparently stopped right there. Unfortunately, there were no friends around to point him to Koum has so far missed out on learning just how valuable entrepreneurs (of which he is one) are.

To summarize it for Koum, we live in a world with scarce resources (land, labor, & capital), and the very same world is populated with humans who have constantly changing values, choices, and desires. In such an interesting situation, how are the world's scarce resources to be allocated to satisfy the most urgent and most desired wants of the us humans?

For those who say "The State should allocate the resources," you're late to the party. Communism was tried, despite the warnings of Ludwig Von Mises who pointed out that when there is only 1 owner of all resources, there can be no exchange, no market prices, and no profit/loss signals. The central planners would have no way of knowing what to create, how much to create, where to create it, and what capital goods to use.

Sadly, people are not always satisfied with logical theory. They need empirical evidence. Well, the results of Communism gave that evidence good and hard. A tally of over 100+ million dead (not from war, mind you) at the hands of the planners was apparently what was needed to be convinced. Some are still not convinced, but their numbers are few (thankfully).

It should also be pointed out that The State has not given up either. The "elites" have moved from the failed idea of Communism to another idea that is destined for failure called Fascism. They've concluded that since government on its own can't allocate resources correctly, perhaps government plus politically-connected businesses will do the trick. They are wrong again!

If you can believe it, Fascism is actually a much more insidious enemy than Communism. For the veneer of a functioning marketplace exists, which makes the causes of each economic crisis harder to detect for the common person. Under Communism, it was easy as to where the finger should be pointed. Fascism instead creates a Vampire Economy, and Vampire hides behind lots of well-crafted curtains.

Fascism is doomed, but until that day comes, it is entrepreneurs like Koum who are keeping the boat floating. They are the ones who are sustaining life. They are the ones, who are using market prices (distorted as they are) as well as profits & losses, to guide them in creating what is most urgently desired.

Koum helped create a product that hundreds of millions flocked to. Government could never achieve something like that. Whether or not Koum knows it, the marketplace helped guide his decisions on what product to create. If the cost of using a computer were $100k, it is very unlikely that WhatsApp would have ever come into existence. Likewise if the cost of mobile phones were very expensive.

Koum surveyed the resources available, the costs of those resources, as well as the desires of consumers around him. He then went to work on satisfying them. That's an entrepreneur! Don't hate...celebrate! The stronger the consumer desire that is satisfied, the larger the profit. If Koum instead created a product that no one wanted, or not enough people wanted to justify the cost, he would not have received a call from Facebook.

The money that Koum received is nothing to be ashamed of. He did good great! One caveat though. We do live in a largely planned Vampire economy. One of Vampires hides in a marble palace known as the Federal Reserve. It may not be a bad idea (at the right time) to take a page from Mark Cuban. Sell the shares, take the money, and run.

Chris Rossini is on TwitterFacebook & Google+


  1. Another brilliant and insightful article, Chris. Awesome.

  2. You write, The "elites" have moved from the failed idea of Communism to another idea that is destined for failure called Fascism. They've concluded that since government on its own can't allocate resources correctly, perhaps government plus politically-connected businesses will do the trick. They are wrong again!

    I have commented on this type of statement many times, and with Mr. Wenzel's permission, will continue to do so again, in hopes of being repetitive, you might appreciate Bible Prophecy.

    authoritarianism’s singular dynamo of regionalism, operating within economic fascism, is producing authoritarianism’s person. The economic mastery of the Beast Regime in working in the dynamo of regionalism, will be so effective through regional fascism in establishing regional security, stability, and sustainability, that people will be astonished and follow after it, declaring it to be all powerful, so much so, that no one can make war against it, as foretold in Revelation 13:3-4.

    Under liberalism bankers, corporations, government, entrepreneurs, and citizens acting as investors and clients of democracies were the legislators of economic value and the legislators of economic life that shaped one’s means and one’s ends.

    Under authoritarianism, currency traders, bond vigilantes and appointed leaders working in public private partnerships establishing mandates of regional governance, are the legislators of economic value and are the legislators that shape one’s means and one’s ends.

    There are two options to authoritarianism’s economic life of debt servitude, where one has fiat identity and experience of the world, where economic life is defined as the credit and flow from regional leaders where one has broad spectrum of activities including capitulation, antipathy, busybodyness, preeminence and even mischievousness, as one lives in the carnality of popular culture.

    One can have fiat identity and experience within libertarianism, where one maintains an intellectual framework that integrates principles of free market economics with those of philosophy, law, and liberty, where economic life manifests in the principle of non-aggression and in ethics such as regard for the person and property of others.

    Or one can have identity as God’s elect, as is presented by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:4, where one has economic life experience in the holiness of God, and manifests in virtue, that is admirable qualities, presented in 2 Peter 1:4, such as peace and kindness, as well as in ethics, that is regard for the person and property of others, such as not defrauding others.

    In the age and paradigm of authoritarianism, there are three sources of sovereign authority; these being, Regional Leaders, The Sovereign Individual, and the Name of the Lord; one cannot have multiple sovereigns, there can only be one prevailing authority; it is out from this authority that one enjoys economic experience coming from the credit and flow from that authority.

    Inasmuch as nations states are rapidly crumbling, there is only one citizenship, that of the region in which one lives, ie the EU, or the state of one, or heaven; one cannot have dual citizenship; there be only one prevailing citizenship; it is out of this of this citizenship that one has moral and ethical experience.

    Dispensation economics communicates that there is no human action, rather all thing are of God, and that all economic action comes through the dispensation, that is the household administration of Jesus Christ, sometimes called the economy of God, for the completion and perfection of every era, epoch, age and time period, as presented by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:10.

    The Apostle Paul presents liberty as a higher human objective. one is to come out and be separate from the world, and manifest in the only right there is, that being the right to manifest as God’s child, as presented by the Apostle John in John 1:12, and in so doing come to know liberty from sin and death.

  3. I think he means he wants to be called a crony rather than an entrepreneur. That's where all the action is these days.

  4. This jackhole can give me his money and they can call me that. What an idiot. He couldn't afford a body guard if he wasn't.