The real reason why WhatsApp was successful

I’ve recently been using Skype a lot more and I’ve come across an interesting, but obvious realisation. It’s the fact that people keep the application on mostly on their computers and very few people launch it on their mobiles.

I’ve also become a relatively active WhatsApp user. It’s a great way to create cross platform discussions with my family and friends. The application is not available on any other device, forcing you to run it on your mobile. Another fact is that you don’t close WhatsApp as often as you would close Skype.

I believe that WhatsApp’s ultimate success was defined by the fact that they designed a product which was non-intrusive enough so people ended up running it in the background constantly.

It wasn’t the features WhatsApp offered, but the benefit of being able to reach people in a similarly effective manner to that of SMS.

Skype is an excellent application, but without the value of being able to contact people whenever you want – it’s just another application. WhatsApp on the other hand, is much more comparable to your OS level applications on your phone, because it is kept online all the time.

And that’s where the true value and success of the product, in my opinion, is derived from.

Ben Horowitz with Kevin Rose

Ben Horowitz was interviewed by Kevin Rose for his Foundation series in November 2012 at Google Ventures CEO Summit. The video paints an excellent picture of Ben and his views on entrepreneurship. Strongly suggested, below 40 minutes in length.

A great quote by Cus D’Amato to which Ben referred to in the video on courage (which he outlined one of the most important attributes of entrepreneurs they invest into):

“I tell my kids, what is the difference between a hero and a coward? What is the difference between being yellow and being brave? No difference. Only what you do. They both feel the same. They both fear dying and getting hurt. The man who is yellow refuses to face up to what he’s got to face. The hero is more disciplined and he fights those feelings off and he does what he has to do. But they both feel the same, the hero and the coward. People who watch you judge you on what you do, not how you fee.”

Playing around with Lightroom


We visited the Finnish Museum of Natural History today as the weather wasn’t too good to play outside. I managed to take a bunch of photos at the museum and somehow ended up testing the trial version of Lightroom 5 from Adobe’s website. In short, it’s awesome and I can already see myself paying for it after the 30 day period is over. Brings a new level of enjoyment into photography again.

Gary Vaynerchuk on the Cain Conversation

Fred Wilson had embedded a terrific video of Gary Vaynerchuk being interviewed by Will Cain. I watched it last night and while I knew a lot about Gary, this video had a lot of great storytelling in it. His take on social media for example, is exceptional – not to mention his story as an entrepreneur. Recommended watching.

Temperature sensor on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Temperature Sensor

Little evening fun. I’m trying to build a temperature monitoring system I could deploy at our summer cottage. The Pi would also handle the security camera images and make those available to be viewed on its web server.

Carl Manneh on being free of VCs

Something many forget in the hype to raise money from venture capitalists. Mojang also announced their revenue reached 234 million euro for 2013.

CEO Carl Manneh tells WSJ’s Sven Grundberg, “Financially speaking, we have no pressure whatsoever to rush into any new projects. Besides, we have no outside owners that require us to reach any particular goals.”

via ArcticStartup.

Flight MH370: last message sent after communications disabled

The Guardian released some interesting information regarding the case of the highly mysterious flight MH370:

The person in control of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 issued their last communication to air traffic control after the first set of aircraft communications was disabled, Malaysian authorities have confirmed, adding further weight to suspicion that the plane was hijacked.

The latest revelation suggests that the person who delivered the “All right, good night” message to Kuala Lumpur air traffic controllers just before the Boeing-777 disappeared from their radar at 1.22am and diverted from its scheduled flightpath to Beijing was also aware that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System Acars had been manually shut down.


Remembering who we were and are

This is one of the reasons why I push myself to write. I do it too rarely though, should find the time and inspiration more often.

Because little things, day by day, usually don’t seem like much in the moment, but over the course of months and years, we are changing and maturing as individuals and it can be so valuable and downright encouraging to be able to look back and see that change.

via Shawn Blanc.