in Being, Startup, Twogs

Why @whatsapp just became one of my favourite companies and I don't even use their software.

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Image courtesy of Whatsapp

I’m getting old.

I don’t hanker after gadgets as much as I used to and I’m not connected to the latest app fads. Plus I wear crocs.

But I read this blog post from the founders of WhatsApp –  a mobile app that lets you doing instant message to anyone in the world for free. As apps go – it is not very exciting for me. I’ve written a few myself and to be fair that space is very crowded. Yet they are loved by their users (my daughters and my sister at least) because they have a great product that they love and it shows.

What made me so totally love this company though is not its product or it huge user base but a glimpse into the fabric of the character of the company.

They don’t sell ads because for the same reasons that I will never sell ads on any application that I build. I especially love them because they were gifted with the ability to articulate their reasons so eloquently.

I’ve never completely understood advertising because fundamentally I think people search for what they need. So really what we could do with is better searching – easier ways to pull and not more places to have things pushed at one. Perhaps the most insidious aspect of advertising is that users become the product – eyeballs to be bought, sold and ad-sensed. That really grates me.

Advertising and the satellite industries around it seem to run the world. I wonder how it might change.

So – thank you Whatsapp – from one maker to another – keeping fighting the good fight and doing good work.

What do you think?