In the summer of 2009 Facebook turned down WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton for a job. Five years later, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for US $19 billion.

Like any other dejected interviewee, he used Twitter to express his glass half full disappointment: “Facebook turned me down … looking forward to life’s next adventure.”

That adventure involved Acton and partner Jan Koum, a Ukrainian immigrant whose childhood experience of Soviet era surveillance inspired the WhatsApp messaging service. Now a blockbuster deal has turned them into multibillionaires.

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