Applying for a job and not getting it definitely stings, especially if you feel like you were the best candidate.
Few things take the sting out of that rejection, however, like having the same company that turned you down courting you with a check for $19 billion.
Both of those things happened to WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, who found out in the summer of 2009 that he wouldn't be receiving an offer from Facebook, a company that he'd applied to and been eager to work for. Like so many tech-savvy modern folks, he took to Twitter to voice his disappointment, but noting optimistically that he was looking forward to life's next adventure.
Even he couldn't have expected what that adventure would be.
He wound up partnering with Jan Koum, an immigrant whose childhood in the Ukraine had inspired him to start a more secure messaging service. Teaming up with Acton, they launched what eventually became WhatsApp, a service that allows people around the world to communicate without fear of overseeing eyes.
Facebook took note, acquiring the company for $19 billion earlier this week. In a few short years, Acton had gone from rejected to courted, and was significantly richer for the journey.
While fairly unique, his story is by no means the only one of its kind. One of the benefits of incorporating your own company is that it allows you to showcase your ideas in a much richer and more thorough way than a simple job interview. Instead of waiting for an opportunity to present itself, forming a business allows you to be proactive and create one.