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Uniting the world through WhatsApp

The tech evolution started to accelerate at the back end of 20th century. Then we had the dot com bust. Some of those who survived, are ruling the world today. Two of the notable global giants are Salesforce for business and Amazon for consumers.

Then in the mid ’00s we saw the emergence of what was known as Web 2.0 technologies. These focused on mixing tech with social. Whilst a large number of tech companies found in those times has hit the dead pool, some have emerged to be global giants. Among them are Facebook and YouTube. Flickr which inspired me to build continues to survive.

We then saw conversations moving from the web to mobile. Linkedin groups became grave yards. Whilst a few Facebook groups thrive, a large number of communities have moved to WhatsApp.

Early this year, few chaps from my primary school started a WhatsApp group. Suddenly memories of 40 years ago have started to surface. To my surprise, I discovered that my very first girlfriend was in the class next to me [Facebook allowed me to discover some of my past romances years before including her].

Suddenly, WhatsApp has become the centre of communications. So here is my WhatsApp world.


I’m having a beer with a friend this Friday. This prompted to find out how many MBA friends from Manchester Business School I know. To my surprise, the number exceeded over 100. As you would expect from me, I created a WhatsApp group and emailed all of them to join yesterday. Within few hours, we have 11 on the group.

Gothami ’79 Group

A couple of people setup a WhatsApp Group last month and invited me in. Within a month we have 68 friends who went to primary school in 1979. This group has evolved at an unprecedented speed. They had a reunion within weeks. A formal committee was setup (Sri Lankans love committees). As the group includes a number of doctors, they have offered free health advice. I met a friend who I have not seen for more than 30+ years in London last month. Remarkable!

Royal ’87 Group

I have been in the secondary and high school group for some time now [I set up the Facebook group many years ago]. This is a 100% boys club. We will all be 51 years old this year. The majority of content get exchanged are rude pictures, which I find quite uncomfortable with. Yet there is a glint of hope for all of us as one batchmate just offered free legal advice. Other than the childish behaviour (some refusing to grow), the group is highly active in meeting face to face. I even met a few of my friends in London last month. 11+ from this Group live in the UK with 40+ in Australia.

Sri Lankan Tech Founder Group

I setup the Facebook Group many years ago for the tech startup community. But most conversations are now taking place on WhatsApp. I’ve tried many times to revive the Facebook Group without much success.

Techcelerate Group

Setup the WhatsApp group some months back which is still on-going. As we are introducing membership, etc, need some thought on this Group going forward.

The Overlaps

Other than I being an active member of all these groups, there are a number of us in the Gothami ’79 and Royal ’87 groups. In fact 13 from Gothami Primary School ended up being educated at the best school in Sri Lanka, Royal College.

As technology does not stand still, would we still consider WhatsApp as a key communication channel in five years? Place your bets now!

PS: The picture shows all of us who passed Scholarship Exam in 1979 which allowed me to join Royal College.

Published inLife