How Instagram Became A Billion Dollar COmpany

The Success Story of Instagram

Just a few years ago, the world had yet to hear about Instagram. From the moment it was available, thousands of people began to download the program. The creators had not expected such a response and the computer system that managed the photos crashed. 

The Story of Instagram

Created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram was not initially designed for the response that it received. To get outside help, Kevin Systrom called an acquaintance named Adam D'Angelo.

The pair had met at a party about seven years earlier in a Stanford University fraternity. Since that early connection, Adam D'Angelo had spent time working as a chief technology officer at Facebook. In October of 2010, D'Angelo became a vital part of Instagram.

D'Angelo helped Systrom and Krieger fix the Iphone application so it could handle more photos. This early experience taught Systrom an important lesson. By paying attention to the people around him and networking, he had the connections necessary to reach out when help was needed.

Since that time, Systrom, Krieger and other Instagram investors earned millions of dollars. In recent years, the application was purchased by Facebook for a cool $1 billion. 

Bay Area Tech Scene

One of the things that makes California one of the most technologically innovative places in the world is the sense of community. The Bay Area is full of new entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

Accustomed to failure, they know how to quickly move on when a project does not work out. Through timing, social connections and a little luck, entrepreneurs in this area have been able to design ideas that make billions for the United States economy. 

$250,000 Investment By Marc Andreesen

In the beginning, D'Angelo studied at the California Institute of Technology. After graduating in 2006, he worked at Facebook. At the same time, Systrom was interning at a company that would one day become Twitter.

This connection ensured that Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, was one of the early investors in Instagram. Around the same time, Systrom went to work at Google out of college. While he was there, he met a colleague  called  Marc Andreessen.

Andreessen had already had success in the technology industry with an investment in Facebook. Able to spot a good idea, Andreessen wrote a $250,000 check to Instagram before the application was even up and running. 

Connections and Friendships Brings Success

As a child, Systrom grew up in a suburb of Boston. After studying at the Middlesex School, he enrolled at Stanford University in 2002. While there, he studied management science and engineering.

His friends recognized him for his innate ability with design and photography. Naturally friendly, he made connections and friendships everywhere. After working for Google after graduation, he became impatient about making his own business. In January 2010, he met Steve Anderson at the Madrone Art Bar.

While there, Systrom showed Anderson the prototype for a Foursquare-like application. Anderson and Andreessen both gave Systrom money to begin his start up. After searching for a partner, Systrom found Krieger.

Skilled in symbolic systems and computer engineering, Krieger had the talent necessary to build an intuitive computer interface. From this moment on, the success of Instagram quickly became something of technology legend. 

Lessons from the story of Instagram

  • Networking is extremely important to get the right people in your team that will lead to success.
  • Involving investors in a start up or in the beginning of your venture can speed up the success of your venture.

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"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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