Edisson said that a genius is 1%inspiraion and 99% persiraion. so behind every successful person, company or product, inspiration has an important role to play.
“What are some good places to get professional business cards printed for someone in the Bay Area? I’ve got a design, I just need printing.” When Kevin Systrom (one of Instagram’s founders) put this innocuous question to the Q&A forum quora on Jan 29, 2010, little did he know how valuable those business cards would be one day.
Instagram is a different kind of company. When it was bought by Facebook for a billion dollars last year, it had only 13 employees — and no furniture in their office space. Its founders, Systrom and Mike Krieger, are multimillionaires who haven’t yet blown 30 candles on a birthday cake.
To say that it’s been a meteoric rise would be an understatement. Naturally, the story of this photo sharing community is fascinating. And as Kevin dug around to learn about it, he came across the Quora accounts of Systrom and Krieger, which have better information than any of the hundreds of articles he had read and videos he had watched. This is Instagram’s story, straight from its foundersSystrom had dabbled with a bit of programming through school and at Stanford, but was never quite proficient at it. He has no formal computer science training or degree. And when he took a marketing job at Google, he forgot all about that. “Only at my next job at Nextstop would I say I went from being a hobbyist to being able to write code that would go into production,” he recalls. “While I was there working in marketing, I started doing more and more engineering at night on simple ideas that helped me learn how to program.”
One of those ideas was Burbn. It was an HTML5 app that mimicked Foursquare’s concept of “checking in”. The only major difference was that it ran through a browser and used text messages.
At a party one day, Systrom met people from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. They liked the prototype he showed them, so Systrom quit his job to work full-time on Burbn and raised $500,000 from the venture. They decided that if they were going to build a company, they wanted to focus on being really good at one thing, They saw mobile photos as an awesome opportunity to try out some new ideas. They went back and forth a little more between a dedicated photo app and the full-fledged Burbn, but the latter felt too cluttered.
The name took a long week of searching. It needed to say ‘right here, right now’ and had to sound “camera-y”. Plus, it had to be unique. And finally, it had to be something a person could spell if you told them the
name. They finally settled on Instagram — “an instant telegram of sorts.”
Over the next eight weeks, Instagram was beta-tested with about 100 users. Krieger and Systrom did all the coding, with the latter working on the design and the icon.
It was finally released on the App Store on October 6, 2010, and immediately caught the world’s fancy. Two weeks later, it was featured in Japan as New & Noteworthy. And after another week, it was App Of The Week in the App Store. There’s been no looking back since then. Pretty soon, everyone from Justin Bieber to Kim Kardashian was using it. Nature photographers were putting up stunning photosThere was something different about Instagram. Square images would end up being Instagram’s most identifiable feature, right after filters.
The filters were a big hit on the iPhone, whose camera was “good enough but not great” at the time. Filters took away those imperfections and made photos look better. Whether it’s apparent or not, there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
It was a whirlwind ride from November 2010 to April 2012, when Facebook purchased Instagram for a 1 billion dollars, netting Systorm $400 million and Krieger $ 100 million. Today, Instagram has 150 million active monthly users, with an average of 40 million photos being shared daily. Over the years, it’s amassed an incredible 16 billion photos! It even has video now