Instagram - The Bigger Picture - Commoncog Case Library

Today, Instagram has over 2 billion monthly active users. Its ubiquity has changed the way we travel, eat, and shop. Interior designers have remodelled countless locations to make them more ‘insta-worthy’. Restaurants concoct drinks and dishes, not only to satisfy their customer’s taste buds, but to also look good for their Instagram followers. And millions of people have been elevated to celebrity status — some become personal media companies — purely based on their Instagram followings.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This was an insane story.

A lot of anti-FOMO in this story, where all of Systrom’s experiences seem to come into play in building Instagram. Things have worked out even though he never worked at Facebook, stuck around at Google, or worked at Twttr.

I got the sense his experiences gave Instagram a vast pool of data to draw on, especially on the confidence to pivot.

Systrom’s experiences also gave Instagram the seemingly key focus on their users and users’ problems to solve.

Also – they were super practical! Systrom raised money however he could, and also delayed a pivot based on his co-founder’s needs – super tough decisions to make in a high-stress environment.

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I think this is one of those stories where you read it and go “I see what Jobs meant about the dots connecting only when you look back, not forward.”

I’m sure it looked random as hell when they were executing it, and it’s only with the benefit of hindsight that we can tell a cohesive story like this. :slight_smile: