In one of our previous posts Mirella told you guys all about how entrepreneur are getting even younger, if you’re not familiar with it check it out right here.
Now as one of her examples she chose Instagram.
Instagram just sold for one billion Dollar to facebook!!! Instagram – a startup company that has only been on the market for roughly two years- sold for that kind of money! I was so stunned by this fact that in this Blog post I would like to take a closer look at what makes Instagram so special.
What are the key points for a billion Dollar idea?
Another post that visits the subject of what is needed for a successful business is Nourann‘s post on Nike’s success story. While I’m more concerned with what constitutes a good idea she takes a swing at long-term-success.
What is Instagram?
Instagram was developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010 and is a word play on Polaroids, which were marketed as being instant and the idea that now you can send your pictures to other people by wire – very much like telegrams.
For those of you out there who are not familiar with Instagram yet, it is an iPhone application which allows people to take pictures, immediately edit them with different filters and then share them on their preferred social network such as Instagram’s own network service, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.
For anyone who wants to know a bit more about the concept just check it out right here.
The idea behind it
Before the development of digital photography people used Polaroids. The Instagram depicts a different generation Polaroid. According to ther creators they tried to combine the old idea and flare of a Polaroid with modern technology.
The idea is that now you can simply take pictures with your mobile phone, edit them to make your pictures beautiful and then upload to share them with your friends.
Another advantage of this idea is that you carry your phone almost everywhere. Instagram offers you the opportunity to capture unique scenery and create your own pictures simply by using your phone, no need for a single lens reflex camera.
In this short interview by Forbes Kevin Systrom gives a great overview about Instagram, the idea behind it and its future.
Its recipe for success
So far so good. Still does not sound that different or exciting to justify a billion Dollar does it?
Then what makes this business idea a huge success and other one’s a failure?
What many other business Blogs suggest as the key ingredient of Instagram’s success is that in a world where processes get more complex and elaborate as we speak Instagram keeps it simple, easy and convenient!
People today tend to believe that these are three of the most important aspects for a successful start-up company.
Instagram offers the opportunity to make ordinary pictures look extraordinary and that simply by working on your phone – no need for photoshop! How much more simple, easy and convenient does it get?
Another point argued to make Instagram such a hit is that they combine our feeling of nostalgia and longing for the old days with the convenience of modern time. Still that’s only speculation.
Fact though is that some sources estimate that Instagram has grown over 1600% in just one years! For more stats on Instagram just check out this website.
Another reason discussed as a source of Instagram’s success is that it markets “a world more connected through photos”. They advertise the concept that now you can share your life instantly with the people you love and again don’t people in our society just want to feel connected to someone?!
On their official website Instagramm summarizes their idea in three points, highlighting the points mentioned before:
- Mobile photos always come out looking mediocre. Our awesome looking filters transform your photos into professional-looking snapshots.
- Sharing on multiple platforms is a pain – we help you take a picture once, then share it (instantly) on multiple services.
- Most uploading experiences are clumsy and take forever – we’ve optimized the experience to be fast and efficient.
What can we take away from it
- Find a hole in the market – Instead of simply copying some app that’s already on the market Instagram found its own niche in our society. There needs to be a clear place in the market for your idea, otherwise it will simply disappear in all the other similar projects.
- Getting down to the essential – keep it simple and easy!
- Make it convenient for the customer!
- Instead of trying to do everything do one thing but do it right – Instagram chose photos and perfected not only the look but also the mobility and uploading process. Focus on one aspect and make it world-class
- Make use of major distribution networks – Instagram could be used on Facebook and Twitter, through these social platforms the app spread like a bush fire.
- Make use of the iterative process and keep being innovative – test your idea, then go back, reflect and improve. Systrom and Krieger developed a precursor called Burbn, which did not take off. When reevaluating they found out that the strongest and most used feature of Burbn was the uploading process. Therefore they focused on this feature and developed Instagram, which became an instant hit!
Afterwards they moved on to develop Instagram for Android, which was released on April 3rd – and instant hit as well
Still all of these points are only the ingredients necessary for a successful start-up – the most important aspect and something only yourself can do is coming up with your own one billion Dollar idea. Go out, talk to your friends and find the idea that’s going to make you a billionaire!