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19 months from launch to $1,000,000,000 acquisition: Instagram

On October 5th, 2010, Instagram launched

My first instagram photo
My first instagram photo

We’re really excited to launch our first version of Instagram today, free in the App Store. Instagram makes mobile photos fast, simple, & beautiful.

When we sat down three months ago to start designing our product, we looked at digital photos and realized very few exciting things had happened in the last 5 years. We’re setting out to change that, and this release is our first step along the way.

Just 19 months later, on April 9th, 2012 (yesterday), a new piece of news came along

When Mike and I started Instagram nearly two years ago, we set out to change and improve the way the world communicates and shares. We’ve had an amazing time watching Instagram grow into a vibrant community of people from all around the globe. Today, we couldn’t be happier to announce that Instagram has agreed to be acquired by Facebook.

As an early adopter, I was along for the ride almost since the very beginning - my first instagram photo going online on November 5th, 2010. Yes, I'm an Instagram fanboy! And I feel included in the success because I've been rooting for them so long.

But let's just put that billion dollar acquisition into perspective:

  • 45 million dollars for every month worked on Instagram
  • 76 million dollars per employee (just 13 of them according to Wikipedia)
  • about 30 dollars for every user
  • about a dollar for every photo

And that is what startups are about. Creating value. Ridiculous amounts of value.

For even more perspective - if your average university education was providing as much value as Instagram does for both its founders and its users ... someone would have to dump 3.2 billion dollars in your lap as a graduation gift.

Some of you might be wondering what's so special about Instagram anyway, how can they command such a high valuation, what to users see in them?

To that, all I can say is ... remember what sharing a photo was like before Instagram? All that uploading to a twitpic service, then posting to twitter and to facebook and whatever ... it was a pain in the arse.

More importantly, filters are just about the only way you can make a mobile photo look any better than a bland piece of crap with poor lighting. And as a faithful Instagram fan, I'm sticking by this interpretation.

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Published on April 10th, 2012 in Android, App Store, Facebook, Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Photograph, Twitter, Uncategorized, Wikipedia

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