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Cold Takes: Giants

by M.G. Siegler

Instagram At 6

Good interview of CEO Kevin Systrom on the state of Instagram. The key part in my mind:

“I think companies that fail are typically companies that look at themselves as a set of features,” Systrom said of Instagram’s decision to get into video and move beyond its iconic square photo. “Companies that succeed look at themselves as mission-based companies. … So if Instagram’s mission is to make sure that everyone can capture and share the world’s moments, and use them to form stronger relationships with one another, how do you say to someone, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t post that photo unless you crop it into a square and fit everyone in’? That’s a ridiculous argument.”

It was never just about pictures. It was about ease, speed, communication. Looking back, it's still crazy just how well this acquisition has gone. It's a new textbook example of how to do a deal of this nature. And a huge part of that has undoubtedly been keeping Systrom (and co-founder Mike Krieger) not only around, but actively engaged. You know, the people who set out on the mission.

Also of note:

"The new logo aligns with our principles — simplicity, universality, understandability. It also aligns with our mission, which is not just to be a camera company, but to be a moments company. The logo is abstracted from the physical camera. It acknowledges that we are, in fact, about moments."

"Not just to be a camera company" sure sounds like a direct shot at Snap(chat), no?


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