Kevin Systrom at Startup School SV 2014 | Summary and Q&A

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October 14, 2014
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Y Combinator
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Kevin Systrom at Startup School SV 2014

TL;DR

Kevin Systrom discusses his journey into the startup world, the origins of Instagram, and the importance of community in building a successful platform.

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Key Insights

  • 💦 The startup world offers the freedom to explore different ideas and work on various projects.
  • 👯 Surrounding oneself with talented people is crucial for success in the startup ecosystem.
  • 💯 Taking action and making progress are essential in entrepreneurship, as there is no perfect next move.
  • 🥺 Combining different popular concepts can lead to innovative ideas.
  • 💡 Be persistent and believe in your idea, even when others doubt it.
  • 💪 Building a strong community is more important than just creating a technology product.
  • 🥺 Prioritizing the needs and interests of users can lead to long-term success.

Transcript

Kevin thanks a lot for joining us today absolutely thanks for having me this is nice big crowd yeah this is a quite a few people well we can just launch right in course I guess you know the crazy thing about this audience right here is that there might be the next kind of really successful counter sitting it might be you it might be the ones the pe... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Kevin Systrom get into the startup world?

Kevin became interested in startups because he enjoyed exploring different ideas and working on various projects. He was drawn to the freedom and opportunity for growth that the startup world offered.

Q: What was Kevin Systrom's first startup?

His first startup was a classified ad site called The Tree List, which he started while studying abroad in Florence. It allowed students to trade goods at the beginning and end of the school year.

Q: How did Kevin Systrom come up with the idea for Instagram?

While on vacation in Mexico, Kevin's girlfriend suggested adding filters to photos to make them look better. This idea resonated with him, and he developed the first filter for Instagram, which eventually became a key feature of the platform.

Q: How did Kevin Systrom build a strong community around Instagram?

Kevin and his team prioritized community from the beginning, recognizing that the users are the most important asset. They organized meetups, hired a community manager, and focused on serving the community rather than exploiting them.

Q: How did Kevin Systrom get into the startup world?

Kevin became interested in startups because he enjoyed exploring different ideas and working on various projects. He was drawn to the freedom and opportunity for growth that the startup world offered.

More Insights

  • The startup world offers the freedom to explore different ideas and work on various projects.

  • Surrounding oneself with talented people is crucial for success in the startup ecosystem.

  • Taking action and making progress are essential in entrepreneurship, as there is no perfect next move.

  • Combining different popular concepts can lead to innovative ideas.

  • Be persistent and believe in your idea, even when others doubt it.

  • Building a strong community is more important than just creating a technology product.

  • Prioritizing the needs and interests of users can lead to long-term success.

  • Luck plays a role in startup success, but hard work and a strong team are equally important.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Kevin Systrom grew up in Massachusetts and developed a love for trying out different things. He was drawn to the startup world as it allowed him to explore various ideas and see what sticks.

  • He started his first startup, a classified ad site called The Tree List, while studying abroad in Florence. This experience taught him valuable skills in programming and marketing.

  • Eventually, he co-founded Instagram, initially an HTML5 location sharing app. After realizing that users were most interested in sharing photos, he added filters to enhance the photo-sharing experience.

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