We could talk here about the user experience, the boom in digital photography… but we will all agree that its simplicity and this “aura” of interesting people may probably be its main values. The product and its network. Quality and simplicity comes from Kevin Systrom’s personal mantra. It is not a simplicity based on deficiencies but on minimalism and focus on the essential. The story of the origins of Instagram told by Systrom himself in his interview on Masters Of Scale (his trip to Asia, the forced CFO email database substitution of his SLR for a basic camera, the discovery of filters…) largely explains the alignment of elements that have resulted in a planetary phenomenon. The passion for excellence and the protection of this simplicity are the differential facts of the founders and the product.
Why do the founders leave?
Systrom and Krieger were in on the day-to-day of product and company decisions, maintaining a high level of autonomy. Both have maintained their march in a framework of elegance, respect and admiration towards all the dimensions and directors of both companies. The differences of opinion -existing as in all families- will be known when and as Kevin and Marc consider. In any case, it was not an expected output. Most likely, the pressure to increase growth is a little more permeable, now that those who compensate for gravity are gone. Even so, a great team of new stars remains on Instagram (Robby Stein, Vishal Shah, Adam Mosseri, Ian Spalter…) to lead this new stage of growth.
And what will happen now?
Facebook and Instagram are two models -both successful- whose identity is very different despite their similarities as social networks. It’s like comparing Al Pacino to Robert de Niro. So similar, so different, so successful both. This is why, in terms of media strategy, one does not replace the other, but they add up. As for the future, we have DX Leads several precedents of similar situations. The death of Steve Jobs and the continuation of his legacy by Tim Cook was a great challenge that they have successfully overcome… despite the iPhone 5c. The purchase of Star Wars by Disney with the departure of George Lucas also generated great doubts, but the announced results (4.5B$ generated by the franchise in 2018,