Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Insta-Fashion and Pin-Fashion

Hey Everybody!

Have you ever wondered what life was like before Instagram and Pinterest? yeah, me neither....

I am writing this post to tell you where these programs began and how they inspire people today.

From the actual Instagram page:


The Team

Kevin Systrom (CEO, co-founder)

Kevin (@kevin) graduated from Stanford University in 2006 with a BS in Management Science & Engineering. He got his first taste of the startup world when he was an intern at Odeo that later became Twitter. He spent two years at Google - the first of which was working on Gmail, Google Reader, and other products and the latter where he worked on the Corporate Development team. Kevin has always had a passion for social products that enable people to communicate more easily, and combined with his passion for photography Instagram is a natural fit.

Mike Krieger (co-founder)

Mike (@mikeyk) also graduated from Stanford University where he studied Symbolic Systems with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction. During his undergrad, he interned at Microsoft's PowerPoint team as a PM and at Foxmarks (now Xmarks) as a software developer. He wrote his Master's thesis on how user interfaces can better support collaboration on a large scale. After graduating, he worked at Meebo for a year and a half as a user experience designer and as a front-end engineer before joining the Instagram team doing design & development.

From Forbes.com 's Article "Inspiring Insights by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, The Man Who Built A $1 Billion Startup"

What is the history of Instagram?
First off, we have to say that we never expected the overwhelming response that we’ve seen. We went from literally a handful of users to the #1 free photography app in a matter of hours. But as my cofounder Mike Krieger likes to say, Instagram is an app that only took 8 weeks to build and ship, but was a product of over a year of work.
The story starts when I worked at Nextstop. While I was there working in marketing, I started doing more and more engineering at night on simple ideas that helped me learn how to program (I don’t have any formal CS degree or training). One of these ideas was combining elements of foursquare (check-ins) with elements of Mafia Wars (hence the name Burbn). I figured I could build a prototype of the idea in HTML5 and get it to some friends. Those friends ended up using the prototype without any branding elements or design at all. I spent weekends working on improving the prototype for my friends. At a party for the Hunch folks I ran into a bunch of people who would basically make starting Burbn a reality. At that party were two people from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. I showed the prototype, and we decided we’d meet up for coffee to talk about it. After the first meeting, I decided to take the dive and leave my job to go solo and see if Burbn could be a company. Within two weeks of leaving, I raised $500k from both Baseline and Andreessen Horowitz, and started work on finding a team.
Mike Krieger and I started talking and he decided he liked the idea of helping start the company. Once he joined, we took a step back and looked at the product as it stood. By this time, we had built Burbn into a (private) really neat HTML5 mobile web app that let you: Check in to locations, Make plans (future check-ins), Earn points for hanging out with friends, post pictures, and much more.
We decided that if we were going to build a company, we wanted to focus on being really good at one thing. We saw mobile photos as an awesome opportunity to try out some new ideas. We spent 1 week prototyping a version that focused solely on photos. It was pretty awful. So we went back to creating a native version of Burbn. We actually got an entire version of Burbn done as an iPhone app, but it felt cluttered, and overrun with features. It was really difficult to decide to start from scratch, but we went out on a limb, and basically cut everything in the Burbn app except for its photo, comment, and like capabilities. What remained was Instagram. (We renamed because we felt it better captured what you were doing — an instant telegram of sorts. It also sounded camera-y)
So 8 weeks later, we gave it to our friends, beta tested, bug fixed, etc. and this Monday we decided it was ready to ship. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, but we’re encouraged by the adoption and usage that has far exceeded our bets pre-launch.
It’s a long story, but that’s what you asked for :) October 8, 2010
How did Instagram get its name?
A long week of searching for something that combined the ‘right here right now’ aspect of what we were trying to accomplish with the idea of recording something in your life (hence the suffix -gram).
We also wanted something relatively unique. We had a bunch of other names that were in the running, but there were lots of other apps with names that were too similar. Another characteristic was whether or not you could tell someone the name and they could spell it easily. November 22, 2010
How long was Instagram in development for before launch?
It’s hard to answer this question, because there’s the client and then there’s the server. Most of the server code was taken from Burbn. (For those who never used Burbn, Instagram looks/feels/acts a lot like burbn, only it’s focused on posting a photo). That code took many months to develop, refine, and turn into libraries that we can use internally on just about any project. We built them knowing we’d likely reuse them in other experiments down the road. We learned *a lot* along the way that made Instagram act the way it does currently.
The app itself took about 8 weeks from start to where we are today. October 14, 2010
 Does Kevin Systrom code at Instagram?
Yes. I’ve been doing mostly backend work lately – python/django stuff. December 10, 2010
Why didn’t Instagram buy the .COM version of its name?
Not sure it really matters – the domain name’s shorter this way, though slightly more difficult to spell. In the end, we decided most folks would learn about us through links on other services, and therefore the .com wasn’t a must-have.November 22, 2010
Why did Andreesen Horowitz invest in Burbn when it had already invested in Foursquare?
Actually, Marc and Ben did our seed round well before they invested in Foursquare. To be fair, the feedback when we raised our round was not “Looks like a foursquare competitor, go compete”. It was “You’ve got a lot of good ideas in the product so far, go figure out what company you want to build”. — it took us a while, but we took the best elements of what we were building (social mobile photos) and built Instagram. Our development of Instagram was never influenced by their investment in Foursquare — it was about needfinding and developing ‘product market fit’ — something all very tiny startups need to do.
We’ve had a great experience with Andreessen Horowitz, and have become good friends with the folks at Foursquare — in fact, their API has been an essential way for people to tag their photos. October 8, 2010




Now moving onto Pinterest....

This is from the article "Ben Silbermann On How Pinterest Slowly Grew to Massive Scale" on Forbes.com:

In June 2010, more than two years after Ben Silbermann left his job to start what became Pinterest, and three months after launching, the site had 3,000 registered accounts.
Now Pinterest, which Silbermann describes as a tool to find inspiration, is the third-largest source of referral traffic on the Web. Silbermann described how it went from languishing to its current massive size, in a talk at Y Combinator’s Startup School this weekend.
The 3,000 users weren’t impressive after three months in today’s social media world. But Pinterest focused on its small group of fanatical users and built around them. Pinterest was in many ways the opposite of what was hot at the time in Silicon Valley. Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed were hot because they focused on real-time streams, mostly comprised of text. Pinterest instead focused all on images and was not real-time. He got rejected by many Silicon Valley venture capitalists because of that–and because the company had two non-technical cofounders.
After leaving his job, Silbermann first built an iPhone app called Tote for shopping on the phone. But the app included too many features and was too hard to ship. Investors were not interested, because Silbermann and his cofounder were not technical founders. The company focused on these fans of the website by having meetups with them–not the typical approach for a web company. The users gave feedback and helped get the word out about the site. Pinterest also set up a campaign called “Pin It Forward,” where people would create a pinboard and get more invites by getting friends to create pinboards. He realized that the company didn’t need to just build a better product it needed to work on building its user base and connecting with its users. “We didn’t have an engineering problem. We had a design and community problem,” Silbermann said.By June 2010, the site had launched, but the response was not what Silbermann and his two cofounders hoped for. “But the few people who used it, myself among them, actually really loved it,” he said. “Instead of changing it, we’d find more people like me.”
Silbermann has always been interested in tech startups. While an undergrad he worked on a site that helped people virtually try eyeglasses on. Later Silbermann went to work at Google and worked on a quiz website. Silbermann had always done these projects on the side. He believes that he never could’ve started Pinterest if he hadn’t quit his job and focused exclusively on his startup.
While some people can start a company while still working a full-time job, Silbermann says that was a crutch for him. “It always stalled,” he said. “It wasn’t the right market. It wasn’t the right timing. But actually the only dependent variable was just me. I never actually committed and put myself in the position where I had to commit. For me at least, the act of committing and going out and doing it turned out to be a really important thing.”


Here are some inspiration fashion pics from those sites:

Instagram:









Pinterest:






It really goes to show you how much the future is changing! I hope you found some inspirations like these in stores(believe me, good deals to find these are out there!) I will have a post soon about that...

Until next time!

-CR