Instagram Founders On Success Of Their App: ‘Beyond Our Wildest Dreams’ | TODAY

if ever you've posted a photograph to

Instagram to show your friends where you

are what you're doing or maybe what

you're having for lunch

you can thank Kevin Systrom and Mike

Krieger theirs is a familiar startup

success story from Apple to Google and

now Instagram to smart guys get together

with an idea and not much else

and end up changing the world it was

only six and a half years ago that Kevin

and Mike launched Instagram last week

the platform crossed 700 million active

monthly users so how did they do it and

where do they go from here I got

together with the Instagram guys for a

Sunday sit down Instagram was a startup

idea whose beauty was in its simplicity

take a single photograph of where you

are or what you're doing share it in

real time with the people in your life

and give them an easy button to push to

show they like it that simple idea is

now a global community so let's talk

about 700 million monthly users you guys

set out to do this six and a half years

ago could you ever have dreamed being

where you are today back then no I think

we started you know knowing that we

wanted to bring this out to the world

but this is kind of beyond our wildest

dreams when we were getting started back

then I remember looking at Mike and

being like I think we're on to something

meanwhile he's stressing out trying to

keep the server's up and he's like maybe

thirty-three-year-old Kevin Systrom and

31 year old Mike Krieger met while

studying at Stanford University Kevin

already had worked at a company called

OTO which later would become Twitter he

shared a desk with current Twitter CEO

Jack Dorsey Mike had come to Stanford

from his native Brazil

you remember Mike meeting Kevin at

Stanford I do I specifically remember

talking to Kevin about oh do I was like

oh you intern you know the company that

became Twitter and we talked about it we

barely knew each other in college but it

was only when I had left my job at a

small startup and I was like I want to

start something independently I met Mike

in a coffee shop and he was working on

he was hacking on a project and I was

like cool he's hacking on a project he

seems really smart while he still was in

college Kevin turned down an offer from

a young entrepreneur to work at a

company he was building the entrepreneur

was Mark Zuckerberg the company was

Facebook and I remember meeting one of

my mentors and I was like hey like

should I do this Facebook thing and I

remember the person saying it's a fad in

2010 four years after graduating

Stanford system and Krieger got together

to start their own company what was it

like on day one when it was you two guys

in the coffee shop where did you start

on that ground floor we started in a

small co-working space called Dogpatch

labs but it was basically on a pier in

San Francisco didn't have heat so late

nights I remember looking over and

Mike's got on this giant parka with like

the fur around the thing and you can see

his breath as he's coding um it it was

it was rough their first idea a company

called Bourbon didn't work out but they

took what they learned from the

experience and in the fall of 2010

launched Instagram in less than three

months 1 million people had joined the

open network we basically stripped away

everything and said all right if we want

to just make this particular experience

of taking a photo sharing it being

really proud of it and excited to share

and making that really quick how do we

make that incredible and as you sat

there at your laptop so you're watching

this thing explode at some point did it

feel like

ah this is getting away from us we're

not ready for this much success this

quickly we're sitting there watching us

cross a million it was like you know

999966 Instagram oh my god that person

is using and we dreamed up first one was

Snoop Dogg snoop Dogg yeah the first is

he really like joined early and just you

know I think early enough that matters

right like Snoop makes it cool he gives

his stamp of approval and people flow in

behind him well you've got a team of you

know whatever eight or nine at the time

and Snoop Dogg joins and then you get a

message that snoops people want to come

over to the office like snoops people

wanna I don't I don't have people you

have people this still happens right so

in the past year I went to the Vatican

and helped onboard the Pope and you just

realize like these people who are so

influential in the world are using our

product to get their message out in the

world ah and that's really special

that's gotta be a moment when the Pope

signs up for Instagram you help him get

on yeah whatever paths were gonna be

your holiness

right and all he had to do is touch the

signup button and it's just like I

really hope this works

Mark Zuckerberg took notice of what was

happening at Instagram he called Kevin

with a second chance to come to Facebook

less than two years into its life

Instagram was sold to Facebook in April

of 2012 for 1 billion dollars how did

those conversations initiate what were

the first talks with Mark about hey they

will join forces here meeting Mark back

in college I think allowed me to know

what Mark was about what drove him and

we were 13 people trying to keep the

site up so the promise of joining this

giant company with all this expertise to

work on a social problem together that

was that was the thing that really made

it work Kevin and Mike stayed on to run

instagram under facebook in a social

media environment plagued by bullying

and negativity Instagram works hard to

buck the trend constantly adding new

user tools we believe a lot in giving

people the control to make sure that

their space feels safe so the ability to

filter out certain words and comments

turn out comments entirely block people

that are making them uncomfortable or

just being jerks to put it really simply

is really important to us even with

their latest updates

stories and live the instagrams founders

say they're just getting started on

what's possible within Instagram with

designs on becoming a multi billion user

platform does virtual reality fit into

this picture at all for you guys if we

could build a teleporter to take you to

someone else's experience whether it's a

wedding you're missing or an amazing

vacation someone's having and allow you

to experience that immersively that's

absolutely something that's on the

horizon for Instagram Kevin and Mike are

moving fast into the future but they do

pause briefly to reflect on what they've

built in less than seven years every day

I wake up and I get to work on the most

amazing thing in the world I get to


700 million people's lives every single

month that's crazy and and I love

working with this guy it's just it's a

dream it's awesome

as Kevin and Mike pitch their idea to

potential investors early on they were

told there's no money in photos the

co-founders argument was that

photographs on coffee mugs may not be

big business but photos as communication

could be needless to say they were right

to hear Kevin and Mike set the record

straight once and for all on the

controversial question of which is the

first-ever Instagram post check out our

web extras at today.com slash Sunday and

our thanks by the way to a scent lounge

in New York for hosting us for that

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