Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider
Popular photo sharing site Instagram may have 27 million users, but it originally started out as a check-in app called Brbn.Pando Daily’s Sarah Lacy interviewed Kevin Systrom, the CEO at Instagram, at IGNITION West. Speaking on-stage, Systrom hinted at the company’s big business plans and talked about his plans for Android.
Systrom brought up the fact that Facebook started as a photo sharing site — just like Instagram is now.
“It’s about your ambitions about where you want to be in the future. I think about communication and sharing. Frankly photos are the way to get started,” Systrom said, but Instagram is about communicating and sharing.
“It’s about going through false starts… Brbn was a false start. The best companies in the world have all had predecessors. YouTube was a dating site. You always have to evolve into something else,” he said.
In order to make money needs to get bigger — it’s 27 million now, but Systrom would like it to be “270 million.”
Next, he wants to create a stage where advertisers want to come place ads. The third part is tools — if advertisers want to post a photo, it’s a terrible experience right now, he said. That’s where the business could really make money.
Systrom also said that hiring is the hardest part of building a company.
“So many people in Silicon Valley are fighting for talent …. The tip [for hiring] is, it’s a long-term process. Hiring starts a year before you build your company. It’s the network you build. The first five people we hired at Instagram were good friends. Trust is by far the most important thing. You’ll never find your co-founder on Craigslist,” Systrom said.
The next step for Instagram is launching an Android app. In fact, Systrom revealed that he’s been using it exclusively for the last 6 weeks — every photo he’s posted has been taken with it.