The Most Exciting Startup Of 2013 Will Never Be

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO cofounderWe were this close to having a really exciting startup to follow, but Zuckerberg snatched it up.

Photo: AP

Yesterday we wrote that startups have become very boring, particularly in the consumer space. There are a number of reasons why we feel that way.For starters, we just came out of a very exciting time in tech, where four of the most talked about companies, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga and Facebook, went public.

A few startups recently got acquired for $1 billion or more.

And while there are still some amazing startups out there, like Square, Kickstarter and Pinterest, in a way it feels like the day after Christmas.

Most of what we were looking forward to has passed, and there isn’t much on the horizon in consumer tech.

But it wasn’t supposed to be that way.

Right about now, if it was still a stand-alone company, there’s one startup we’d all be going crazy for:

Instagram.

You’d be reading more headlines like the following:

  • Instagram Soars To 80 Million Plus Users.
  • Instagram Is Quickly Becoming The Biggest Mobile App Company In The World.
  • The One Startup That Terrifies Facebook Is Instagram.
  • The Brilliant Way Instagram Made A Simple Feature Better Than Apple, Google Or Facebook.
  • An Interview With Kevin Systrom, The Man Who Made 80 Million People Better Photographers.

But Instagram got (wisely) acquired, and it’s not as fun to watch a company when you already know its outcome.

We’ll never know what Kevin Systrom planned to do with that $50 million he raised before the big buy, or what kind of company Instagram would have become.

Instagram is the most exciting startup of 2013 that never will be.

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