When you want to give an example of a successful startup, Instagram should be the first thing on mind. After its billion dollar sale to Facebook, the startup became the ultimate example of making solid business decisions. Instagram easily outvalues the New York Times, even though it’s only a couple of years old. They surely did a lot of things right, some of which we will cover in the following paragraphs. Hopefully, some of their actions might be applicable to businesses worldwide. Now let’s see what we can learn from this startup posterchild!
Although Instagram grew beyond all proportions, it maintained the agility needed for success by staying nimble. Having only 13 employees sounds crazy, but that was exactly the the size of its staff. Their headquarters were modest and not over the top.
Being nimble enabled Instagram to switch from one app idea to another. At first, the team had been developing a location-based social network called Burbn. At one point, they decided to switch gears and focus solely on photo sharing. Having a small but agile and a professional team, Instagram proved that it can be done. So, without having to worry about management too much, the team could focus on growth, aesthetics their community.
By analyzing the market and by keeping up to date with event relevant to your niche, you will definitely get ahead of your oblivious competition. This is exactly what Instagram did. The whole world was going mobile, iPhones were becoming increasingly popular and there was a huge user base for all kinds of apps. Instagram launched exactly when the time was right and attracted a lot of hip iPhone app users. What followed was the long awaited Android app. But why the wait? Well, because they knew they could cash in much more when the Android market share reaches 50%. These kinds of decisions are essential to growing your startup, wouldn’t you agree?
When accessing a photo sharing app, you don’t want to see a bunch of disproportionate buttons, awkward menus and types of settings. You want to see exactly what Instagram offers- a junk-free interface filled with beautifully filtered photos. Once you open the app, your device transforms from an emotionless robot to a colorful picture novel. That is exactly what people want, a simple app that does exactly what they want, without any distractions or similarities with an existing app. Keep your users satisfied and focus on the app’s practicality.
Capturing and sharing beautiful images- that’s what Instagram is all about. A single, powerful idea enabled them to create a devout community of satisfied users. Images are deeply related to emotional responses. That is why people love the app. Furthermore, the users are not forced into any kind of complex social interaction other that of image sharing. Being centered around images, Instagram’s users formed communities based on types of filters, excessive uses of filters or just around friends. Give the users what they want, and leave them alone. They will make your product sell if you give them something to work with.
There are a lot of other strategies that the successful startup used to make it in the big game. Do more research, get more useful business advice and start growing your company like the big dogs. It isn’t easy, but what is important is that is plausible. Dream big and keep moving forward!