A startup scales only when it concentrates on reducing customer pain points and providing for a memorable experience. Instagram has been one such example from day one and we’ve seen the amount of buzz it created when Mark Zuckerberg recently bought it for $1 Billion. My Facebook timeline was the first to inform me about the deal and later I followed the story shared by Om Malik at Gigaom. Since then the world has been talking only about Facebook-Instagram. Some felt it was a smart move considering that Instagram was hitting Facebook where it hurt the most. Other school of thought debated that it is not a wise decision when the product had no business model. The Indian evangelists and startup community spoke about the deal as well as the pitfalls. I have curated some of the best viewpoints over the week on the same debate and sharing them below:
1. Of Instagram Acquisition, Youtube And Few Thoughts For Indian Product Entrepreneurs: Ashish Sinha was a super excited soul on the particular day when the news broke, as it was pretty noticeable from his Facebook status messages. As a blogger and who hearts Indian startups, his post on Pluggd.in talks about the changing trends in the Indian startup ecosystem and what startups should learn from Instagram. I specially like the closing lines of the post, which makes it a winner. Do read it once if you heart startups.
In short, Instagram is a great product story and acquisition is not what you should remember the product for. The learning, in my opinion needs to go beyond the $1Bn, which unfortunately has eclipsed the product story.
2. Can India have it’s own Instagram? A Perspective on the Numbers game: When an article comes from a man who has seen the Internet space from 97-98, it is bound to be a delicacy. Sanjay Mehta shares his thoughts on his blog post where he starts with 3 interesting stories in today’s time, backed with numbers. Sanjay talks about how today you could be sitting in any corner of the country and still can make your product fly, if you can get the content or service mix right.
Moving further, Sanjay talks about the practicality of this kind of a story happening in the Indian startup ecosystem. He shares that although we have success stories like Cleartrip, Shaadi.com, Games2Win, etc., it is tough to have an Instagram story happening, mainly for two reasons:
- Lack of funding on business models that have zero revenue.
- Indian startups missing the big picture.
However, being an eternal optimist, he believes that he will see change and the next one, hopefully is from India.
3. Instagram should thank Apple: An entirely different take from Sahil Parikh but an interesting one. Sahil starts his post with an initial question on why didn’t Facebook spend less than $10 million to revamp their mobile app, that did photo sharing? Moving further he blends this with the Facebook IPO, which then makes more sense.
The interesting part in the article is when Sahil shares a thought – it is all about having connections. In today’s world, it is not only about what you are building but also how well are you connected. The New York Times post elaborates this in detail.
4. Facebook’s Instagram Acquisition: Don’t think valuation, think synergies: An article from Arun Prabhudesai at Trak.in touches upon the synergies of both the companies, Facebook and Instagram. Arun, who himself was not interested in the app, thinks that the deal looks ridiculous and highly over-priced, if we look at it from the valuation perspective. However he thinks that if we look it after combining the companies together then it is a beautiful marriage and has the power to make 1+1=11. Arun ends the insightful post with this thought for readers to ponder upon:
Although valuation is very high, the synergies are just too great to be ignored.
5. What would have happened to Instagram if it wasn’t acquired by Facebook? This blog post is from a man who completely breathes startups 24*7 – Alok ‘Rodinhood’ Kejriwal. Alok starts the post first raising a toast for the deal in the Instagram way and then moves ahead sharing his thoughts on – “What would have happened to Instagram if Facebook would not have bought it?” A post that is driven by numbers and very interestingly Alok derives a value of $2 or $3 billion for Instagram by 2014. I believe that was a very optimistic thought but then Kevin Systrom would have also given a thought to this!
Any which ways, the deal is done and dusted. Hope the fun part of Instagram is kept alive. Especially, when so many investors were behind Kevin and he had been saying no to everyone, including Jack Dorsey.
This reminds me of the all time famous line from Godfather when Marlon Brando says, “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”.
Image courtesy: CNN.com and Slashgear.com