If you remember the days when Instagram was all about square photos and basic filters, you either have back pain or a knee injury that you're not checking – or both. Yeah 🧓
As an early-stage founder trying to improve your product and finally scale your startup, you probably are in your square photos and basic filters era.
And that's fine! We all loved your coffee mug pictures with way too saturated filters, Alberto. Pure art 💅
However, if you're trying to skip to the good part and get to your product's Reels era, here are 3 lessons learned by none other than Mike Krieger, the lowkey Brazilian co-founder of Instagram – like down in the basement lowkey.
1. Things are never as bad or as good as you think
You need to get money from investors but you're not getting lucky. Anxiety strikes. You're lonely and clueless.
You could also be on the other side, nailing the bizz. Investors love you, users love you, your mom does too, and you're building a product of great value. But then, boom: your best engineer quits. THAT ONE engineer you know will be hard to replace.
No matter the situation, your community is here for you. You meet the friend of a friend who knows an angel investor or an excellent engineer. Perfect matches. Quests completed.
👉 So, whether you're on the bright side or on the dark side right now, keep in mind that this too shall pass.
2. Seize the power of focus
When Mike & company were launching the app, there were only 3 fighters standing for the team. Even though this meant LOTS of work for them, it created focus on the product.
Everybody knew the answers to these questions.
👉 The focus that comes from having a small team is incredible and easy to lose when you start growing.
So, Angelica, you who are working in your mom's garage with your 2 pinky friends from college, seize the focus opportunity you have now.
3. Don't hold onto your product
The first time Mark was told they were going to destroy Instagram was when they allowed users to post more than just square pics.
It's easy to define yourself based on where the company or product has been and forget why it was made that way in the first place.
👉 Don't hold onto what you've built, but onto the problem you want to solve.
Mike Krieger joined us as an online speaker at Vamos Latam Summit and shared his 12 year journey at Instagram with us - a lot of hot stuff 🔥
Want to find out what Indonesian and Brazilian Instagram accounts have in common?
Here you have it:
📌 What advice would you give to founders in these difficult times? My startup's having to grow while navigating the current market crisis, with no available capital.
Some good things come from not having a lot of money. Too much money makes you stupid sometimes. Scarcity results in focus and you can really concentrate on what is important for the business.
Brian Requart, one of our co-founders, recommends changing the mindset of needing a lot of money to be successful. That’s a fallacy. If you don’t build the fundamentals at the beginning and you raise a bunch of capital, you’re going to scale with a poor foundation and will have more problems in the long term.
Want to get the answers to your questions?
Applications close on November 9th
💃 Gina Gotthilf: I slay
Our co-founder Gina made it to Bloomberg's list of "The 500 Most Influential People in Latin America." Yes, that one co-founder that randomly dances Macarena on a stage. We love you Gina!
🚀 Top startups in LatAm
LinkedIn has published, for the first time, a list of the Top Startups in Latin America. See some friendly faces here? We do : )
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