Startups: KISS of Death, the Instagram Story

Keep it simple stupid LipsThe recent news that Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion has rocked the startup community and has fueled the bubble talk all over in Silicon Valley. The golden nugget I gained from reading some excellent stories about the early days and design of the product, is that the key to their success was SIMPLE functions and Design.

Keep it Simple Stupid, such an interesting saying, and in the tech world, such an oxymoron…

The Instagram founders had a more full featured product called Burbn, a somewhat foursquare clone, and as Mr. Systrom analyzed usage patterns with his little app, he realized by far the most popular feature was the photo sharing capability.

BINGO, the 2 founders took a step back at that point and decided to scrap EVERYTHING but the Photo aspect and create a new app that would be Dead Simple, with only a few carefully selected options.

As I observe good products and design, they seem to all strip away the clutter, and only have a few functions. Instagram hit the nail on the head, and the founders were smart enough to kill off any uneeded items.

Congrats Instagram, your product and story is a great inspiration in Keeping it Stupidly Simple.



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