Instagram’s Founder On Why Hearing “No” Can Mean You’re On The Verge Of Brilliance

The photo app: that’s been done before.

That’s exactly the reception that Instagram founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom received when they tried to sell their new idea for social photo app Instagram. The industry was already crowded with photography apps and it didn’t help that the pair were first-time entrepreneurs.

Mike Krieger

Of course, the critics were wrong (really, really, wrong): Instagram now dominates world of mobile photography. More importantly, Krieger and Systrom were vindicated.

“We showed it to some investors and they were like ‘Ah, we’re not interested. You know photos, that’s kind of been done before. You’re going to fail,'” says Krieger. “It was really satisfying, and great to launch and actually have this community response of people being like, ‘No, no, this is good. And it actually fills a need that I really had in my life.'”

“Hearing ‘no’ a lot of times usually tells you either you’re crazy or you’re on the right track and you don’t know which one it is until you finally launch.”SS