Instagram’s Founder On Why A Small Team Isn’t Always A Good Thing

When Instagram was aquired by Facebook in 2012, the popular photo sharing app had only a handful of employees.

Looking back on that decision, founder Mike Krieger says he might have done things a little differently.

“[Having a small team] lead to a lot of focus, and lead to a really cohesive product,” says Krieger. “The flip side was that we were all putting in really, really, crazy hours and basically having no life outside of work for a couple years.”

Mike Krieger

So why didn’t he hire more people? Well, he says, because there’s no formula to success–and no easy hire.

“It’s not like you can say ‘I need engineers’ and just turn on this faucet,” says Krieger. “There’s a whole plumbing system underneath–recruiters, pipelines, and getting people on board.”

“If you’re not building out from day one, once you actually do need those engineers you’re going to turn on the faucet and nothing is going to come out.”