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Kevin Systrom Quotes

Kevin York Systrom

Kevin Systrom quotes: billionaire IG co-founder’s top words.

“There’s real beauty in pushing yourself to expose the real you in more ways.”

“Do what you love, and do it well – that’s much more meaningful than any metric.”

“If you’ve got an idea, start today.  There’s no better time than now to get going.  That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.”

“I don’t think you should ever start a business and move in a direction where you can’t see it becoming a business.”

“So ask yourself, how much work do you need to do to actually prove whether or not this thing’s going to sink or swim?”

“Everyone gets lucky for some amount in their life.  And the question is, are you alert enough to know you’re being lucky or you’re becoming lucky?”

“I promise you, a lot of it is luck.  But you make your own luck by working really hard and trying lots and lots of things.”

“You need to fail in order to find the right solution.  You should assume from the start that your first idea is not going to be your last; your job is to fail your way to success.”

“Every startup should address a real and demonstrated need in the world.  If you build a solution to a problem lots of people have, it’s so easy to sell your product to the world.”

“I’m always in awe of people who are artists in their fields – people who understand that simply by taking ideas and translating them into reality, they’ve created value in the world.”

“Someone once described entrepreneurship to me as a series of happy accidents.”

“It’s wonderful when you pair entrepreneurs together because they can share experiences and in some ways push each other to build better products going forward. ”

“You need to find people that are drawn to the idea that you build, and they end up taking it and making it even better.”

“Most of the companies I interact with worry more about getting something that works with consumers, because if you don’t get consumers no one will want to advertise with you.  If we were to just build a product for advertisers we would have no consumers.”

“If you focus on producing a great experience for anyone, that’s how you get big. ”

“Follow what people love.  If you just play user psychologist a little and you listen to your users and you see what they’re focusing on and what they’re ignoring… good things can happen.”

“The lesson I’ve learned is that you need to make sure to always cut what doesn’t work, cut the stuff that isn’t popular, and focus on continually improving your product and your focus.”

“Companies go through identity crises and they figure themselves out over time, but I think it’s all about keeping what sticks and throwing away what doesn’t.”

“Behavior speaks much louder than words.  It’s all about feedback based on behavior.”

“Stay away from this private beta stuff.  Put it out there, find the people that are vocal about what you’re doing and put it in their hands and listen to them, listen to what they’re excited about.”

“You don’t need a big team in order to do great things.”

“I wish we would have hired more quickly, but it’s hard to say that given all the success we’ve had.  At the same time, who knows, maybe we could have been three times as big.”

“Great products and companies come from great teams.”

“Don’t do too much, and cut away everything that doesn’t matter to the success of your product.  Doing too much can create drag and hinder your ability to get things done.”

“The way people communicate is changing, and no one knows this better than teens.  We are using images to talk to each other, to communicate what we’re doing, what we’re thinking, and to tell stories.”

“I think not focusing on money makes you sane, because in the long run it can probably drive you crazy.”

“People don’t work in a dot com because they have to.  There are many professions that don’t require that sort of time.  But people sign up because they want to make world-changing differences, to build something that affects millions of people.”

“I like to say that the one thing that all people who succeed in changing the world have in common is that they at least tried. ”

“I really value passion for the product above experience.”

“I care deeply about craft: the quality of how something is made and the experience it enables.”

“The best companies in the world have all had predecessors.  YouTube was a dating site.  You always have to evolve into something else.”

“Great products sell themselves.”

“Above all else, products spread when they’re useful and they’re usable.”

“The best products in the world have a point of view.  The worst products have none.”

“The best feature is less features.”

“Instagram is a media company.  I think we’re about visual media.”

“I believe photos is one of the underlying things in every social network that becomes successful.”

“People interact with their phones very differently than they do with their PCs, and I think that when you design from the ground up with mobile in mind, you create a very different product than going the other way.”

“Our goal is to not just be a photo-sharing app, but to be the way you share your life when you’re on the go.”

“We worked really hard to make it easy for people to share their lives in a beautiful way.  It is one thing to share a photo; it’s another for that photo to look gorgeous.”

“People are hungry for what’s happening right now in the world.”

“Every photo you take communicates something about a moment in time – a brief slice of time of where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing.”

“I really love connecting people, creating communities.  As a kid, creation was something that I always loved.  Creating worlds for video games, creating businesses that didn’t make any money, selling lemonade, et cetera.  In my fourth grade classroom, I even instituted a government structure because I was really interested in people having positions and there being law.”

“It’s funny: I was a photographer before I was a programmer.  I grew up as a photo nut.  Every Christmas I would get a new camera.  It’s a huge part of my life.”

“I love challenging the notion that, in order to be a tech founder, you have to be holed up in a dark room wearing a T-shirt and baggy jeans.”

“Working at a startup to make a lot of money was never a thing, and that’s why I decided to just finish up school.  That was way more important for me.”

“When people say that college isn’t worthwhile and paying all this money isn’t worthwhile, I really disagree.  I think those experiences and those classes that may not necessarily seem applicable in the moment end up coming back to you time and time again.”

“I was never as focused in math, science, computer science, et cetera, as the people who were best at it.  I wanted to create amazing screensavers that did beautiful visualizations of music.  It’s like, ‘Oh, I have to learn computer science to do that.'”

“I try to list the top three things to get done every day, and I’ll be lucky if I hit all three, but it’s amazing what that does to keep you on track.”

“I’ve always had a passion for technology, photography, startups, and connecting people.  Bringing those aspects together made me successful.”

“I have a pretty random life.  I run a business and go all over the world doing things for that business, things that are fairly orthogonal.  But my job is to run my company, not to be the best Instagrammer.  I’ll let other people be awesome at it.”

“Having a company that’s successful is a wonderful platform to do new things.  You don’t have to raise money for it; you can take profits from the company and pump them into new business.”

“[On quitting Instagram] When you leave anything, there are obviously reasons for leaving.  No one ever leaves a job because everything’s awesome, right?  Work’s hard.  I’m excited to do something new.  I think Instagram’s in a really, really good place.  If this thing triples in size and becomes like the most important company in the world, that will be an awesome outcome for me, even if I’m not running it.”

“It’s a natural life event for any entrepreneur who has sold their startup to another company.  I believe people can’t evolve as individuals unless they make big changes in their life, and this was my opportunity to do something brand new.”

“Entrepreneurs don’t stay forever and I was actually amazed that we were on the far side of the average.  It’s kind of like a rocket.  You have to aim it in the right direction, take your hands off and let it go.  Instagram didn’t feel done by any stretch of the imagination, but it felt like it was in orbit.”

“I made a deal with myself when I left: I’m not going to sit around.  I had a beach week, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot of people who just sit there and that’s their life.”

“I’m 34.  I have a few more Instagrams in me, time-wise.”

“It’s wrong not to be thankful for what’s happened.”

“Focusing on one thing and doing it really, really well can get you very far.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.