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How Instagram, Airbnb, Pinterest and Twitter started
How Instagram, Airbnb, Pinterest and Twitter started

How Instagram, Airbnb, Pinterest and Twitter started. [Awesome Tips for Entrepreneurs]

If you are reading our magazine, most probably you already own a startup or you think to go on your own and start a business.

Doesn’t matter the phase you are there are plenty of things you can learn from other people’s experiences, especially from tech startups. That’s because most of them started as side projects with little to no funding, been heavily adjusted till becoming the big names that are today.

I’ve put together a list of infographics that show the bumpy roads of 4 startups (Instagram, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Twitter) from early inception until they worth billions of dollars.

For each of them, I’ve added my own point of views and bits of advice that will help you learn from their experiences.

How Instagram started

After its launch in 2010, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and 1 billion as of May 2019.

In April 2012, Facebook acquired the service for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock.

In the infographic below you could see the path of Instagram from ints inception to the product it is today that worths billions of dollars.

Infographic created by Anna Vital.

Takeaways from the Instagram story:

  • Before anything else you need an MVP (minimum viable product) that you can show to potential investors and get 1st round(s) of funding.
  • At some point, you may have to restart from scratch and rebuild your product. Don’t be scared of that.
  • Focus on the main feature of your product. It’s easy to get distracted and add many features that your competition have but keep in mind that the users choose you for the best one thing you can do and others don’t.

How Airbnb started

Infographic created by Anna Vital.

Takeaways from the Airbnb story:

  • Test the idea yourself before offering to the public, making sure it is viable.
  • You don’t need a fancy app or website to start and test your business idea.
  • If you can’t get money from investors you can borrow from your friends or work side projects till you get some capital.
  • You may have to do some work, in the beginning, to convince users to use your app/website.

How Pinterest started

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann summarized the company as a “catalog of ideas” that inspires users to “go out and do that thing”, rather than as an image-based social network.

Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched in March 2010. Nine months after the launch the website had 10,000 users.  Ben said he personally wrote to the site’s first 7,000 users offering his personal phone number and even meeting with some of its users.

In February 2019, the Wall Street Journal stated that Pinterest secretly filed for IPO. The total valuation of the company at the time reached $12 billion.

Infographic created by Anna Vital.

Takeaways from the Pinterest story:

  • Test the idea yourself before offering to the public, making sure it is viable.
  • You don’t need a fancy app or website to start and test your business idea.
  • If you can’t get money from investors you can borrow from your friends or work side projects till you get some capital.
  • You may have to do some work, in the beginning, to convince users to use your app/website.

How Twitter started

Twitter was created and launched in 2006 and the service rapidly gained worldwide popularity.  In 2012, more than 100 million users posted 340 million tweets a day.

Since 2015 Twitter has been a hotbed of debates and news covering politics of the United States. In 2016, Twitter was valued by Forbes at US$15.7 billion.

How Twitter started
How Twitter started

Note: On Business Insider there is a more in detail story about Twitter history.

Takeaways from the Twitter story:

  • It’s important to show your work at conferences and events. Twitter usage exploded on SXSW conference.
Infographic created by Anna Vital.

Conclusion

If there is one piece of advice that all of these stories clearly shows is that you have to never give up on your dream of starting a business. It may not be easy, it may take more time and energy that you planned but the reward is there.

Now it’s your time. Share with us if you have already your own business or you plan to start one. What are the difficulties you are facing?

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About StephanJ

Stephan J is the founder of Monetize.info and is making a living exclusively online since 2004. He tried and managed to make good profits on everything from Forex trading, options, website flipping, adsense, affiliate websites.His passions are cycling, fitness and he is spending a small fortune on watches and fine cigars

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