Understanding Instagram’s founding story and more from SXSW

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Each week, Extra Crunch members have access to conference calls moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, in addition to Zack Whittaker’s discussion about a complicated university grade-hacking case, Josh Constine reported from Austin where he attended SXSW.

While at SXSW, he interviewed the founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. They discussed autonomy within Facebook after the acquisition, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up big tech and early experiences being a small team heading a big product. There are indeed some gems about fixing code over dinner and on camping trips after a few drinks.

He also discussed the ins and outs of a few startups he saw at the event, including Ever Loved, which he wrote about this week, Clearbanc and Formant.

For access to Constine’s full transcription and the call audio, and for the opportunity to participate in future conference calls, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free. 


Josh Constine: Thanks to everybody for joining the Extra Crunch conference call. I’m Josh Constine, the Editor at Large for Tech Crunch.

On today’s call, we’re going to be discussing SXSW and some of the insights from there, because I know a lot of you don’t go anymore, as SXSW has kind of fallen out of favor amongst the innovation crowd. We’ll talk about my talk with the Instagram founders and what they discussed about why they left Facebook, and what they’re doing next.

We’ll talk a little bit about some of the landscape here, and what’s been changing in terms of who are the big players and who’s kind of pulled back, which might be a sign of companies trying to right their balance books.

And then finally, I’m going to talk about a few startups to watch. And again, as we go through this, if you have questions, feel free to chime in and discuss them with us.

So, let’s kick it off and talk about Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. So they left Facebook in September, and this is their first big talk that they did together as a team. And that was really exciting. We did it in front of a 2,500-person audience. It was totally sold out. There was a line thousands of people long, and thousands of people actually had to be turned away. So it was really exciting to have that level of interest, because I think people really do want to know, not only where is the future of social media going, but what really happened inside of Facebook while they were there.

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