“A Roughly 31,000 Percent Return”

Fascinating article about Instagram and its recent $one billion sale to Facebook:

At Stanford, [Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin] Systrom opted to go abroad to Florence, Italy, for the winter term of his junior year, where he focused on photography. A teacher there persuaded him to switch from his Nikon to a plastic Holga that took square photos, a choice that would be echoed later at Instagram. Florence also marked Systrom’s introduction to using chemicals in the developing process, such as selenium toning, which can give photos a distinct purple hue.

All this would ultimately be incorporated into the new app that Systrom and Krieger were busily sketching out by hand in notebooks in the summer of 2010. During the exhausting push, Systrom took a cheap vacation to a hippie artists’ village called Todos Santos, in Baja California Sur, Mexico, with his girlfriend, Nicole.

Read the article, The Money Shot {vanity fair}, to learn how filters became a key part of the app and find out who made that crazy-high return on their investment my headline alludes to…

Via {daring fireball}.

Coding is Difficult

But one startup, Codeacademy, is trying to change that.

It’s based on a unique idea and a real need for career programmers. They created a compelling and visual environment through which to learn Javascript, html, and other languages. Students take classes free, and future employers will pay for the privilege of hiring them.

{via new-hire douglas rushkoff}


Common is…

… a startup enabler.

… a bike company.

… almond butter.

… funding companies who have a social mission as part of their business plan.

Common is, in their own words:

…about making something. To be more specific, COMMON is about connecting people together and harnessing the power of true, rule-breaking creativity to launch socially beneficial businesses. Businesses that are designed to spread love and prosperity to all stakeholders.

{via design matters}