Except you’ve not been paying close attention to foreign tech news, you must have heard about how Facebook moved the world with the $1 Billion Instagram deal. No, it’s not a typo; $1,000,000,000. That’s one of the things you can do when you have billions swimming in your bank account.
Imagine launching a photo editing/sharing app and having thousands of downloads in just few hours of launching it. You strived daily to make the app better for people to use. This made more people download the app. You didn’t even bother to advertise it. Yet, millions flocked in. During this period, you didn’t make a dime from the app because it was free. Then barely after 18 months of launch, a tech giant approaches you for an offer to buy your company for $1 billion. Yes, that’s the Instagram Moment.
Analysts have argued that Instagram was over-valued by Facebook. Some say it’s an outlier case. Accountants simply can’t see any sense in the deal. It defies traditional accounting and valuation process. This is because Instagram has no business model.
Business model or not, Facebook must have bought Instagram for numerous reasons best known to the team. However, no matter what reasons, it is definitely based on a criteria. Facebook was in search of one quality and it was willing to pay any amount to acquire it. Then Instagram got trapped. They weren’t just going to buy any type of company for $1 Billion.
Instagram is a GREAT PRODUCT. So, build great products. I wonder why one has to advice entrepreneurs to build great products. It’s the litmus test of success in business. If your products doesn’t wow your customers, it is only a matter of time before you run out of business. Someone else who understands this concept will wow the market with his great products and snatch your customers from you. There are several other photo editing/sharing app that sprang up after Instagram, yet Instagram customers haven’t migrated to those apps. This is largely because of the great moments Instagram users have when using the app.
A great product must be one that delights the customers. It must be one that allows customers do what they couldn’t do before or one that allows customers do what they can do before in a better way. For a product to be successful, it must be targeted towards a particular need in the lives of your customers. A great product is also one that continues to be relevant in the lives of your customer. The moment your product fails the relevance test, your business will decline. Kodak has proven this to us.
Facebook wouldn’t have acquired instagram at all let alone for $1 Billion if it isn’t a great product. So, if you want to create a similar experience, go build great products. You might just be lucky after 18 months or less.