New York, NY
Eric Schonfield, Editor at TechCrunch did a quick panel session on Hockey Stick growth with Kevin Systrom Founder of Instagr.am and David Karp the founder of Tumblr. Both companies have seen a lot of success in a short period of time. Tumblr, which has been around longer, is of course a lot bigger. Systrom credits part of their growth to the 2010 holiday season when people received iPhone 4’s which have a better camera than previous models.
Both Karp and Systrom talked onstage about growth and scaling both technology and infrastructure. Karp admitted that he had a problem letting go in terms of handling different problems. Karp and his engineering partner liked to engineer themselves out of most of the technology problems that came up in the first couple of years of Tumblr. Now though, Karp delegates to his operations team.
Tumblr has a native Android app that they have produced in house and has very similar features to their web-client and is easy to use. Systrom told a reporter for Inc magazine that they are still just a staff of 4 but Android was in their crosshairs.
Just before exiting the stage and after Systrom answered the Android question Karp was quick to add that Android “Absolutely Sucks To Develop For”
Update: April 2012, Systrom sold his company Instagr.am for $1 billion to Facebook, very impressive, considering the heavy-lifting was done mostly by the original staff of 4, which “ballooned” all the way to 13 employees at the time of acquisition.