Prior to co-founding Instagram, Kevin Systrom graduated from Stanford University in 2006 with a BS in Management Science & Engineering. While at Stanford, Systrom was a Mayfield Fellow with the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.
With a passion for social products that enable people to easily communicate, Systrom got his first taste of the startup world as an intern at Odeo, which later became Twitter. He also spent two years at Google, the first of which he spent working on Gmail, Google Reader, and other products, and the latter working on the Corporate Development team.
Michael Krieger graduated from Stanford University, where he studied Symbolic Systems with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction. During his undergraduate studies, Krieger interned at Microsoft's PowerPoint team as a PM and at Foxmarks (now Xmarks) as a software developer.
Krieger wrote his Master's thesis on how user interfaces can better support collaboration on a large scale. After graduating, he worked at Meebo for a year and a half as a user experience designer and as a front-end engineer before joining the Instagram team doing design and development.
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Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom explains it's difficult to get vital customer feedback, particularly in the consumer Internet space, if your startup is in stealth mode. He also emphasizes the importance of building minimum viable products and pushing them out to customers. According to Systrom, "Don't build past what you need to build, to answer the questions."