Imagination at Work

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

We finally know why the Instagram founders really quit

Last year, in an effort to give shape to The Interface’s coverage area, I posted a public list of questions that I hoped to investigate over time. I saved my favorite one for last: why did Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger really leave Instagram?

In the months since the co-founders abruptly quit, we’ve gotten more details about the split. We learned that increasing tension with Facebook, combined with an unusually long post-acquisition tenure at their acquirer, had made them antsy. But we still never knew what specifically led them to resign, or why it was announced in such a hurry.

Today, with the publication of Nick Thompson and Fred Vogelstein’s 12,000-word account of Facebook’s past year and a half, I am happy to say that the mystery is...

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