“No one ever leaves a job because everything’s awesome,” said Systrom, the creator and founder of Instagram. During a tense time between Zuckerberg and Facebook, Systrom suddenly left Facebook without a warning. Systrom and Instagram’s co-founder, Krieger, felt that Instagram had gotten to a point of self-sufficiency and Systrom and Krieger were ready to build something new. Like many tech startup gurus, the two desired to create, rather than to maintain.
Systrom was asked during several interviews why we left, but he didn’t respond in detail. He said, however, there were “no hard feelings at all.” He said, “when I sat down with Mike (Krieger) and we started talking, we started talking about what legacy we wants to leave. We were like, ‘What do we want to have accomplished? Is it a revenue thing? Is it a users thing?’ And it just all felt pretty hollow.”
Systrom added he was proud of Instagram’s progress towards combatting bullying and harassment. He wants to leave a legacy not of selfies and hashtags, but something that leaves a mark on the work that normal social media doesn’t do.
There are no plans for Systrom’s next project publicly announced, but what we do know is that Systrom, who is worth over $1.3 billion, won’t be laying on the beach retiring early.