What are you going to go deep on?

There’s a good video interview of Kevin Systrom, by Kevin Rose, over on YouTube. In it, he talks a lot about where he has come from and where he’s looking to grow Instagram next.

Towards the very end, he spoke really well about ‘going deep’ around their core vision and what that means to the development work they do everyday. Here’s some of that part of the interview.

“I think in too many startups, the goal is to maximise features. I had one VC come up to me recently and say:

‘You guys haven’t really launched any features in the last year. Is that a problem?’

‘I was like, dude, do you know much work we’ve done on the product to make it scale to where it is today?’

The things you launch that end up making the difference are not yet another feature that nobody is going to use. It’s what you can go deep on. What we went deep on was scaling to over 15M users, which in retrospect is hopefully the tip of the iceberg. We added hashtags, that was a huge thing that didn’t exist…We added new filters. We made our filters fast.

We asked; what do people love about the product and how can we make it even better.”

In the long run, you have to build a company. That’s a lot harder than writing a few lines of code and releasing a product. It’s a very different mindset and a very different set of skills. Our biggest competition is ourselves, because we’re building a company now.”

I really like this point of view. I am seeing it more and more at the moment, from Warren Buffett’s distaste for tech companies and stocks because he’s never ‘got it’ to Jeff Bezos and his focus on only improving what won’t change in Amazons business in the future. What are you going deep on?

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