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Instagram’s Co-Founders Said to Step Down from Company (nytimes.com)
467 points by garretruh on Sept 25, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 219 comments

Posting anon.

In 2009, the startup where I was working was hitting the skids, and our investors (correctly) were not willing to back us. We all kept grinding for a month or two in honorable futility, but after a while, my bank account depleted and I had to go.

To make various ends meet and to keep my mental health during the wind down however, I took up some contract work that I found through various friends in the SF startup scene. One company that I really liked and did some small stuff for was Burbn, which was a mobile-only location check-in that was hinged around taking photos of your location.

Missing my friends in NYC (I made a lot of friends in SF, but my inner circle were my college buddies from CMU; I went to tech and they went finance, sigh), I decided to leave SF to head to NYC and get a fresh start.

As I was leaving, I wanted to tie up a few loose ends, so I emailed my contact at Burbn and said I was likely to be unavailable for any more work, but that I liked the project and hoped for the best for him. He responded and said that he was near funding on a small pivot, and that if I was interested, there might be a full-time role available. I declined - I was mentally done with SF and the startup scene (Larry Chiang, 111 Minna, the rise of FB spam-crap like RockYou, etc.) as it was then.

That person was Kevin Systrom; that pivot was Instagram.

A lot of commenters seem to be bemoaning this poster as missing out on endless riches. Why? we already know that being super rich doesn't really make you all that much happier compared to being rich (and if you are a programmer in work in then you are pretty rich).

I feel that they missed out more on the rocketship journey of being on a startup. And even then that's not everyone's cup of tea.

There's a gigantic difference between $200,000 a year and "I don't need to work again."

The "money doesn't make you happy" camp compares $70,000/year and $200,000/year; not $200,000/year and "I have enough money to never work again if I don't feel like it."

Those two goals are only separated by about a decade of normal work, which is not even much more time than it takes to bring a startup to an exit.

If you can put 1-2.5M dollars into investments you can pull safe returns of enough to live on indefinitely and never need to work again.

Making >$200k a year and being frugal it is not that hard to put together 1-2.5 million dollars in capital.

At 10 years of 250k with a 40% tax rate and 30k in annual expenses with 7% average returns, you pull down about 70k in capital gains at 5% returns in year 10 (so you can keep 2% extra nominal in to keep up with the fed's inflation target and maintain that purchasing power forever). $70k is less than you made, but is more than enough to live on without working for the rest of your life.

You're completely missing the point.

> being frugal ... 30k in annual expenses

Requires budgeting and is a bit of a standard of living lower than most people would prefer. Especially if they got kids.

Plus how you going to live in SV on $30,000 a year when rent alone is that much?

> 7% average returns

So requiring those 10 years are during a bull market.

There's a big difference between "work at a startup for a good salary living an average life for 10 years" and "live in a shoebox with 10 other guys, eat nothing but lentils and beans, and own no possessions for 10 years"

> > 7% average returns

> So requiring those 10 years are during a bull market.

If your bull market includes the 2008 crash, then yes.

"The last decade provided an average return of 6.88% in the stock market. The lower return takes into account the tremendous loss the market took in 2008." https://www.creditdonkey.com/average-stock-market-return.htm... (question 2)

Anecdotally, when you don't need to work it makes you happier (though you can still work, but only when you want to). High wage vs passive income is a big difference and the research you are thinking about only captured the former.

I have a passive income of €1.5k/month without being a millionaire. Some of my friends are millionaires and we are basically equal. We all can choose to work and are free, this makes all the difference.

The main differentiator between rich people and others is the fact that rich people don't have to work. This is the biggest freedom. I figured out that I don't need to be rich to do that. I still work, but I mainly do this because I want to. I say no to things that I don't like and I've never been employed (I'm an employer myself).

I wouldn't trade this freedom for 10-20k/month (which I could achieve, but I would have to work my a* off). Deciding what to do with your time is the ultimate freedom.

edit: I worked like this in the past (making good money and having lots of stress), but nowadays I don't see the point anymore. Even if you like your work, wouldn't you prefer to work on your own visions and on your own terms?

May I ask what kind of business are you running for your passive income and how you got there?

Background of this question: Also form Europe (Austria), an EE engineer but modestly paid and overworked. I figure I should pivot to a passive income source as even switching jobs won't imporve my quality of life since companies are overly stingy on paying competitive salaries and most try ot burn you out in the long run as they try to be more competitive and government will tax the hell out of you the more you earn so I figure why bother, my healh is worth more than that.

Ok, I will give some instructions. Unfortunately, it's not an easy way. It's mainly websites.

1. Know your numbers: How much do you need to live? How much do you spend each month? How much money can you save up in your job every year?

2. Save up. Live extremely cheap and save every penny. You need enough money to live for ~9-12 months without any income, e.g. if you need 1200€ you need to save minimum €14k - no holidays and expensive stuff until you've reached your number. This is your lifeline money.

3. Save a little more: You need to invest money to make money. You need about €5-10k minimum for investments (buying domain names, themes, content, designs, ...)

4. You have saved up €20-30k? Continue the plan. Otherwise continue to live extremely frugal and increase your income.

5. There are many ways now: build websites, AirBnB, flipping stuff, writing books ... - first, you have to build something. After you've found something that works, you continue to increase the profit margin and automate the process (also utilizing manual labour). You can only do this if you already have some money, this is the reasoning behind step 1 and 2.

- - -

In my calculations, you need to invest roughly €30-40k to make €1-3k/month in completely passive income (I achieved it with 5-10k, but I was lucky). It's definitely achievable in 3-4 years to save this amount of money if you commit to a frugal lifestyle, save up and invest it correctly (I achieved it in some months, but as I said, I was lucky).

I think it's not fair to sell you the idea that it's easy - although my journey was extremely straightforward, I know that most people struggle to even make a dollar online. But I can assure you that you will find a way if you're committed to leave your day job behind.

But please make sure that you have enough savings, I know many people who left their job and after 6 months they ran out of money. You don't want to be the defeated one who wasn't well prepared for this type of lifestyle.

"and if you are a programmer in work in then you are pretty rich"

Incidentally, I'm not sure if this statement has any validity outside US. I wonder why that is.

It's still valid in a couple of other countries though. I'm sure I don't make more than my friends in England for example, and I know some in Brazil that make really good money (compared to those around them who are not programmers) and I'm sure there's other countries who pay their software engineers well enough. But yeah I'm aware that there are countries where being a software developer is not that profitable sadly. I always hear of outsourcing software development overseas for simple things like having a website done.

DELETED For asking a question but getting too many downvotes

In many cases it’s because that’s what we demand of them. The “you get what you pay for” line works well here, we demand low cost so they have low time to build anything right. Long term impact is that they never fully developed into seasoned and deeply skilled staff. Then we complain about quality, its kind of funny in a sad way...

As a programmer in "other countries", you're very much wrong. You just get what you pay for, and when you're going for "cheap outsource" you get bottom of the barrel. Pay senior salaries, you get senior people.

Uh, what. I'm quite undercompensated compared to US programmers but that does not mean I don't program well. It just means I don't live in the US.

Why did you assume he is missing out on being rich? Nowhere in his post he even mentions money. It felt more he missed out on being a part of a great success that every startup wants to live through similar to that of Instagram.

Why did everyone run into Larry so much back then and what happened to the startup party scene... which was so odd at the time.

Edit: Found my answers on quora, I’ll let you look yourselves as I don’t want to link to what may be gossip but I had a laugh and a wave of nostalgia for those heady nonsense days

who is Larry and why does this person matter? I searched on Google but could not find anything relevant.

I actually met Larry at a bitcoin event a while back. Seems like a normal guy. Is there some back story I am not aware of?

You simultaneously don't know who Larry is, but also know you met him?

You can see him, talk to him, ask his name - and still not know who is it. Is he a super-rich former founder? A VC? Chinese agent? Inherited money? Etc.

Yes I met him at a bitcoin event for 20 seconds, so I only know his name before talking to another person.

Hi everyone! Well, thank you for all of the comments - didn't expect my short little tale to be that interesting :)

As for me, it worked out - soon after arriving in NYC, I took a chance at starting a company for myself. Unlike Burbn/Instagram, which I would have liked from a market perspective, I went all-in on an idea and an industry that I truly loved. I managed to raise a little bit of funding, hired a great team, and exited 10x a few years later. Still at the company, now CTO. Love it more and more every day.

Right around the same time I started my company, I also met a beautiful woman who is now my wife. Bonus!

Do I think about what could have been? Sure. But I didn't let it stop me from plowing ahead and moving forward. What happened yesterday or last week or last year only impacts you to the extent that you let it. All you can ever do is believe in yourself and make the best decisions you can with the information available to you.

Your life now may be better than the one where you accepted Kevin’s offer.

That is rationalization, where we try to apply "logic" to make ourselves feel better about a bad situation.

The chances are low that life is better now, after losing out on a chance to be an early part of Instagram.

That's like saying a homeless person's life may be better than if he had a home. Ya statistically that scenario is possible.

But if you had a choice, do you really want that homeless person to stay homeless and just keep telling him "your life may be better now"? Or do you want that person's life to improve so that he eventually has a home?

It’s not at all difficult to imagine a scenario where his life is better after turning down Instagram. I wouldn’t even say it’s unlikely.

Just name one important relationship he formed in NYC. Done. (Or any of the other infinite ways events could have unfolded more favorably in NYC than in a hypothetical SF)

An engineer in America is wealthy, and has lots of opportunity to see and experience new and interesting things. The idea that his life is almost assuredly worse just because he forwent one unlikely opportunity to become wealthy 50x over instead of just 5x over is silly.

Of all the choices he’s made and will make, I doubt that was a very important one.

Ya you can imagine any scenario you want. I can imagine a scenario where a homeless person's life is better than if he had a home. It's not hard to imagine. But if you had a choice, which would you choose?

I don't think the argument is conclusively "Done" after naming one important relationship he formed in NYC.

I can name one important relationship he would have formed if he stayed in SF. A relationship with the founders of Instagram. That relationship is valuable too.

What makes you doubt that this choice is less important than other choices he will make in the future?

You don't need to consider the infinite possibility of events that could have unfolded. You really only have to consider the origin event--if you had the chance to choose again, would you make the same choice.

> Ya you can imagine any scenario you want. I can imagine a scenario where a homeless person's life is better than if he had a home. It's not hard to imagine. But if you had a choice, which would you choose?

Homelessness is a financial hardship that actually will ruin your quality of life, which stands in stark contrast to being a homeowner. Whereas making 150k/yr in NYC instead of 2m/yr in SF just means you have plenty of space on hardwood, instead of too much space on marble. The relationship between wealth and quality of life is logarithmic.

That's not the question being asked. Obviously being an early employee at Instagram is better than having an above-average engineering job in NYC, and more money is better than less money.

The question is, do all of the events that unfold throughout the rest of his life after he moves to NYC sum to a better life than the events that would have unfolded if he had taken that job and stayed in SF?

It can't be known, we can only speculate on the probabilities.

If we know for certain that Instagram will be the success that it is, that means NYC and SF present two radically different sets of human relationships and life experiences spanning decades, but in NYC he will make a lot of money and in SF he will make an excessive amount of money.

When I consider the infinite variation and possibility contained within those unforeseeable human relationships and life experiences, and think about the impact those factors have on a person's quality of life, I don't think there's even a comparison to be made between that and the difference between making lots of money and making tons of money. The relationships and life experiences will be the dominating factors in these outcomes. Since they're both unknowable, the relative probabilities of either NYC or SF resulting in a better life lie somewhere close to 50:50, even if we know he would have been successful at Instagram in SF.

I actually do think it was an important choice, just not because of Instagram. He was tired of SF and the contemporary startup scene, and Instagram's success was still very unlikely at that point. Staying would have been a bad decision.

I think the more brutal reality is that just because you had been there then instead of someone else doesn't mean Instagram would have done what it did. Maybe as a first hire you'd have jerked around more than the actual person, or missed deadlines or just made bad choices which lead to zero traction.

It's egotistical to assume that it being you instead leads to the same result

Ya I agree, but on the other hand, it's possible that if you had been there instead of someone else, you would have made better choices leading to 10x traction and made Instagram 10x what it is today

I mean, what signals lead you to believe one scenario is more likely than the other?

It didn't sound like he was a weak employee in any way--if anything, he sounded like a strong employee because the founder of Instagram wanted to create a full-time role just to keep him, despite not having much money for the startup back then. I would assume the founder of Instagram is a better judge than I am, of who is good to hire.

It's possible that Instagram would have been more successful if he was there to support it back then.

I could boil it down to a thought experiment: If you could trade being alive and healthy today, for hitting it rich 10 years ago but you have no idea if you'd still be alive/healthy/happy today - would you do it?

Actually I think the point is that the universe is vastly complex and due to chaos theory and the butterfly effect all sorts of alternate outcomes may have resulted

Yes I agree. That's my point as well.

There's more to it than rationalization.


No, it isn't rationalization

Startups still have "lottery ticket" chances. Better, but still not a guaranteed payoff.

What if instead of IG it was Theranos or Color (or that startup that nobody heard of)?

Doubt it

You know how in war movies when the guy leaves the trench only to come back and find that all his friends have been killed?

In the valley you leave the trench and come back to find that all your friends are rich.

No words can alleviate that regret. But if you’re having near misses like this you’re actually really close to something good.

If you trouble yourself over regret on how you didn't get rich that one time, while still living a life that is probably in the upper 90th percentile comfort-wise, you aren't doing yourself any favors. Money is just numbers, and in the end we are all dead, so spending your days regretting not winning the lottery has to be one of the most stupid things to trouble your mind with. A dose of some traditional values would probably help.

Yet I read a similar comment every day here on Hacker News. Maybe there's something cultural going on with a website run by an investment fund/startup incubator.

I identity with this - it bugs me that I haven't done as a Kevin (and people like him) when not only has he had the success but exited and moved on with his life.

I go to the gym most days and am pretty well disciplined but I still feel this way every so often (I've been ill earlier this week so I'm feeling down, which is probably what bought this on). How does someone get traditional discipline?

Similar themes in DHH’s “The Day I Became a Millionaire”, https://m.signalvnoise.com/the-day-i-became-a-millionaire-55...

> No words can alleviate that regret.

I can relate. I cry myself to sleep every night thinking about those bitcoins I didn't mine, back when you could get hundreds on a single GPU overnight.

Well, at least you aren’t the guy that bought two pizzas for 10 000 bitcoins. If he’d have held onto them until the $20 000 peak (a tall order in itself) he’d have netted a cool $200 million.

> If he’d have held onto them until the $20 000 peak (a tall order in itself) he’d have netted a cool $200 million.

If he could have sold them at that price without moving the market, that is.

Did that guy who binned his hard drive with his bitcoin wallet ever retrieve it from the garbage dump? Last I heard he was planning on digging up the entire dump to find it.

OTOH, the pizza shop owner sure struck lucky, if he kept them

Well, not so bad if they were nice pizzas!

I’ve had three misses of similar magnitude. No regrets.

The fandom of getting rich and famous in the Silicon Valley is equivalent to high school girls wanting the bad boys as boyfriends.

I don't think that's accurate. A more apt anology (and one trending on HN, coincidentally) is the California Gold Rush. The prospectors (workers) are willing to work super hard and risk it all to find gold (unicorn equity).

You know what they say: “When humans discover immortality, the person who will die the minute before will be the most …”

"the most..." what? Is that an add-your-own-ending quote for reflecting on personal philosophy? :).

(Also, this is a plot point in Bostrom's "The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant" - the last people to die will really be mourned, and people will then start asking if, maybe, they could have started working on the problem sooner...)

I think all the people who die unwillingly after humans discover mortality will have a good claim to be the most...

Immortality will probably never work for those that die from getting hit by a train and the like. This will make their death so much worse for their loved ones.

why just restore from latest backup

The most what?

The most recently dead?


You made the best decision you could at the time.

That’s the only thing and best thing you can ever do in life.

Exactly. You can only make decisions based off the information you have. Heck, for all we know if this guy did go work at Instagram then the company could have never taken off! You can never be sure of anything.

> I went to tech and they went finance, sigh

I doubt they would be that much better off...

Might be worth reaching out and saying best wishes. Short & sweet. Not for any ulterior motive, just out of the spirit of an old, forgotten friendship.

First official statement:


> We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.

h/t to Bloomberg's @sarahfrier, who also says this:


> My sources say the Instagram founders are leaving after increased tension with Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of the product. IG culture/priorities very different from FB. See my April story for background

From later on in the Twitter thread:

> Without the founders around, Instagram is likely to become more tightly integrated with Facebook, making it more of a product division than a company within Facebook, sources say

Given the "brand tax" of Facebook in the current climate, I really hope they avoid this for their own sake.

Curious as to what you mean by 'the "brand tax" of Facebook in the current climate.'

Not OP, but I interpret "brand tax" as the opposite of the halo effect. FB's brand is tarnished, and arguably hinders rather than helps w/ IG brand perception.

I’m somewhat guilty of this. I really love whatsapp even though it’s owned by Facebook. I loathe Facebook.com

I left hipstagram a long time ago, it made me feel anxious and addicted.

Network effects though. As long as people aren’t quitting as villages, Facebook network effects will keep them alive for a long time.

There were multiple memes with screenshots of people declaring they were quitting Facebook and using Instagram exclusively. Don't know if this was widespread though.

Ah I see, thank you. I've also mostly left FB, keeping the account around only for events and messenger. It has become so cluttered. It really is on its last legs.

Facebook is my new rolodex :)

Let's hope it goes obsolete like the Rolodex, only on an internet time scale

I think this is a good place as any to plug Monica.

Monica HQ is a personal CRM. It is NOT a social network. No relation with the project. Previously on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14497295

I would assume the negative connotations surrounding the 'Facebook' brand, specifically Cambridge Analytica and 'Russia's election meddling.'

Anything associated too closely with the Facebook name could become associated with these negative connotations.

Well, there's more than a 50% probability that they're leaving because of conflicts with Facebook, the privacy issues and the push to add more and more ads everywhere. If this were the case, I hope they'd speak up sooner than later. We need voices from within FB and its acquisitions to tell everyone how messed up things are behind the scenes.

But you have to give credit to how the company started and how it's been running all these years. Instagram is still flourishing (and grew in the face of competition from Snapchat, even by copying its features and making it better) and seems like a nicer group of communities with a lot less of the nastiness that's seen on Facebook (I don't have much first hand experience, but do see some feeds on the web). That's not easy to cultivate, and for reasons I haven't read about or examined, the Instagram users have self-selected such a group to be in.*

Here's hoping the founders start something new and fresh, far from privacy invasive platforms.

*: I'd be interested in any writings about how these communities developed to be what they are.


Instagram today is completely different from the way it started. The app is different, the community is completely different. Literally nothing is the same. It doesn’t even resemble what it once was. It has completely devolved. It may very well be the most toxic property out there. It’s hard to imagine something more phony, optimized soley as a way to waste your time tapping away giving “likes”. Watching somone use Instagram is one of the most depressing things I can imagine in terms of human social interaction.

IG was an app designed to share photos in the moment. It was a digital Polaroid. That was a pretty cool idea. That core feature is essentially gone and so is the community around it.

IG now is a platform of the least common denominator. 90% of the posts are garbage spam that takes the form of meme/image macro hybrid abominations designed to get likes. I don’t even really know what you call them. They aren’t videos, or flops or even memes. The best phrase I can think of is digital media noise. IG is like some kind of weird digital static. If you wanted to broadcast incompressible nonsense into outspace the best way to do it would be broadcast the explore tab on IG.

>Instagram today is completely different from the way it started. The app is different, the community is completely different. Literally nothing is the same. It doesn’t even resemble what it once was. It has completely devolved.

>IG now is a platform of the least common denominator. 90% of the posts are garbage spam that takes the form of meme/image mace hybrid abominations designed to get likes.

I guess you aren't following the right people or accounts, then.

I've seen plenty of engaging and cool content. I've even become friends with people from the opposite side of the world. Basically a modern kind of pen pal.

And this all happens while I'm still able to share photos in the moment.

The only thing about IG I absolutely hate is the non-chronological feed. It's ridiculously terrible, even reloading before I've seen the most recent posts.

>I've seen plenty of engaging and cool content. I've even become friends with people from the opposite side of the world. Basically a modern kind of pen pal.

I did that before with Facebook, and Twitter, and forums, and WoW, and MSN, and ICQ and IRC and MUDs...literally any form of online interaction. This doesn't set Instagram apart; it happens despite the fact it's a hyper-optimized advertising app.

Yeah, I've done that on all of those as well.

But you know what? People I've met on IG aren't the types I would've found elsewhere on those other networks. And why does "setting it apart from the others", to paraphrase, have to be an issue? In that sense IRC and forums are exactly the same.

And no, hyper-optimized advertising app would mean I'm constantly seeing ads for products that fit what I like, which is further from the truth than any of this. I rarely, if ever, follow brand accounts, so I rarely, if ever, am subject to "hyper-optimized" advertising.

> 90% of the posts are garbage spam that takes the form of meme/image mace hybrid abominations designed to get likes.

IG is like twitter in that the more effort you put in to curate the people you follow, the more rewarding your timeline is. I never look at Explore, but I look at the pictures in my own timeline and enjoy them.

My instagram feed is filled almost exclusively with cat photos, its a good time kill...

"Cat photos"? Right...

Have you ever really thought about the feed you get from Twitter? It's a jumbled mess of insight, humor, flaming and trolling. The context switching required to jump from comedians to programmers to politicians to pundits is EXHAUSTING.

The thing that Twitter most needs is some way to find and sort by topic or category. And I haven't been able to find any resource to help me find accounts like the ones I most enjoy. You'd think, with all this machine learning that's supposedly going on, someone would find a way to lead me to the people I would enjoy reading, based on some "seed" accounts.

I'm on about my 12th account, and I barely pay any attention to it, because it's just too much work to put what I'm reading into context, and then switch it 72 times to catch up my feed. And I follow less than 200 accounts! God help the poor souls who have thousands of follows.

I say all that to ask: Do you know any way to find accounts with high signal-to-noise ratios that might align with other, known accounts? If Twitter wants more "engagement," THEY ought to be the ones offering tools like this.

> Do you know any way to find accounts with high signal-to-noise ratios that might align with other, known accounts?

Just follow a small set of people. When those people retweet interesting stuff from other people, follow them too.

I admit I’m surprised to hear that.

I don’t use Instagram that often. Sometimes I pop on to see pictures of friends’ kids, holidays, parties, or events. That’s basically 90% of what I see. I post holiday pictures and interesting things I cook, because some other people like to see them. Sometimes there are ads in my feed, and for the most part they’re inoffensive products that I even sometimes look at!

It’s just kind of the least offensive form of social media I can think of. I’m surprised to hear that so many people hate it.

Agreed. I realized a few weeks ago that I really like Instagram because everything on there is original content- pictures/videos from my friends and a very few select people I don't actually know that I share interests with. And that's kind of what I want to see- the highlights of what people are up to in life.

No one is sharing content from BlatantlyBiasedNews.sketchydomain all day, memes, or other crap. Its the stuff I see less and less of on FB, and why while I still check FB at least daily, its starting to feel more like going through the motions than something I enjoy doing.

I mean, I’m sure there’s a small amount of real photos on IG but I don’t know why you’d post them there. All of the hashslag is about getting discovered. It’s like competitive spamming.

If you find IG wholesome you’ve been living under a rock. I find almost everything about IG offensive these days and it’s only going to get worse.

Yeah, I have to agree with the sibling comment - how are you coming across this content? I never see any of it. Al actual photos taken by actual people I know. As far as I’m aware it hasn’t really changed since I first used it years ago, though I’m sure there are a million features I ignore.

It sounds like you need to clear up your subscription list.

This has not been my experience, nor my wife's experience. Instagram shows more of what you click on, so it's entirely possible you are clicking on trash, so they're showing you more trash. From what I've seen, it does a pretty good job of reflecting your viewing habits.

Mine shows me literally everything that the people I follow have posted, but maybe that's because I don't follow a ton?

When I've scrolled through all the new posts there's a nice big green checkmark and it says "You're all caught up."

If something isn't what I want it to show me, I don't follow that. Works great, no weird view optimization algorithm as far as I can tell.

Sorry, should have clarified that I'm referring to Explore. I figured if someone is complaining about bad content on Instagram, it's in reference to content they don't have control over.

> 90% of the posts are garbage spam that takes the form of meme/image macro hybrid abominations designed to get likes.

I'm very active on Instagram and 90% of my feed is various electronics, art, and software projects, and family and friends' travel photos and photos of interesting stuff they come across in their day-to-day lives. If you don't like the idiotic meme accounts don't follow them!

What's missing vs. the Facebook experience is the politics, the rants from elderly relatives, the absolutely excessive poorly-targeted advertising (even in Messenger now!), and completely irrelevant posts that I'm only seeing because someone I know has liked or commented on it.

I expect all of this to change and for IG to be brought more in line with Facebook now there's nobody left to defend it from Zuckerberg. A sad day indeed.

The only social media account I have is IG and just use it to follow brands, business and artists I like. It's quite good for that. Example, a record shop will post noteworthy new arrivals (video with sound) and I frequently buy the things they post.

Ig's content, imo is still way better than Snapchat or whisper or even Facebook. The annoying thing is that ads are extremely obtrusive (this is a new thing). At least on FB the don't occlude your ability to enjoy other content.

Well you must not spend must time on Snapchat, my friend. Literally 50% of the app (the pane to the left) is only your friends. If the content is bad for you, then that is a you problem, not a platform problem. You can't even scroll your IG feed for more than a few minutes (at most) without an ad or "Sponsored Content".

Personally, I actually even find some of Snapchat's "For You" section useful as well — I usually only see stories from NYT, WaPo, or other news/informative content providers. The ads are surprisingly avoidable, and much less prevalent than Instagram.

Fair. However, I keep getting pushed mostly dailymail and tabloid stuff (possibly because the only person who has added me is the admin), and the UI is terrible and it eats my battery. Instagram is more sensible, at least on those fronts, and doesn't trawl my phone contacts to make suggestions - my fb friends are a far better representation of the sorts of content I'd like to see versus my phone list.

I haven't seen a single meme in my Instagram feed ever. It's 100% photos my friends take.

(As the commenter to whom you replied) I agree with your points and observations, but which social network doesn't devolve to the basest desires of humans — the desire to be liked and appreciated, wanting to show off a perfect side, etc. — after reaching a certain volume of users (and more so after being taken over by a large company that thrives on such content)?

Instagram has been susceptible to the same effects, but as others have mentioned, with a small and curated list of people to follow, it's probably a nicer place to be (compared to other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) when it comes to online social interactions.

Facebook, Twitter and Reddit are all pretty message board-y, they’re all centreded online discussions/arguments, and that can get toxic in a hurry, unless the discussion is super focused and tightly moderated. Instagram has always been a place to share the nicest photos you take, and that’s basically it, the comments are extremely secondary. There’s way less opportunity for conversations to turn toxic when there are few conversations.

Here's an offtopic observation. This article (from the New York Times) denoted the names of the Instagram founders as "Mr. Systrom and Mr. Krieger..."

The Wall Street Journal has a corresponding article about this story. In that article, the Instagram founders' names are written, "Messrs. Systrom and Krieger..."

Despite frequently reading both papers, I can't recall ever seeing "Messrs" before. I thought it was a typo at first; turns out it's a formal way to refer to two or more men instead of saying Mr. several times. This isn't germane to the story at hand at all, but I found it to be an interesting and educational part of reading both articles about the same story.

Specifically, it's an abbreviation of the French messieurs, which is just multiple misters. Maybe it's more formal now, but it was ordinary and frequently used in the past in both French and English writing. (Obviously, still quite commonly used in, um, French today.)

E.g., English https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=messrs&case_in...

French https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=messrs&case_in...

In particular, compare: “mon sieur” vs. “mes sieurs”.


English words of French origin are normally considered formal. Back when the French invaded England the rich spoke French, while the poor spoke Anglo Saxon. The words mutated and changed but words of French origin are now formal because of this.

As a French, it feels weird to learn something about my language on an English site :|. I don't remember seeing it written in French. Or I saw it, understood the meaning and forgot.

That's because it's largely unused nowadays, the current abbreviation being MM. (which doubles the M. – not Mr! – abbreviation for monsieur).

You’ve probably heard it without noticing - eg “Mesdames et messieurs” (ladies and gentlemen) is still in common use.

My only knowledge of Messrs comes from "Messrs Moony Wormtail Padfoot and Prongs" :)

"Messrs" is pretty old fashioned language. It's uncommon to see it in modern use.

> "Messrs" is pretty old fashioned language. It's uncommon to see it in modern use.

Though it may be part of the WSJ's house style, so you might see it in its pages quote a bit (the paywall means I don't read it enough to know). For a similar example, see the New Yorker's continued archaic use of the diaeresis:


I know I'm reading a New Yorker quote when I see the superfluous diaeresis in coördination or a similar word. Some words, such as Noël, have a legitimate reason due to counterintuitive pronunciation or as a sign of its archaicness.

In any other context, I mostly think of Spinal Tap.

Maybe in the US. It's not uncommon in the UK.

"Messrs." is fairly common in British English, although it would be considered quite formal by most people.

is it? I have never, ever seen it used and I've lived in the UK my whole life.

Still see it used sometimes in current UK English, most often by solicitors or in other formal language.

Definitely becoming less common and fading out, like Esq and Esquire slowly died out of standard usage on bank statements and other official letters, over the last 20 years.

You'll find it a lot in older literature, Dickens etc.

Growing up I always understood that the Messrs. language was standard for WSJ.

Now that I've slept on it I may have been thinking of the Economist.

Just learned something new today!

I'd venture that they're extremely wealthy, still friends, and decided it's time to go have fun rather than prescribe this to Facebook's ethical challenges like the article would have you believe.

Why would you guess that when a FB spokesperson doesn’t have a prepared comment about this massive change in leadership?

How many pre-announcements must a person make before they are sufficiently prepared for an actual announcement? This is already a pre-announcement of the announcement of the resignation, because this info is leaked from within Instagram

According to the article, this info was leaked to the reporters from several people who knew about it, and the co-founders have already notified Instagram's leadership team. It's not just anyone, but two co-founders of one of the world's most prominent tech companies. If they are indeed leaving "just for fun", presumably they care enough about their company and their colleagues to have given an explanation for their unexpected, simultaneous departure. I would also assume they aren't naive enough to think this wouldn't be leaked before an official press release.

I don't understand, what could the founders have done differently? At some point they must make the initial step to notify leadership that they are leaving. This the step that was leaked. Were they supposed to write their own press releases before they even told anybody that they were resigning?

In my experience, it’s typical for senior leadership at a large company to have a carefully orchestrated departure. No internal announcement would be sent until after a press release is prepared. The set of people that know would be kept extremely small, even to the point of keeping direct reports in the dark.

If Facebook truly was unprepared, it’s reasonable to assume they weren’t expecting the announcement.

You don't think the co-founders of a company, who are leaving for purportedly benign/positive reasons, owe it to their company to have a prepared explanation? Given that the sudden resignation of a founder -- nevermind both co-founders at the same time -- is generally seen as worrying news?

edit: fixed punctuation. By "prepared explanation" I don't mean a formal press release, but a reason (even if vague) that can be publicly disclosed, even before the official announcement, so it doesn't look like the founders are jumping ship for bad/antagonistic reasons.

why on earth would they owe anything to the company?

Jesus Christ.

Because people worked under and followed the for the better years of their life to make them rich?

Because the people you work with are more important than the work you do?

Because when you form a relationship with someone, contractually, business, or otherwise, you do, in fact owe them something, be it money, respect, or even some simple common decency.

if you work for someone, do you owe them anything? beyond a customary standard of duty and notice of departure from employment?

Not to Mark Zuckerberg, but to the colleagues who've worked for them for years in their shared mission and who would, as normal human beings, appreciate knowing that the high-level departures are not a sign of trouble.

High level departures of this kind ARE a sign of trouble though...

We can both be correct. There can be a catalyzing event that caused their departure (your follow up post mentioned product disputes), and that they also want to follow other pursuits (eg. have fun).

My point was that it was quite a stretch for the Times to equate this situation with Jan Koum's departure and this narrative around Facebook's moral dilemma. These guys stuck around for nearly a decade, which is frankly the story that should be written about given how infrequently that happens.

That is not true. I don’t know what really happened, but there was some specific trigger in the last week and people at Instagram are freaking out

I think you mean ascribe - "to attribute" rather than prescribe - "to give or direct".

I agree with your point though.

I wonder what's Facebook's move after Instagram becomes stale and no longer "cool". It seems to me that the popularity of social networks are cyclical, and there's very little that a company can do to satiate a user's appetite for something new. That's before we discuss future regulatory troubles Facebook might face.

What future revenue streams does Facebook have? Are they even capable of creating something new that users love? As far as I can tell, they haven't created any popular products outside of Facebook version 1.0.

Out of all the major tech companies, Facebook's position seems the least stable IMO.

They have over 2 billion monthly active users. This is a global penetration rate that is the best in the world. They have done something that no other company in the world has done. They are relevant to basically the vast majority of all Internet users in the world. To say they are the least stable or that their power over most humans is waning is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

To put it in perspective, they would need to lose 3/4 of their users to reach Twitter levels. Sure, Hacker News has loads of people that hate Facebook, but don't be fooled by the HN bias here. Also, all the armchair CEOs here would do anything to get even 1% of Zuckerberg's success. I don't think Facebook is going anywhere soon.

Windows has seen an officially reported install base as high as 1.5B. This was a few years ago; their numbers have taken a hit recently.

Considering the average annual revenue per U.S. Facebook user is ~$20, startlingly less in other countries, arguably Microsoft, not Facebook, is the more interesting company. Nearly as many active users as Facebook, but substantially more revenue per user (~$50-$150 for an OEM key? Add in office subscriptions, enterprise users, oh my) and substantially more "eye-time" (monthly active? once per month? ha. you used Windows the entire time you were on the PC). Arguably. I don't want to argue it. It's just a thought and it's not the point.

No one looks at Microsoft and thinks "they're going to absolutely dominate the home computing OS market in 2030." They owned the planet and they threw it away. At best they'll remain a second-rate player in the cloud market, riding the ripples of their 90s enterprise clients until those die out as well.

Meanwhile Apple and Google ate their cake. No one saw that coming in 2001. Wait, the company that nearly went bankrupt and now makes that really bad MP3 player, and... Google who? Hold on let me AltaVista that. The companies that are, today, worth almost nothing are worth a combined $2T in just 17 years? What the hell happens to the US Dollar in the next decade?!

Shit changes, and it changes overnight. Sometimes literally, most of the time just "faster than you expect". The only thing you can bet on is that "active users" means about as much as the moon landing conspiracy theories.

> Considering the average annual revenue per U.S. Facebook user is ~$20, startlingly less in other countries, arguably Microsoft, not Facebook, is the more interesting company.

Your points are all valid. However, you're comparing Apples to Oranges. MSFT makes a large chunk of their revenue from Enterprise customers. I don't think it's fair to put the two companies in the same category.

Your larger point however, I def agree. Microsoft diversified itself, and Facebook will eventually too.

As the saying goes "This too shall pass".

> MSFT makes a large chunk of their revenue from Enterprise customers

Now they do. Got out of the consumer business like a scalded cat, because consumers are fickle and quick to anger.

Now, perhaps we could have a word from HiSpace's Tom, or whatever his Ozymandias was ...

> At best they'll remain a second-rate player in the cloud market, riding the ripples of their 90s enterprise clients until those die out as well.


Facebook might mature though. They have large data centers all over the world, if they wanted to, they could make their own cloud service and sell that.

React is one of the most used front-end frameworks in the world, so it’s not like they aren’t capable of doing what Microsoft does, if that becomes their focus.

I’m not sure either company is really that interesting though. Azure is limited AWS but with better support, Windows is more horrible than it’s ever been and the .Net environment is a shit show for anyone working in it because it’s running around like a confused cat. Which is awesome for some people, but terrible when you have to keep your employees up to speed.

I mean, going from asp to mvc to core 1 to core 2 has been ridiculously expensive. So has replacing half our services with modern power shell and orchestra. It’s not bad tech wise, but it’s so ridiculous expensive from an organizational perspective.

The worst bit is that in a few years, you can add to things Microsoft has changed for the apparent fun of it.

We didn’t have to adopt core from a tech perspective, of course, but my developers wanted to, to stay relevant in the .net job scene, so we kind of had to from a management perspective.

It’s too much though, and they are doing the same across platforms. Like we have skype for business and we’ve trained 7000 employees to use it, and now it’s becoming obsolete... That’ll litteraly cost us millions because 5000 of our employee can’t tell you if they are on an android or iPhone device when they contact support, so many of them won’t havd learned Skype before it dies. :p

I think the thing that describes the problems with modern Microsoft the best is how they enabled new 365 features by default. So suddenly we had non-tech savvy people creating teams (and new emails that were added to our address books).

Anyway, this was a long rant, but it’s just to show that Microsoft isn’t really doing well in non-tech focused enterprise. And we’re their main market share.

Facebook had a cloud. It was called Parse. They bought it in 2013, then they promptly shut it down in 2016. It wasn't a failed product. It was in use by hundreds of thousands of customers. But it didn't align with their "vision" or whatever, which of course no one noticed when they paid $85M for it three years before, but visions change and whatever.

Point being: they squandered any trust they'd have been able to gain in that arena, and they're competing with the most powerful companies on the planet. I don't see it happening.

> They have over 2 billion monthly active users. This is a global penetration rate that is the best in the world. They have done something that no other company in the world has done. They are relevant to basically the vast majority of all Internet users in the world. To say they are the least stable or that their power over most humans is waning is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

Yahoo used to be the most popular email provider, too. It was relevant to a vast number of American internet users, when American internet users were most of the internet.

I don't think you can infer future relevance from present usage statistics. There are definite network effects with social networks, but fashion and novelty also play a major role. If Facebook/Instagram lose the latter, I don't think the former can sustain the kind of user engagement they require to thrive.

Why do you say this? Google has more users.

No, a lot of people hate Facebook. John Oliver has been talking about it.

Facebook is here to stay. They are not Myspace. They are following the model of many of the tech companies that survive. If they can't copy it they will buy it. They have enough revenues that they can buy any hot startup and nurse it to success. Zuckerberg will likely be CEO for at least the next 10 years and has shown that he can learn from mistakes and continue to succeed. He's one of the few that has learned his way to successful CEO of a large company. There's very little that can bring them down. Even if the government regulates them the regulations will not be so stringent that they will cause Facebook to fold. The irony is that regulations favor big companies since they make it harder for small start-ups to succeed.

I'm not a fan but I see reality.

The question is are they here to stay like Microsoft, or Oracle?

facebook might actually move away from Web 3.0 and then become here to stay like ... TV 2.0

the content already feels like a mindless one-way feed from a centralized provider. barely at all like the original incarnation that connected me with my friends.

Facebook is dead. They have lost all momentum. The older people that have not moved on to snapchat or Instagram are exactly those that will be flummoxed by the changes.

Facebook owns Instagram, and Instagram Stories is eating Snap's lunch.

I'm sure they'll be okay.

Why do people compare Instagram Stories to Snapchat? Instagram copied stories from Snapchat, but they didn't copy the core of the app, ephemeral pictures.

Honestly, it is dead in terms of people wanting to be on it. But in college, as I've recently discovered, everything is on Facebook, whether it be clubs, your hall mates, study groups, anything.

Snapchat and Instagram serve a completely different purpose to facebook though.

they serve the same purpose that facebook did when it was nascent/enjoyable

I mean, can they not BUY the next one? It's what they did with Instagram after all.

>What future revenue streams does Facebook have?

The amount of Data facebook has on the behavioral nature of current parents and current and future American children of said parents is _insane_. Facebook may not be a social media company for ever, but big blue will be an advertising powerhouse for a while with the amount of data they have.

What like the next social network?

I'm much more bearish on antitrust than most people throwing that term around, but even I am against Facebook being able to buy another upstart social network. They cannot be allowed to do that.

Maybe they can do something completely different like Oculus and leverage their infrastructure to make the best product possible. But even then that's a huge gamble, and I don't think Oculus has lived up to anywhere near the hype.

They're getting into sports for VR, buying licenses, streaming rights and stuff. Most european soccer clubs are already primarly interacting with their fans through FB. FB might attack Sky sports and similar, and instead promote the idea of the self marketing of clubs and their streaming rights. Right now, in many countries there's still a "middle man" or body that handles the streaming license stuff for entire leagues.

Once clubs realize that they could fill virtual stadiums or sell virtual tickets, this may change. They may even switch to free tickets in the real world to better the stadium atmosphere and fill their virtual stadiums that won't have a capacity cap..

>and I don't think Oculus has lived up to anywhere near the hype.

Don't speak too soon, Gaming PC VR was never ever going to be big but they're announcing their first full featured stand alone headset today.

In terms of what Oculus is hoping to achieve today is pretty much Day 1 and everything up until today has been a beta test.

They may not be able to. See: Snapchat

With the way Snapchat's stock price is going, it's going to be snapped up by a bigger player eventually.

Snapchat's market cap is only $12B… and publicly traded. I'm sure they could buy it if they wanted to.

The ability to buy the next big thing is far from guaranteed.

Facebook has the power to know what the next big thing is, maybe better than those building it. Reading up on onavo is terrifying.

I'm sure Google will be willing to beat anything that Facebook offers for the next rising competitor just to hurt them.

ISWYD "big blue" = FB not IBM.

> I wonder what's Facebook's move after Instagram becomes stale and no longer "cool"

They acquire the next cool thing

Cool probably doesn't matter nearly as much as it used to given Facebook's user base size. As long as they have eyeballs, they'll have a revenue stream. Their willingness to pay what appeared to be outrageous sums for competitors users reflects that. But now that they've got the lions share of the social network using world, it's doubtful that they'd need to do that again in a big way unless they see something getting serious traction with people who are not already Facebook users.

You say least stable but let's look at Yahoo as an example: they've been dead for over a decade and lots of people still use them. Massive data breaches, people still use them etc. etc. Imagine how many people will keep using Facebook if all they manage to do is be a less bad version of Yahoo. People are creatures of habit and once they develop a habit, especially one that doesn't cost $$$ upfront, it takes a herculean effort to get most of them to change their behavior. Once people are hooked, many of them seem to be willing to be abused nearly forever.

Especially since FB is basically easy-to-use group email with pictures for everyone's uncle, aunty, grandma. They will keep that position for decades.

I think the next big thing for FB is VR. If VR becomes mainstream soon (and I think it will) and FB lead the space with Oculus, then their future is bright.

Whatsapp payments can be a massive cash cow. Whatsapp is a core part of life in India and I can easily see them becoming the WeChat of this country

I am pretty sure the answer involves vertical video

According to WSJ's report:

Facebook’s Chris Cox has been put in charge of all the company’s apps now.

When Ms. Sandberg went unmentioned in a major reshuffling of Mr. Zuckerberg’s top product executives in May, the moves caused former employees and executives to speculate that she had been displaced as the second-most-powerful figure by Chris Cox, a close friend of Mr. Zuckerberg, who had been elevated to a new role in charge of all the company’s apps, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sheryl-sandberg-leans-into-a-ga...

As a non VC, non founder, the only surprise to me is that anyone stays beyond contracted minima. The first, assuming you had taken a role as a VC, you'd want out to go do the VC thing somewhere else. The second, you would be watching your baby pimped out and sold for drugs on the streets, as things you had no desire to see were done, in the name of profit.

Or #3, they saw their baby get better and better, while remaining independent and equipped with 1000x more resources to do what they want, on top of getting a nice job and being paid.

Yes. The "I'm happy, this isn't a crisis" outcome is always possible.

1. They probably had some sort of golden handcuffs with FB, a vesting period?

2. How often do you get to experience the thrill of leading one of the fastest growing and most popular apps of all time? That's a lot of power and prestige, you're basically a real world rockstar. Why leave while the missile is still going upwards to space at full speed, even just for the experience? It's an exhilarating ride, I'm sure, and when it gets too stuffy because FB is trying to milk it for every cent, you can bail and find something else fun to do.

I think you have to step back and wonder what "growth at all cost" can turn into. Multiple research studies have confirmed Instagram, relative to other social media apps, has basically been engineered to maximize FOMO and is making people more depressed, isolated, feeling "not good enough", and in a constant cycle of comparison with others.

When you create an app that is as consequential as Instagram is on society/culture/media I think any smart person would have to step back and have that "what have I created" moment.

I have no clue why they are both leaving at the same time but I would imagine a health dose of reflection is in both of their futures.

> I think any smart person would have to step back and have that "what have I created" moment

There's little correlation IMO between being a smart person and being a caring person. The average FB shareholder or employee could give less than a fig if the product is making people depressed, as long as their eyeballs stay attached to it.

I was an early instagram adopter and have definitely felt my feelings change to it over the last 2 years. It's gone from being excited to check my feed to a sense of dread.

Used to be something I'd do up to 10 times a day, now sometimes once a week and when I do I often intentionally avoid the feeds and just search for specific people I want to see because I don't want to see what a lot of people I follow that I know IRL are doing.

Instagram often seemed to have its own way of doing things and its own aesthetic within Facebook, one that the founders championed. Recently, however, the winning strategy for Instagram seems to be copying features from Snapchat, and abandoning the style that got it to its first 100 million users. I can imagine that being frustrating.

Instagram hasn't copied from Snapchat in a very long time. Have you used Snapchat recently? The UX is completely different and awful now.

Instagram is innovating with new features like Video Calling and Live Video that Snapchat lacks.

Instagram Stories felt like a very obvious copy of Snapchat, and it wasn't that long ago.

They may have initially copied Snapchat, but they've built on the feature and made it much more engaging to use than the original.

Video calling and live video is innovation now?

I can't say that I or anyone I know has ever thought "I wish I could do video calling" on IG

Maybe they’ll add a p2p payments system too!

Snapchat had video calling for a long time and live video is straight from Music.ly and Twitter.

Snapchat has had video calling for a lot longer than IG.

Without being too careless[1] I think it is plausible to assume they and their children will not "have" to work again. The "have" is in scare quotes because, in my experience with tech people I know who have 'banked out' of the workforce, working on something is often more rewarding, over a longer term, than sitting around consuming entertainment while eating and drinking. So nearly everyone I know who became multi-millionaires or beyond have ended up still doing something interesting with their lives.

So stepping down from FB is kind of a no brainer, especially if it becomes less "fun" due to issues raised by other people. Building stuff is fun, cleaning up a mess, is not fun. Trying to do stuff while the mess is getting worse and worse around you, that is pure torture in my opinion.

[1] There is a sad track of people who have made millions and then lost it all due to poor choices.

[2] Billionaires actually -- https://www.forbes.com/profile/kevin-systrom/#3b19b6447396 -- or not -- https://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/...

My first reaction was the parallel to Jan Koum's unexpected exit over Facebook's ethics; good to see the article ends with that story.

After Google's recent Dragonfly resignations, this might be the new standard for tech companies.

> this might be the new standard for tech companies.

Unfortunately, I believe this is just hopeful ambition that won’t become a reality. The majority of folks I meet in tech tend to be a paycheck or two away from financial catastrophe and generally shy away from rocking the boat. A small percentage have their house in order, and those are the folks that have the luxury to resign so quickly when they have moral/ethical objections.

I was shocked to discover that many people making salaries amongst the highest percentile in the world are indeed a few months without paychecks away from being in an unpleasant financial situation.

I’m not too sure what the overarching reasons for that are, but my guess is that lifestyle inflation is very real, financial education isn’t very common, and many people focus on the wrong abstractions (ie decision making starting with “I make $200k a year, I can afford this!” rather than “what’s my burn rate?”)

That, and rent that's well over 50% of your monthly income, to have a 1 bedroom apartment miles from anything.

No programmer working at A-list Bay Area companies should be earning so little that a 1 bedroom anywhere needs to be 50% of their gross income.

1 bedrooms in Mountain View are going for 3-4K/month. No programmers at Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, or Facebook are making less than $100k. Starting salaries (not counting bonuses and RSUs) are between $120k and $150k.

NIMBY-ism shovels money towards landlords, no doubt, but Bay Area programmers are still very rich.

Gross pay is almost totally irrelevant, as are RSUs prior to IPO, but to use those numbers:

Your top number, 150k, at 30% taxes (roughly expected in this area) gives you 105k. That's 8.75k/month, which is pretty darn close to half of your listed Mountain View price... and Mountain View isn't even the most expensive.

You said “well over 50% of monthly income”, which, in the US, is generally taken to mean gross income, particularly when relating income to housing costs, because of the FHA’s ancient “spend no more than 30% of gross income on housing, or you’re considered cost burdened” rule of thumb.

If you had said “nearly 50% of post-tax salary”, I wouldn’t have quibbled. My point is that no Bay Area programmer living in a conveniently located 1 bedroom is likely to be what the FHA would consider cost burdened, unless they’re working for well below market rate at a startup (and thus are, in my opinion, being exploited by their employer).

Every company I mentioned is public, and RSUs are extremely relevant for total compensation analysis at these companies.

You can't pay rent with pre-tax money, so I don't see how that can in any way be assumed to be related to "% of monthly income" that comes out of net pay.

Maybe it's common in financial circles? But most people I know balance their books based on their take-home, not gross.

If I tell you “I make $100,000/year”, do you interpret that statement as “my after tax income is $100k”? Most Americans don’t.

Americans generally talk about income in terms of gross. This is very disorienting for people from cultures where “income” as a solitary noun generally refers to post-tax income, but arguing with culture isn’t likely to be very fruitful.

It is absolutely true that this is rarely useful for making budgeting decisions, because you have to come up with some inaccurate assessment of after tax net, which is especially tricky with simultaneously progressive and regressive income tax regimes like the US system for high earners.

The cultural variation around internalizing taxes is even more obvious for transactional taxes, where most of Europe lists prices inclusive of VAT but the US lists prices before sales tax; the US affection for communicating costs while ignoring tax and then expressing distress when they finally appear is widespread.

It doesn’t sound like we really disagree on much at the object level, here, we’re disagreeing on semantics (and, I suspect, on tone).

4k a month is ~50k a year with utilities, which is 50% of post-tax salary if you're earning 120k pre tax.

When you have 1.5 - 2M mortgage which is super common among my friends in CA, a few months without paychecks is totally unacceptable.

Yea, people who don’t live here have no idea how expensive it is. Based on how much I make, my rural east coast parents, bless them, probably wonder why I live in a home 1/2 the size of theirs with a 50 mile commute, and not a castle with a 7 car garage. Bay Area prices and taxes...that’s why!

Though to be honest, even if I could afford something massive, I'd rather not - just don't see the appeal in it anymore. Maybe when I was a kid growing up in HS and in college, I used to think that way. But having traveled and lived in a bunch of different countries around the world, I just lost that "aspiration," if you could call it that.

I will be more than happy with a nice and simple 1 or 2 bed apartment. Plus, big houses = lot's of caring/ maintenance = boring!

The popularity of finance/banking declined after the financial crisis. It might not make a difference for people already in, but it definitely impacts recruitment for new grads.

I know i'm wrong, and doing a misjudgement here but the fact is "Companies like facebook don't need founders, they will eventually make the product that people might use in everyday life, they will do it anyhow; by either copying that product or to buy it. Remember that the 'poke your friend' feature is only unique from facebook everything else is someone else's things"

this evil face of facebook will hurt more and more companies day after day and in a result a chain reaction that will affect the life of general people.

It’s time to relisten ALL past podcast interviews of kevin systrom https://lnns.co/Ut_qSy6-TwP and mike krieger https://lnns.co/YrbpXP9aTMv :)

I find Instagram fascinating, because on the one hand it's one of my favourite social network apps, but on the other hand I kind of feel like they don't know what people like about it and are trying to kill it... Perhaps I'm just weird though and other people like the direction they're going in?.

A good example of what I'm talking about is the whole recent you've seen all the posts you care about, keep scrolling for things you're not interested in from people you don't care about "feature" that popped up a few weeks ago. They just seem to be incredibly determined to push the content of users I don't care about on me, when what I think made Instagram so great was that I could carefully curate what I follow to only see stuff by profiles I'm interested in... And what's the deal with not having a native iPad app? That's just insane!

I wonder how much of this is pushed on them by Facebook, and whether that had something to do with them leaving?

Is there any open-source, federated alternative to Instagram? Could Mastodon be used the same way?

Whatsapp first, then Instagram, something is going over there, who is next and why?

rest and vest!



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"It's ok to post stories from sites with paywalls that have workarounds. In comments, it's ok to ask how to read an article and to help other users do so. But please don't post complaints about paywalls. Those are off topic."


Yes, there are workarounds.

The NYT was the first to break the story and should be the linked source based on merit. But more to the point, their paywall is trivial to bypass -- is it not still possible to avoid the paywall by going into incognito mode?

Are HN commenters going to continue complaining about a paywall that's documented to be easily bypassed?

Are HN commenters going to continue complaining about a payall that's pretty cheap to pay for?

This is interesting, considering Snapchat teams up with Amazon to Offer Image-Based-Shopping today. https://www.snap.com/en-US/news/

How is this related?

Kevin and Mike have my utmost respect for everything they have done for the world. Thank you so much for truly believing in something and giving it all up for that.

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