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> There is something wrong with a world that allows an investment of $250,000 to turn into $78,000,000 in such a short period.

What about a world where 30 million people can have the ability to express the mundane quotidian and interesting occasional aspects of their lives with a little bit of personal flair?

For some users, Instagram is the equivalent of a Kodak(tm) moment.[1]

[1] Mad Men, "The Carousel" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suRDUFpsHus

You make a good point. I agree that Instagram is a brilliant tool, and its creators should be rewarded. But my concern is the where and how the value of it is attributed. Is $78,000,000 a reasonable reflection of the value and risk of the original $250,000 investment?

I think it's a complex argument, that goes to the heart of how we value things in a capitalist society.

Lets imagine we both have a very rich uncle that gives each of us $50m to invest in startups.

We then go off and invest $250k in 200 startups each.

After 12 months we find out that all my investments failed and I lost all my $50m and luckily enough for you, one of your investments succeeds giving you a ROI of $78m.

Now, your fund is up $28m and you look like a titan of the industry, whereas for me, well no one knows about me because I'm the loser, and losers don't get press coverage.

Is it fair to focus on the single winning investment you made and cry foul? Is it fair for me to be upset that you earned a whooping $78m from just one lowly $250k investment?

I don't think so. If you look at the total of all investments that occurred, $100m, having a single return of $78m seems quite reasonable -- hell it's not really that great in this example.

So now think about all the money that's invested in startups, across all the VCs, across all Angel investors, across all founders using their life savings. Isn't that a really huge number?

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