One of the most popular keynote speaker events of SXSW 2019 was “Capturing The Moment: A Conversation With Instagram’s founders Mark Krieger & Kevin Systrom and TechCrunch’s Editor-at-Large Josh Constine”. Thousands of attendees lined up hours before the event start and formed a lined that went beyond two floors.
In their first on-stage apperance after leaving the company, the duo reflected on their entrepreneurial journeys, how they scaled the popular app to over 1 billion users and what they hope their legacies will be.
They also addressed the new economy of influencers and the importance of establishing safe communities on social networks, which was a key priority for them while at Instagram.
Josh was very friendly but firm in his questions. When he asked about opium hashtags that were restricted but now apperantly allowed again- and how he could easily find dealers on the app, Kevin’s response was heartfelt and slightly political.
Last, the pair discussed their approach to digital well-being and creative exploration as it relates to their next chapter. Four months into temporary retirement, they explained that they still haven’t found a new adventure for themselves but they’re slowly getting excited again to take a fresh idea and build it into a brand new company. They also stated that they felt very lucky to have each other as co-founders. Even after all these years and a ton of stress they would still consider starting from scratch together.