I’ve renamed daily briefs to Digital Crumbs, which is a better reflection of the content you read daily. Enjoy!
1. Kevin Systrom’s story of Instagram’s beginning starts much like most other successful start-ups; two entrepreneurs, a coffee shop, and some good ideas. Systrom’s undergrad study abroad trip to Florence would inspire the idea of Instagram, and his girlfriend the inspiration behind the concept of filters. Andreesson Horowitz made an initial $250,000 investment in Burbn (a nod to Systrom’s affinity for bourbon) and when Instagram sold to Facebook, made $78 million on the deal. The article goes into further detail about the sale, including rejecting Twitter’s offer and accepting Facebook’s, only days apart. [Vanity Fair]
2. LinkedIn turned 10 this week. When the professional networking site launched in 2003, they had 4,500 members at the end of their first month. Now, over 225 million members later, LinkedIn has firmly established itself as the professional’s networking site. Its interesting that no other site has come close to competing, with the exception of Xing in Germany, which ironically also launched in 2003. Xing, however, is mainly for the German professional audience. ( [LinkedIn Blog]
3. Y Combinator, churning out start-ups like Reddit, Dropbox, Stripe, and airbnb, has a great article in the NYTimes about Paul Graham, how they choose start-ups, success stories, and learnings.
Digital Marketing News
1. How did Warby Parker build such a successful brand, product, and following? In their first year, they focused on building their product, place, and promotion. They set out to build a stylish and affordable collection, an online store experience, and a narrative around a brand that was focused on doing good in the world. [TechCrunch]
2. What is Dark Social? A term coined in October 2012, it represents web content that is shared in ways that are not easily measurable or tracked. For example, if you get a text message from a friend with a YouTube video link, the owner of that video cannot determine where you came from or why. The example in this article shows that 30% of monthly traffic for a publishing company is unaccounted for, that analytics software can’t track the source. How does one track dark social then? Segmenting, testing, and tracking. [FutureBook]
3. According to a recent study by Digitas and Curalate, 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is still consumer-generated. The study also found that brands are having a hard time igniting content on Pinterest. While only 18% of fashion brands are pinning, each fashion pin gets on average 46 repins. This is a huge opportunity, not only for fashion brands, but any visually-centric brand. [Sprout Insights]
4. Facebook earns about $11/year from each user. What if Facebook went to a freemium model, where you could pay $11/year to not see ads? Similar to how LinkedIn, Pandora, Spotify, and rdio work, one could continue to use Facebook as is, or pay an annual subscription fee to not see ads and gain access to premium features. Would you pay for an ad-free Facebook? [Fast Company]
1. Iron Man 3 opened to the second-biggest opening weekend of all-time, #2 to its cousin The Avengers. This movie was fantastic in IMAX (I watched it last night) and its a great show. [Daily Beast]
2. Designer/illustrator Katie Shelly has come up with a pretty ingenious picture cookbook; now you’ll never forget how to layer lasagna correctly. [FastCoDesign]
3. The reviews of Fitbit Flex are in and they are decent. The Flex seems like a more expensive version of the FitBit One steps tracker. FitBit’s crowning achievement has always been step tracking and this doesn’t change with the Flex. However, I don’t see the advantage of purchasing a $99 fitness wristband that isn’t even that fashionable, when you could get one of the other FitBit products that clips on. Or better yet, download the app Moves for your iPhone and get step tracking for free (with a fun map to track where you go each day). [The Verge]