Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger sold a photo sharing app, Instagram, to Facebook two years after its founding for one billion dollars. It is clear that luck had something to do with it.
The need for an app that allowed users to enhance their photos with filters occurred at the same time that cellular phones were being made with better cameras.
Systrom has a thesis that the world runs on luck. “The question”, he states “is what you do with it. Are you alert enough to know you are being lucky…do you have enough grit to stick with it when it gets hard?”1
Systrom and Krieger got lucky to have the right ideas at the right time. They took their luck and capitalized on it.
My take is that the thesis of luck is to be viewed in a more expansive context. That is, life is impermanent. If you are in the midst of fortunate circumstances, make the most of them. This is the message of the Instagram founders.
There is another aspect of life’s impermanence. That is, if you are having difficult times, don’t despair, circumstances change. It’s just the nature of life.
1 “The Night Instagram Launched, it Crashed, But Didn’t Burn”. September 19, 2016. How I Built This. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this.