Just the Systrom, Zuck, and Dorsey Quotes from Vanity Fair's Big Instagram Story

The story is packed with context, drama, detail -- and big personalities.



Kara Swisher has penned the definitive piece about how Facebook bought Instagram in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. The story is packed with context, drama, and detail as Swisher shows again that she has the best play-by-play game in tech journalism. 

Less obvious is how much personality she packs into the quotes in her story. She does remarkable stuf with the access she got to Twitter's Jack Dorsey, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and (obviously) Instagram's Kevin Systrom,

So, here, I present you with Zuckerberg and Dorsey's quotes, as well a selection of Systrom's. 

Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder

"That idea that you could get rich really quickly off of starting a start-up didn't really exist in Massachusetts, on the East Coast, during that time."

"I was like, Great, I missed the Twitter boat. I missed the Facebook boat."

"Instead of doing a check-in that had an optional photo, we thought, Why don't we do a photo that has an optional check-in?"

"I was naturally inclined to take pictures, because it was much more about tweaking variables than it was necessarily creating something with your hands."

"I said, 'Well, you know what he does to those photos, right?' She's like, 'No, he just takes good photos.' I'm like, 'No, no, he puts them through filter apps.' She's like, 'Well, you guys should probably have filters too, right, then?' I was like, 'Huh.'"

"I'm not sure what changed my mind, but he presented an entire plan of action, and it went from a $500 million valuation from Sequoia to a $1 billion [one from Facebook]. Obviously, the equation was completely different."

"I think everyone thinks that the acquisition was made in a dark room with Trent Reznor music playing. Do you know what I mean? Like there was some dramatic thing. And it turns out that some of the biggest decisions get made relatively quickly, without much fanfare."

"It's wrong not to be thankful for what's happened."

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO

"From the start, Instagram was a simple application and a joy to use. I was blown away by how much detail they put into the experience. It reminded me about how much Kevin talked about photos [when he worked at Odeo]. There was an obvious obsession there, but it had never been put into practice until then."

"I found out about the deal when I got to work and one of my employees told me about it, after reading it online I got a notice later that day since I was an investor. So I was heartbroken, since I did not hear from Kevin at all. We exchanged e-mails once or twice, and I have seen him at parties. But we have not really talked at all since then, and that's sad."

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

"Kevin would call me and I would call him."

"They got a lot of traffic from Facebook. And it occurred to me we could be one company."

"A gesture does not equal an offer, because every tech company is always talking to every other. So, I wanted to be very clear that we were very serious."

"This never had the feeling of negotiation, because we kind of wanted to work together."

"Most of the other things we bought were talent acquisitions, but in this case we wanted to keep what it was and build that out."

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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