Instagram had 13 employees when they sold for a billion dollars. Was there any working startup founder who didn’t feel depressed when that happened? Yes, depressed. All those years of toil and sacrifice, the pain of scaling a complex organization and a complex product, scratching and clawing for revenue growth month after month, and you’ll never have that sort of exit, and a 26-year-old founder did it in only 2 years, with 13 buddies, with $0 in revenue, never having had to worry about gross margins or hiring at scale or making sales calls or running out of money.
“It’s not fair,” we all said to ourselves.
That was before WhatsApp sold for 19 billion dollars, with 55 employees.