Mark Zuckerberg first tried to recruit Instagram’s founder and chief executive, Kevin Systrom, to Facebook in 2004, before the social networking had charted its extraordinary growth trajectory and while Mr Systrom was still an undergraduate at Stanford University.
He turned the offer down, insisting he wanted first to complete his degree in Management Science and Engineering - a gamble which would many would have lived to regret but which, for Mr Systrom, has paid off handsomely.
According to leaked figures, the outgoing 28-year-old photography enthusiast owns a 40pc stake in the photo app business, handing him a windfall of $400m (£250m) for the company he started less than two years ago.
Although he turned down Facebook, Mr Systrom cut his teeth at some of the companies which have become the technology industry’s biggest names – interning at Odeo, which later became Twitter, and spending two years at Google working on early products like Gmail and Google Reader.
He continues to indulge his love of photography, as well as a passion for food and wine – chronicling long cooking sessions and recently dining with the chef Jamie Oliver. Announcing the deal on his Facebook page, he said his sudden riches would allow him to buy a few more bottles of one of his favourite things – champagne.
Mike Krieger is Instagram’s leading developer and the next biggest beneficiary of the Facebook deal after Mr Systrom. Although the pair never met at university, he is also a Stanford graduate, writing his thesis on the way computer interfaces can be used to get people to collaborate on a large scale. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/face...agram-deal.html