“When you do something, do it better than you thought you could do.” — Shayne Sweeney

Growing up in Northern California, Shayne Sweeney had a knack for computers. Although his hobby got him kicked out of high school, it set him on course to becoming the first engineer for Instagram.

In this episode of Takeover Tuesday, Dermot Buffini asks Shayne all about his journey; from being expelled from high school to his time developing apps in San Francisco, including the start of Instagram. Shayne discusses his early web development successes and failures; how the release of the iPhone got him focused on developing apps; and the early days and rise of Instagram.

You’ll learn why simplicity is important, how failure helps build confidence, and the five things you need to start something new. Whether you’ve been in business for years or you’re nervous to launch your idea, this episode will provide the motivation and inspiration you need to put the work in and achieve success.


Inspirational quotes from today’s interview:

“It’s not the idea that’s the value; it’s the work in making the idea a reality.” — Shayne Sweeney

“By working on CoffeeTable, I was still connected to the chain of everything in my path.” — Shayne Sweeney

“I moved down to meet people who are like-minded, who I respect and can really learn from.” — Shayne Sweeney

“You have to see things play out. You have to see it validated after a certain amount of time.” — Shayne Sweeney

“It’s very hard to find the simple thing when you have so much going on.” — Dermot Buffini

“If you’re building a social product, you won’t be successful without your customer.” — Shayne Sweeney

“Have confidence in where you’re going, but you’ve got to maintain that pulse [on the customer].” — Shayne Sweeney

“Understanding what you do is the most important quality or characteristic you have.” — Shayne Sweeney

“Recognize that failure is tough and sometimes you need someone to tell you it’s not working.” — Shayne Sweeney


Mentioned in the episode:

The Dip by Seth Godin
How to Want What you Have by Timothy Ray Miller
Isaac Asimov Foundation series


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