If you haven’t heard, Facebook bought mobile photo editing and sharing firm Instagram for $1 billion this week.
The amount is astronomical for a company that has no known revenue stream. It also begs a number of questions about both companies, including how Facebook will leverage Instagram’s vast user base for a profit, what current users of Instagram think of the union (they’re generally none too pleased) and whether users will act on their displeasure, leading to a mass exodus (that’s yet to be seen, but if you’re interested in deleting your Instagram account, here’s how you might want to go about it).
But the merger also highlights an interesting prediction from Washington Post columnist Vivek Wadhwa — that the next Mark Zuckerberg would come from Brazil.
Guess where Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger is from.
According to a Tuesday report by the BBC’s Rebecca Marston, Krieger, a Brazilian native, came to the U.S. in 2004 to study at Stanford University. He teamed up with fellow Stanford student Kevin Systrom to start Instagram in 2010 after being inspired by old Polaroids (that camera-maker could have desperately used a $1 billion infusion of cash when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in 2008).
In his March 21 column, “Brazil: Home of the next Zuckerberg?” Wadhwa outlined how Brazil, among other countries, has experienced a “noticeable evolution in entrepreneurial culture”:
My prediction is that, by the end of this decade, we will see some Mark Zuckerbergs emerging from the slums of Sao Paulo or New Delhi, India or Valparaiso, Chile. Why, you ask? Because entrepreneurs are doing what governments can’t—creating innovation ecosystems.
Krieger happens to be a Sao Paulo native.
Krieger has a ways to go before reaching the stratosphere in which Zuckerberg resides — the Facebook co-founder sits atop a company with a roughly $100 billion valuation. But he certainly has a sizable chunk of Facebook — all thanks to a free mobile app that, until recently, wasn’t even available to anyone except iPhone users.
So, Brazil, who’s next?
Full disclosure: The Washington Post Co.'s chairman and chief executive, Donald E. Graham, is a member of Facebook's board of directors
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