The Role of Your Product

by Holland-Mark | March 23, 2011

A buddy of mine Steve Schlaffman turned me on to Instagram a couple months ago. For a while I didn’t use it much, not really needing something else to do between tweets and posts.

Then I saw a Biography on my man Jeff Bridges. Jeff was given a Widelux camera by a friend a long time ago, and since then has been using it to chronicle the little moments and experiences that define the movie-making experience for people who actually make movies. At the end of a movie he’d often give a book of these images to his co-stars, and these books have become so coveted in Hollywood a publisher approached him about turning them into a coffee table book.

On this Biography Jeff was explaining why he took the time to do all this, and he said something like it plugs him in to what’s happening, that it was a way to squeeze some art into the artless moments that characterize 80% of the time you spend making a movie.

That idea really struck me. I could use more art-making opportunity in the artless moments of my life, maybe you could too.

Not having a Widelux camera, I did the next best thing, and starting using Instagram. The results so far are here.

If you’re Instagram, and you’re reading this, please don’t destroy your company with the money you just raised. Don’t think of yourself as another app, or as twitter for pictures, or as a cheap way to get access to filters that make hack photographers like me look good. Think of yourself as a tool to help us notice and share more of what we find beautiful in the world. And you’ll put that money to good use.

And if you’re not Instagram… what’s the role your product plays in the lives of the people who love it? How can focusing on that make it all the more imperative to them?

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