THE RANDOM EVENTS THAT SPARKED 8 OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST STARTUPS

AVA CONSULTING

THESE HOUSEHOLD NAMES BEGAN AS LESS-THAN-GLAMOUROUS SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS.

Light-bulb moments don’t happen on command, and brainstorming sessions rarely produce extraordinary results. More often it’s a random remark, event, or memory that sends an entrepreneur down the rabbit hole of innovation. From Airbnb to Yelp, here are the surprising origin stories to eight of today’s hottest companies:

1. A STUDY ABROAD PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS SPARKED THE IDEA FOR INSTAGRAM

A study abroad opportunity during his junior year at Stanford University providedKevin Systrom with the inspiration for Instagram. Systrom brought his advanced SLR camera to the photography class he was taking in Florence Italy, but his teacher replaced it with an inexpensive Holga that used random light leaks and vignettes borders to produce interesting photos. Systrom loved the aesthetic: “It taught me the beauty of vintage photography and also the beauty of imperfection,” he told Forbesmagazine in…

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