Business Studies: How some big companies changed their plans

Business Studies: How some big companies changed their plans

Do you know what Instagram used to be called?

When you’re launching your business, your big idea, it’s important to make sure it’ll work as well in the real world as it does in your head. That’s why the smartest people test those ideas, and listen to the feedback they get. Here are some major case studies – companies that made a change what they were doing to become a huge success.

Wikipedia was originally way more strict

When they first designed the thing that would become Wikipedia, the creators had big plans. The fruit of these plans was called Nupedia, and every entry would be written by experts, checked by even more experty editors, reviewed by other experts then published to the web. This was a seven-step process.

Unsurprisingly, they soon discovered that none of their volunteers were getting around to writing their entries. So, instead, they set up Wikipedia, where you could write whatever, whenever, and other people could edit or add information at their leisure. Next thing you know, people are smashing out entries, improving other people’s work and launching the knowledge revolution that we use, like, every day.

Instagram was all about boozing

Before it was the photo-sharing service we all know, love and buy fake followers for, Instagram was called Burbn. Yeah, as in “bourbon”. But its creators soon realised that users were pretty much only interested in sharing pictures – way more than they wanted to check in at places, earn points for hangouts or any of the other way-too-many things this app could do. So they decided to change direction.

And apparently founder Kevin Systrom’s girlfriend, Nicole Schuetz, told him they should add some filters. This was the first Insta pic ever… and the rest is endless selfie history.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kevin Systrom (@kevin) on Jul 16, 2010 at 2:24pm PDT

Twitter was a podcast directory

If you’ve read the above two entries, it won’t surprise you to learn that Twitter wasn’t originally called Twitter. It was actually “twttr”, and before that it was “Odeo”. Well, kinda. Odeo was a podcasting company. The founders were concerned that their core business was going to become less relevant as iTunes ramped up, so they organised a brainstorming session that led to the idea of launching an SMS-based communications platform. A micro-blogging service. A way to tell people what you’re thinking/doing in 140 characters or less.

And make its owners rich beyond their wildest dreams.


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