Just Missed Millions
Amanda Wixted - Instagram
Instagram wanted Amanda Wixted to be its first hire but she was cozy at Zynga. First, we should note that Wixted is plenty successful. She joined Zynga as an early employee and stayed through its IPO. But she probably could have made even MORE millions if she had left for Instagram when it offered in 2010.
Wixted writes about her missed opportunity on Quora:
"In June 2010, Mike and Kevin were just getting started on their mobile web app which they called Burbn. I was a lead engineer on the mobile team at Zynga at the time. Mike contacted me about coming on board as their first hire. We met, and they showed me their ideas for where they were thinking of heading with Burbn: a photo-sharing app. ... It was a great team fit, but I just couldn't get excited about a photo-sharing app. I felt, and I still feel, that I need to be working on more complicated things, so I've stayed in the games space. Of course, I'm kicking myself now. Hindsight is 20/20 and all."