Brian Donohue on Operating Instapaper Through an Acquisition

Brian Donohue – – is President of Instapaper – – and a Product Engineering Manager at Pinterest –

You can find him on Twitter –

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon –



00:00 – The history of Instapaper

8:00 – Free competitors enter the market

10:00 – How Brian joined Instapaper

14:15 – Transitioning from paid to freemium

19:00 – Pinterest’s acquisition of Instapaper

26:15 – Moving to California

28:45 – Working on Instapaper within Pinterest

32:00 – Spinning Instapaper out of Pinterest

42:15 – Jareau Wadé asks – What types of product integrations could Pinterest have done with Instapaper?

49:45 – Ryan Hoover asks – I’m curious how he and the team balance simplicity with new feature development/product expansion.

54:00 – Raymond Durk asks – I love the rapid reading mode but would also love a voice enabled mode where the Google Assistant or Siri reads it. Speaking of I’d use it on my Google Home to listen to news if that was a skill.

57:20 – Brian Kim asks – Any growth hacks that worked well?

59:45 – Gustaf Alströmer asks – How does it make time for focused time to catch up on everything he saves? What are his best productivity hacks related to this?

1:03:25 – Backpacking

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