April 30, 2009

Founders At Work, Caterina Fake of Flickr

Caterina Fake started Ludicorp in 2002. Ludicorp was a massively multiplayer online games company that allowed players to interact in real time. In 2004, Ludicorp added a photo sharing service that surpassed their initial venture in popularity, so Ludicorp became Flickr. It has grown into one of the most influential examples of Web 2.0 technology and was acquired by Yahoo in 2005.

One interesting fact about Fake is that she is married to her co-founder. She is taking commitment to the venture to a whole new level. In the beginning, Flickr began development on a photo sharing website without thorough analysis of the industry or the creation of a business plan. This contributed to the success of Flickr – if the founders would have done their due diligence research they would have determined that photo sharing has not worked yet, and they would be foolish to enter the field.

Flickr’s naivety in field paid off. They created a great product that people love – they created their own market with a breakthrough product. This is refreshing because most entrepreneurial thought is centered around building a product around a market, but Flickr proved that if something is innovative then people will use it, regardless if they fit into a certain market of demographic.

Flickr is the textbook example of web 2.0 – integrating blogging and social networking and capitalizing on the widespread adoption of broadband internet.

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