A billionaire is born, but Shutterstock founder Jonathan Oringer says much more money does not change a factor.
On Friday, Shutterstock founder and CEO Jonathan Oringer became the very first billionaire to emerge from New York’s quick-expanding tech start off-up scene. Oringer founded the company in 2003, utilizing 30,000 of his own images to launch the stock image service. Nowadays, the company, which went public last year, has about 30 million licensed photographs and illustrations and has more than 200 employees.
Inc. talked with Oringer about joining the billionaire’s club, beginning a tech company in New York, and what’s next for the stock photo company.
You just became the initial billionaire to come out of Silicon Alley. Got to ask: How does that really feel?
It feels wonderful. Really we had been surprised by that, too. I hadn’t even thought about the fact that there hadn’t been one particular yet. But the fact that there’s much more attention drawn to Shutterstock–and to the New York tech scene–I think, in the lengthy run, is just excellent.
When you had been beginning up, did you ever envision that you could be worth $ 1 billion?
I think as an entrepreneur you have to see the unlimited quantity of potential, but concentrate on your day and just keep constructing. I never ever genuinely concentrated as well a lot on that quantity–but it definitely didn’t seem impossible.
Was there any point in the company’s history when you wanted to throw in the towel?
Effectively, in the starting it was rough just like any other begin-up. I was trying to get a market place going. I didn’t have purchasers and I didn’t have sellers, so there had been certainly moments in the initial handful of years that made me wonder no matter whether I could get this to the scale I wanted it. But as I saw much more and a lot more people buying the pictures that were happy purchasers, and individuals selling the pictures that were happy with how the marketplace was pricing them, I started to get the sense this could be the go-to location for businesses to get the images they need to have.
Which city wins the start off-up battle: Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley?
[Laughs] Silicon Valley, naturally, has a lot more infrastructure to it. I would nevertheless rather be in Silicon Alley. I like the West Coast also, but it’s sort of fragmented. You have firms in downtown San Francisco, firms in Mountain View, and folks are driving amongst them all. It is sort of nice in New York to just jump in a cab and attain another company so simply. But if the two got into a brawl–I do not know. I’m not sure what that would appear like.
Shutterstock has enjoyed immense accomplishment considering that going public final October. Any tips to other tech start off-ups contemplating an IPO?
I would begin with funding the company as significantly as possible with out taking venture capital. It provides you much more optionality when you do get to the point of deciding regardless of whether you want to take one thing public or not. You don’t have other factions that personal huge chunks of the company and can tell you what to do.
The greatest thing is to go public only when you happen to be absolutely sure that’s the correct move for the company. And in order to make certain that is the case, you need to have to have a significantly handle more than the company as possible, which signifies not providing up control early on. As significantly as you possibly can: self fund and try to do the jobs you would hire for on your own, so you don’t have to raise as a lot capital.
What are your plans for the company moving forward?
Properly, in a way, we’re just acquiring began. We’re excited about our footage solution. We sell stock footage just like we sell stock imagery, and we supply it the very same way so that anyone can contribute. With digital SLR cameras, amateur photographers are acquiring better and greater at making this stuff–to the point where expert buyers are interested in that content material. We’re also quite international, so we’re concentrating on a lot of the markets we’re currently in but are not optimized for.