Name Caterina Fake
Bio Co-founder of Flickr and Hunch
Location New York City, NY
Education Vasser College
Career Art Director Salon, Co-founder of Flickr, Yahoo Technology Development Group, Co-founder of Hunch
Expertise Design, Development, Social Media, Communities, Entrepreneur, Visionary
Link(s) Twitter, Blog, Facebook, Hunch
IMNO Interview Date December 2009
IMNO Interviewer Patrick Tedjamulia
Advice to Students
“I was a very studious kid. I would go after school to the library and stay at the library until late. Checking out dozens and dozens of books. I continue to be a voracious reader. I was always curious, self-directer, and motivated. Alot of ways I didn't get along well with institutions. I tended to not be a good student because I liked to learn things not in the curriculum. I would go farther in the field and learn more. I really flourished in classes where you could invent your own program. You spend alot of time when you are a child in education and education can be a disservice. School can surpress you if it forces you to sit still rather than getting out to the world and exploring.”
"The classes of doing your own thing. Preparing your own plan are an incredible preparation for entrepreneurship. I build a refractor telescope using mirrors I orderd through a catalog and a shipping tube. Any project like that which is very much at the instigation of a student is great."
Internet Entreprenuers - What's your purpose?
"Alot of people go into the internet because its the thing to do. The people that I think are successful are the people that have a love for the internet and understand how it works and how its a great thing. The first moment I communicated with my sister online was a magnificent thing. To me the thing about the internet is the ability to share things with people that are far away. Finding people interested in the same things you are. In the early days of the internet, it was mostly institutions online. You could go into chat rooms and have very great conversations, hard to find that today. It was a very culturally rich, civilized environment. Cultivating those kinds of environments has been my purpose.The thing I have loved most about the internet are these cultures and communities that have grown all over the world."
Marketing your product
"First, if you have a great product, you don't have to market. It will market itself. The internet has a very powerful effect. Flickr wasn't a great product at first, but evolved into a great product by the contribution of the users. It had the advantage by being a very viral product that required you to have a social network online. The greatest power of Flickr is when other people are using it. One of the most crucial decisions we made were making photos public. With Hunch, my new product, it does not have a social network associated with it. Even though you can follow the people building it. It is a crowd rather than a community so its marketed very differently. Most people come through search. SEO is very important. You have to find the right kind of marketing for the product you have. Etsy has had great organic growth and excellent word of mouth. Most people coming to Etsy come through blogs. It really depends on the product you have."