Life was simpler back then..
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TO: All Shutterstock Employees
It’s Sunday. The first Sunday of 2015 and I woke up excited to start a new year with the Shutterstock team.
We’re at an exciting crossroads in our journey as a company. While we have done a lot in the past decade, we still have a lot left to do. Shutterstock started in 2003 with a single small business; today we are several businesses all working together toward a larger mission that gets larger every year. We used to serve creatives with one asset; today we supply several creative assets and services. In the near future we will be a part of the entire workflow of a creative professional.
We have the entire Internet ahead of us – and it’s an exciting time to be a profitable public platform. We have a unique chance at something revolutionary here. The number of companies that have gotten to our point is very small.
Decade of success? Check.
Multi billion dollar valuation? Check.
Profitable & No Debt? Check.
Founder/Owner Operator? Check.
Ability to juggle several business units at once? Check.
Ability to both build and buy businesses? Check.
The drive to do more and more no matter what challenges we face? Check.
We are in an elite class – and we need to stay there. But it isn’t going to be easy. With more success comes more competition. With more success comes more people looking to take the leadership position. In the past couple of weeks I’ve had time to reflect on who we are, what we do, and where we are going. Nobody knows the future, but I can tell you a few things:
We can get bigger this year. But we have to keep our level of efficiency – and become even more efficient.
We can get stronger this year. And yes, we have to prioritize, but we have to continue to push ourselves to do more and more – and take on more than we think we can.
We can set ourselves up for another decade of success. To do this, we have to be the best and most efficient in everything we do.
We will continue to be the leader. But we need to push ourselves to think differently. What worked last month may not work today. We have to be open to change. We have to be ready to adapt.
I couldn’t be more excited to start a new year with all of you. See you tomorrow, the first Monday of 2015.
As we cross into 2015, it’s a great time to celebrate the fact that 2014 was another amazing year at Shutterstock. It continues to be clear to me that we are just getting started as a platform for creatives and businesses. While the company continues to grow in several different directions at once, we continue to set our sights on bigger and bigger goals.
Shutterstock started in 2003 with a single mission: We wanted to figure out a way for businesses of all sizes to get the images they needed for all their commercial and creative needs. A decade later, not only are we the leader at this, but we continue to advance further and further into the workflow of over one million creative professionals all over the world. As our company grows, so does our mission. Before we fully embark on the new year, I would like to share 10 highlights from 2014.
Contributor royalties surpassed $250M. Shutterstock has paid a quarter of a billion dollars out to our contributors. Today we have content creators that are hobbyists generating supplemental income all the way to actual businesses that have been created on our platform. Every contributor has a story – and we plan to tell you about some of them in 2015.
- We acquired WebDAM. As we learned more and more about our enterprise customers, it became clear that large companies need help managing the huge number of creative assets they deal with every day. We purchased WebDAM in 2014 to help us help our enterprise customers.
- We have licensed over 400 million images – and continue to license 4 images every single second. The speed at which images move from our creators to our buyers is important. Armed with the powerful data generated by this marketplace dynamic, our contributors have the information to create the images our buyers need.
- We launched Shutterstock Music. To further our commitment for new content types, we launched Shutterstock Music. Music licensing is hard and while we learned a lot in 2014, it’s going to take some time to make headway into this business. It’s still extremely difficult for businesses to find commercially released music for their projects. We plan to make more progress in 2015 and pave the way for Royalty Free music to be available to any business that needs it.
- Palette and Sequence were introduced to Shutterstock Labs. We use Shutterstock Labs as a place we can expose innovative content search and editing tools to our customers. We plan to release more features like these and get the current ones out to more customers soon.
- Our collection surpassed 46 million images. The secret is out – Shutterstock is the best place for contributors to sell their content. Not only is Shutterstock often the first place contributors put their content, but more and more it’s only place photographers trust to sell their content. Because of this, there are millions of files on Shutterstock buyers will not find anywhere else. You can watch our collection grow as we add hundreds of thousands of images every week. The updated number is on the http://www.shutterstock.com footer.
- We surpassed 2 million video clips. Video consumption and creation is on the rise and Shutterstock has become the place that creatives come for motion content. We will continue be the leader in this area. One habit I got into in 2014 is watching movie credits – because Shutterstock is mentioned more and more as both an image and a video source for filmmakers around the world. It’s exciting to see momentum build in video content.
- Our contributor site launched in Brazilian Portuguese. Our contributor site now supports 7 languages, and our customer site supports 20. We plan to support many more languages in the future for our contributors. It’s easier than ever for photographers and videographers around the world to sell their content with us.
- Wix.com integrated Bigstock via our API. Our Shutterstock and Bigstock API has become a business in itself. Companies like Facebook, Constant Contact, and CafePress trust Shutterstock to power their websites with the imagery they need. Our plan to become the platform companies use to power imagery in their products became a reality in the past couple of years and 2014 was a banner year for our API.
- People continue to be our most important asset. At nearly 500 employees, many of whom we added in the past year, we continue to hire and search for amazing people to help build our products and services. If you think you have what it takes to join Shutterstock on our mission, submit your application today!
I would like to thank the entire Shutterstock team for all the work they did in 2014. I’m looking forward to what our employees, contributors and customers create in 2015 and the decade to come.