Tagged: SSTK

My 2015 Letter to Shutterstock Employees

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.


2013 Shutterstock Year in Review


2013 was a great year for Shutterstock in so many ways. Today is the first day of 2014 and before we start a new year, I wanted to look back at all the amazing things we accomplished during 2013.

  1. 2013 was our first full calendar year as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

  2. Our website now services 20 languages – 10 of these were added in 2013. We added support for Turkish, Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean and Thai. We now cover more of the world than ever before.

  3. We introduced Spectrum : a search tool designed and built in-house that allows customers to search millions of high quality commercially released images by color.

  4. We introduced our premium image offering: Offset : easy to license Rights-Managed quality images, at Royalty-Free prices.

  5. We incubated Skillfeed inside of Shutterstock. Skillfeed operates like a startup inside of Shutterstock and allows creative professionals to continue to learn the skills they need to get better at their jobs. It’s essentially a two-sided learning marketplace where anybody can create a learning tutorial and get paid based on how much it’s viewed. Skillfeed works much like Shutterstock does – the more popular your content is, the more you will get paid for it.

  6. Contributor Payouts Surpassed $150MM. Yes – We’ve paid out over $150 million dollars to our amazing contributors since 2003.

  7. We celebrated 30mm images in our collection, 350mm licenses sold, and continue to sell on average three image licenses every second!

  8. We introduced Keyword Suggestions for our contributors to keyword their images faster than ever. Now contributors can use data we have on other images to quickly tag their own images.

  9. We surpassed 1 million stock video clips and welcomed expert filmmakers Robb Crocker, Daniel Hurst, Luke Miller and David Baumber to our fast-growing video collection. In celebration of their arrival, Shutterstock has compiled a video reel featuring the filmmakers’ work.

  10. We were the first stock agency to integrate into Dropbox Saver so that buyers can quickly download assets right into their Dropbox accounts.

  11. We celebrated 10 years. I started Shutterstock July 10th, 2003 with 30,000 of my own images.

  12. We launched Shutterstock Stories – a creative grant program. There were a total of seven creative grants: five $5,000 winners and two $25,000 winners, including one who was selected by the public. Winners were announced on October 8th.

  13. We extended our iOS App to German and Portuguese and launched our first Shutterstock Android app.

  14. We opened our first international office in London, and shortly thereafter our European HQ in Berlin.

  15. We announced our Facebook integration where over one million Facebook advertisers will get access to Shutterstock’s images directly from the Facebook Ad Creator.

  16. Our Bigstock brand continued to grow and partnered with Constant Contact.  Through this integration, Constant Contact customers will now be able to search, select, and license from more than 15 million Bigstock images directly within Constant Contact’s interface.

  17. We partnered with Creative Mornings in 2013 and continue to support AIGA.

Every year at Shutterstock has been better than the year before. I’m looking forward to continuing that tradition in 2014.

Photo: Tom Wang / shutterstock