Caterina Fake (1969-)

Companies: Flickr (2004), Hunch (2008), Findery (2012)
Size: Flickr sold for est. $35 million in 2005 to Yahoo; Hunch sold for est. $80 million to Ebay

Caterina Fake is the ultimate success story among women whose early careers in Internet-driven businesses of the 1990s catapulted them to unprecedented levels of success in the twenty-first century. She served as the art director of the popular web-zine, Salon.com during the 1990s, and then in 2004 cofounded Ludicorp, a company that produced one of the first web 2.0 sites of the century, Flickr. Yahoo acquired the popular photo-sharing site Flickr in 2005 for an estimated $35 million. After a stint on staff with Yahoo, Fake returned to the world of entrepreneurship, launching another startup in 2008 called Hunch, which E-Bay acquired for approximately $80 million in 2011. Fake continues to be a prominent presence in the world of online service-driven sites, as chairperson at Etsy and a member of the board of directors at Creative Commons. She followed in 2012 with Findery.com (initially named Pinwheel), which allows users to leave virtual notes on a worldwide map for others to see. A serial entrepreneur, Fake’s intuition and talent for understanding how online users want to interact has placed her at the vanguard of twenty-first century women entrepreneurs who thrive in the world of Internet based companies.

“Entrepreneurs need to start building today. The barrier to entry in tech is low, so start designing, start coding it, launch it, build prototypes, build a working version of it. The Internet has amazing powers of distribution. You can test your ideas. You can see if it works, if it doesn't work, whether it's fun, and whether you're sufficiently motivated. People who go into entrepreneurship to get rich aren't going to be happy. It’s the building of things that makes you happy. You have to enjoy the process whether you succeed or fail.”

References:

  • Picture: Courtesy of Robert Scoble..
  • Issie Lapowsky, “5 Questions for Caterina Fake,” Inc., May 1, 2012 (http://www.inc.com/issie-lapowsky/5-questions-for-flickr-co-founder-caterina-fake.html).