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Jon Oringer Says Shutterstock Can Sell Whatever it Wants

The founder so believes in his company model, he says there's no limit to what it can do.
Jon Oringer founded Shutterstock in 2003, after creating a dozen tech companies that each fizzled after a few months.

Like many entrepreneurs, Jon Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock, became a businessman out of necessity. 

He began his professional life in math and computer science, but quickly found he was lost without photos. 

"Each time I went to create my website, I needed imagery," he said during Internet Week. "It was complicated to get, the process was expensive, I had to negotiate rights. I knew there had to be a better way."

On Shutterstock, anyone can sell their imagery, which is reviewed on an individual basis. Buyers pay $249 per month for the privilege of being able to download whatever they need. Before that, users had to pay "hundreds to thousands of dollars," he said, and producing custom shoots or negotiating rights was annoying.

Oringer opened the stock photography market for users and shutterbugs, which helped everyone promote their content. "There was no longer that generic content," he explained. "We realized we had high-volume marketplace as a platform. Anyone can come in and buy with a subscription."

While Shutterstock is mostly focused on footage and stills, Oringer said he's open to other possibilities. 

"Really, we can put anything in this model and sell it," he said. 

Last updated: May 20, 2013


Julie Strickland covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurial endeavors of all kinds for Inc. Her work has been published in Brooklyn Based and City Limits in New York, the Free Times in Columbia, SC, Real Travel Magazine in London, and Daegu Pockets in South Korea. She lives in New York City.

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