When Shutterstock employees get together to hack, there's no limit to the things they'll come up with. Here's a look at their winning ideas.
What keeps Shutterstock smart and successful?
Hackathons like the one held last Friday in the heart of New York City's Financial District. There, coders, content managers, and executives took two minutes to present their ideas, which were built in a single day. The five winning teams received a trophy, a dinner cruise around NYC, and the promise to turn their idea into reality. Here's a look at the winners.
The Compositor, an online video and audio editing tool, won "Best Overall Hack." Like iMovie, this tool lets Shutterstock customers sample videos and audio before making a purchase. Though audio is not available on Shutterstock's site just yet, the hack demonstrated how the company might turn the service into a revenue generator.
ShutterstockMatch, an image-based search interface, won "Funniest Hack" with its cute silent movie. The program allows users to search Shutterstock's database of 27 million images by pictures rather than keywords in an effort to tear down the language barrier for users.
"Best Customer Impact" went to ShutterstockGeo, a consumer-facing tool that uses location data to search and find images. Users can search photos taken worldwide just by clicking a map and entering keywords. "Most of the work is done," said Gerd Mittmann, VP of Shutterstock International. "In one sprint, we could bring this baby to life."
ShutterstockTrends, a mobile app for contributors, won "Best Contributor Impact," an app that shows which images are trending around the world, enabling photographers to tailor assignments accordingly. "We are going to go build this thing right now," said the winning CTO, Jim Chou. "The skeleton is already in place and it'll be out shortly."
UnderCover, a developer recruiting tool, won "Greatest Employee Value." Under every website's console -- right click "inspect element" -- lies the backend of a webpage. Created by developer Adam Bankin, Shutterstock uses this space to recruit coders in a playful way. As most programmers open a site's console to see how it's made, Shutterstock's will have the first animated console video (made out of code, of course) with a message to prospective applicants. In turn, this could promote Shutterstock as a cutting edge place to work and save $100,000 in recruiting costs.
The Great Hacksby, an internal tool that helps track and predict customer downloading trends, won "Greatest Brand Elevation." This tool will show designers what types of images are being downloaded in real-time across the globe. It can also predict future downloads, which will help designers anticipate customers' needs and produce popular images.
WILL YAKOWICZ is a reporter at Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime and politics at Patch.com, and his work has been published in Tablet Magazine and The Brooklyn Paper. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. @WillYakowicz