GrowthHackingIdea - From 0 to $625M/year (Shutterstock)

Today's hack
From 0 to $625M/year (first steps of Shutterstock)

Did you know that Shutterstock makes $625M/year and 46.3% of the company belong to its solo-founder Jon Oringer.

How did he manage to achieve this?

Here are his first steps:

1. Before 2003, Jon Oringer was always looking for digital images for his business needs, but they were either $500 or he had to call people to get the rights. There was a huge problem and no solutions - there were 0 web-services where you could just choose and legally buy an image you wanted.

2. So in 2003, Jon decided to develop a simple website where people like him could buy digital photos.

3. But he faced a big problem - where to get digital photos? He needed photographers. But instead of paying them the money he didn't have, he decided to become a photographer himself.

4. He bought a digital camera, a Canon Digital Rebel for $800.

5. For about 6 months he shot 100,000 images by himself.

6. Then he chose the best 30,000 images and put them on the website allowing anyone to have unlimited downloads for a monthly starting fee of $49.

7. When there is a huge unsatisfied demand and you create the first solution, it spreads virally like fire at a gas station - it explodes. Your best growth hack is to invest your time into finding such a huge unsatisfied demand.

8. He was the only person in that company, doing everything: photo shooting, programming, answering customer service emails, etc.

9. The first servers were placed in his apartment, making it as hot as the tropics + demand was so big that he couldn't fulfill all of it.

10. The service became popular and other photographers started to ask Jon to put their own photos on the server.

11. Jon created an upload system for anyone, paying around 25% per download.

12. By 2007, Shutterstock had 1.8 million photos.

13. In 2007, while being profitable, Jon Oringer invited a smart investor to join the company and help him growing a 40-person company to a 200-person company.

14. Now Shutterstock is a 700-person company, making $625M/year.

Source: www.inc.com


Cheers,
Charlie Patel ;)

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