Stewart Butterfield

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Stewart Butterfield
Stewart b.jpg
Stewart Butterfield (April 2006)
Born Daniel Stewart Butterfield
1973 (age 40–41)
Alma mater University of Victoria ('96)
University of Cambridge ('98)
Occupation entrepreneur and businessman
Known for co-founder of Flickr
Spouse(s) Caterina Fake (2001–2007)

Stewart Butterfield (born Daniel Stewart Butterfield in 1973) is a Canadian-born entrepreneur and businessman, best known for being a co-founder of the photo sharing website Flickr.

Early life and education[edit]

Butterfield was educated at St. Michaels University School in Victoria, British Columbia. He received a B.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Victoria in 1996.[1] Butterfield went on to earn a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in 1998, where he specialized in the philosophy of biology, cognitive science, and the philosophy of mind. At Cambridge, he was nicknamed "Guv" because he asked as a joke that the cleaning staff greet him with "Morning Guv'ner" when waking him to clean his room.[citation needed]

Ludicorp and Flickr[edit]

In the summer of 2002, he co-founded Ludicorp in Vancouver with Caterina Fake and Jason Classon.[2][3] Ludicorp initially developed a massively multiplayer online role-playing game called Game Neverending. The game did not launch, but the company then started a photo sharing website called Flickr. In March 2005 Ludicorp was acquired by Yahoo!, where Butterfield continued as the General Manager of Flickr until he left Yahoo on July 12, 2008.[4][5]

Tiny Speck[edit]

In 2009 Butterfield co-founded a new company called Tiny Speck.[6] Tiny Speck launched its first project, the massively multiplayer game Glitch, on September 27, 2011. Glitch was later closed due to its failure to attract a sufficiently large audience. The game world closed down on December 9, 2012, but the web site, with most of the content, is still available.[7][8] In January 2013, it was announced that the company would make most of the game's art available under a Creative Commons license.[9][10]


In August 2013, Butterfield announced the release of Slack, a project management tool built by Tiny Speck while working on Glitch.[11][12]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2005, Butterfield was named one of Businessweek's Top 50 Leaders [13] in the entrepreneur category. He was also named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[14][15] In 2006, he was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[16] In the same year, he appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine.[17][18]

In November 2008, Butterfield received the Legacy Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Victoria.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Butterfield was married to Caterina Fake, his Flickr co-founder, from 2001[20] to 2007.[21] They had one daughter together, in 2007.[22]

According to his Flickr profile, he currently lives in San Francisco, California.


  1. ^ "Flickr Co-Founder Among UVic Legacy Awards Recipients" (Press release). University of Victoria. November 17, 2008. 
  2. ^ Livingston, Jessica (2008). Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days. Apress. p. 257. 
  3. ^ "The Ludicorp Team". Ludicorp. Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd. Archived from the original on 2003-10-26. 
  4. ^ Arrington, Michael (June 17, 2008). "Flickr Co-founders Join Mass Exodus From Yahoo". TechCrunch. 
  5. ^ Butterfield's creative resignation letter addressed to Brad Garlinghouse.
  6. ^ Swisher, Kara (August 23, 2010). "Flickr Co-Founder Butterfield Talks About His New Game Start-Up, Glitch". AllThingsD. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ Boyd, E.B. (September 27, 2011). "A Flickr Founder's Glitch: Can A Game That Wants You To Play Nice Be A Blockbuster?". Fast Company. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Vancouver’s Tiny Speck puts massively multiplayer game Glitch online". Vancouver Sun. September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  9. ^ Beschizza, Rob (January 25, 2013). "Shuttered online game Glitch gets new life in the Creative Commons". BoingBoing. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ Gera, Emily (January 24, 2013). "Glitch developer shares assets under Creative Commons license following closure of game". Polygon. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  11. ^ Tam, Donna (August 14, 2013). "Flickr founder plans to kill company e-mails with Slack". CNET. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ Thomas, Owen (August 14, 2013). "Die, Email, Die! A Flickr Cofounder Aims To Cut Us All Some Slack". ReadWrite. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ "2005 Top Leaders: Entrepreneurs". Businessweek. 2005. 
  14. ^ "2005 Young Innovators Under 35". Technology Review. 2005. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  15. ^ "TR35 2005". Technology Review. 2005. 
  16. ^ "2006 Time 100". Time. 2006. Archived from the original on May 2, 2006. 
  17. ^ Newsweek cover image
  18. ^ Levy, Steven (April 2, 2006). "The New Wisdom of the Web". Newsweek. 
  19. ^ "Flickr co-founder makes it big with an arts degree". Times Colonist. November 26, 2008. Archived from the original on November 26, 2008. 
  20. ^ Chatterjee, Pia (September 12, 2007). "Love, e-company style". Business 2.0 Magazine. CNN Money. 
  21. ^ Leonard, Devin (July 28, 2010). "What You Want: Flickr Creator Spins Addictive New Web Service". Wired. Retrieved July 31, 2010. 
  22. ^ Thomas, Owen (July 12, 2007). "Silicon Valley’s baby boom". Gawker. 

External links[edit]