Caterina Fake

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Caterina Fake
Caterina Fake - 2008 (cropped).jpg
Caterina Fake in 2008
Born (1969-06-13) 13 June 1969 (age 49)[1]
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materVassar College (1991)
Occupationentrepreneur, businesswoman
Known forCo-founder of Flickr and Hunch
Spouse(s)Stewart Butterfield (2001–2007)

Caterina Fake (born 13 June 1969)[1][2] is an American entrepreneur and businesswoman. She co-founded the websites Flickr and Hunch.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Fake was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[5] to an American father, and a Filipina mother who is a naturalized citizen.[6][7] As a child, she was not allowed to watch television, and her hobbies included reading poetry and playing classical music.[8] She recalls her initial interest in the internet and online communities being sparked by a group of Jorge Luis Borges scholars that she stumbled upon.[9]

Caterina Fake graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall and attended Smith College. In 1991 she graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. degree in English.[5][10]


Fake started her career as a Lead Designer of Organic Online, one of the first website development agencies. She worked on web sites for Fortune 500 companies such as McDonald's, Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive, Levi's and Nike - many of them their first online ventures. She served as a Member of the Research Staff at Interval Research.[11]

In the 1990s, Fake was Art Director at, and heavily involved in the development of online community, social software and personal publishing.[12] In 1997, she took a job managing the community forums of Netscape.[7]

In the summer of 2002, she co-founded Ludicorp in Vancouver with Stewart Butterfield and Jason Classon.[13][14] The company developed a massively multiplayer online role-playing game called Game Neverending. The game did not launch, but Fake and Butterfield started a new product called Flickr that became one of the world's most popular photosharing websites. Flickr was acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. Flickr became part of a vanguard of so-called Web 2.0 sites, integrating features such as social networking, community open APIs, tagging, and algorithms that surfaced the most popular content. After the acquisition, Fake took a job at Yahoo!, where she ran the Technology Development group, known for its Hack Yahoo! program and for Brickhouse, a rapid development environment for new products. Fake resigned from Yahoo on June 13, 2008.[15]

In 2009, Fake co-founded the website Hunch with entrepreneur Chris Dixon. The site made recommendations to users based on the tastes and opinions that they entered into the system. It launched in June 2009.[16] Hunch was acquired by eBay for a reported $80 million in November 2011.[17] eBay shut it down in March 2014.

Fake's most recent venture is Findery, which was originally called Pinwheel, and launched in a limited beta in February 2012.[7][18] It was renamed to Findery in July 2012.[19] The company is headquartered in San Francisco.[20]


Fake joined the board of directors of Creative Commons in August 2008,[21] and is Chairman of the Board of Etsy, having been an investor in the company since 2005.[9] She is a Founder Partner at Founder Collective, and advises many startups and new businesses. In 2015, Fake joined the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees.[22]

Awards and honors[edit]

Fake has won many awards, including BusinessWeek's Best Leaders of 2005,[23] Forbes 2005 eGang, Fast Company's Fast 50, and Red Herring's 20 Entrepreneurs under 35. In 2006, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people, appearing on the cover of Newsweek that same year.

In May 2009 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design.[5] She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School in 2013.[24]

In 2018 she was one of the recipients of 2018 Visionary Award established by Silicon Valley Forum.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Fake was married to Stewart Butterfield, her Flickr co-founder, from 2001[26] to 2007.[7] They had one daughter together, in 2007.[27] As of 2015, Fake is in a relationship with Jaiku co-founder Jyri Engeström, and the couple have three children between them.[8]

Fake currently lives in San Francisco, California and New York City.


  1. ^ a b "Caterina Fake at CrunchBase". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Entrepreneur's Journal: Getting the Startup Equation Right". Bloomberg Businessweek. February 23, 2010. Caterina Fake, 40
  3. ^ Schawbel, Dan (September 11, 2012). "Caterina Fake on Launching Her Third Startup "Findery"". Forbes.
  4. ^ Miller, Tessa (August 15, 2012). "I'm Caterina Fake, and This Is How I Work". LifeHacker.
  5. ^ a b c "Commencement: Honorary degrees". Rhode Island School of Design. Archived from the original on April 18, 2009.
  6. ^ "About".
  7. ^ a b c d Leonard, Devin (July 28, 2010). "What You Want: Flickr Creator Spins Addictive New Web Service". Wired. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  8. ^ a b Tanz, Jason (February 4, 2015). "The Techies Who Are Hacking Education by Homeschooling Their Kids". Wired.
  9. ^ a b "Caterina Fake: Model behavior | Masters of Scale podcast". WaitWhat. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  10. ^ Pardes, Bronwen (Fall 2009). "Following Intuition: Caterina Fake '91". Vassar, the Alumnae/i Quarterly.
  11. ^ "Executive Profile Caterina Fake". Bloomberg Businessweek. October 29, 2014.
  12. ^ "The Team: Creative Director: Caterina Fake". Ludicorp. Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd. Archived from the original on 2003-10-26.
  13. ^ Livingston, Jessica (2008). Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days. Apress. p. 257.
  14. ^ "The Ludicorp Team". Ludicorp. Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd. Archived from the original on 2003-10-26.
  15. ^ Arrington, Michael (June 17, 2008). "Flickr Co-founders Join Mass Exodus From Yahoo". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  16. ^ Caceres, Chris (June 15, 2009). "Hunch launches today". Vator. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  17. ^ Yarrow, Jay (November 21, 2011). "eBay Buys Chris Dixon's Startup Hunch For $80 Million". Business Insider.
  18. ^ "Pinwheel! In Private Beta". Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  19. ^ McGee, Matt (July 27, 2012). "Pinwheel Has A New Name: Findery". Marketing Land. Third Door Media. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  20. ^ Lewine, Edward (May 24, 2014). "Home Sweet Headquarters for an App Start-Up". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Steuer, Eric (August 25, 2008). "Flickr Cofounder Caterina Fake Joins Creative Commons Board". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  22. ^ Sharf, Zack. "Sundance Institute Adds Five New Trustees Members | IndieWire". Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  23. ^ "Best Leaders: Entrepreneurs - Stewart Butterfield & Caterina Fake - Flickr". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  24. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients". 2013-05-24. Archived from the original on 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  25. ^ "Vivek Wadhwa among winners of Silicon Valley Forum's annual Visionary Award". The American Bazaar. 2018-03-10. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  26. ^ Chatterjee, Pia (September 12, 2007). "Love, e-company style". Business 2.0 Magazine. CNN Money.
  27. ^ Thomas, Owen (July 12, 2007). "Silicon Valley's baby boom". Gawker. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16.

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