Jonathan E. Oringer
|Born||May 2, 1974|
New York, NY, US
|Residence||New York, NY, US|
|Education||Stony Brook University|
|Net worth||$1.0 billion (April 2017)|
Jon Oringer (born May 2, 1974) is an American programmer, photographer, and businessman, best known as the founder and CEO of Shutterstock, a stock media and editing tools provider headquartered in New York City. Oringer started his career while a college student in the 1990s, when he invented "one of the Web's first pop-up blockers." He went on to found about ten small startups that used a subscription method to sell "personal firewalls, accounting software, cookie blockers, trademark managers," and other small programs.
In 2003, Oringer founded Shutterstock to provide microstock photography, which has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012. As a result of going public, in 2013 Oringer was reported to be New York's first tech billionaire. Shutterstock had over 100,000 contributors as of March 2016, with an "active customer base of 1.4 million people in 150 countries." Among other accolades, in 2012 Oringer was named New York's Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and the following year Oringer was recognized as one of Crain's New York 40 Under 40.
Early life and education
Jon Oringer was born in 1974 in Scarsdale, New York, where he spent his childhood. He began learning computer programming in elementary school at the age of five, using his Apple IIe to code "simple games and plug-ins for bulletin board systems." As he grew older he also developed his own photos as a hobby. Attending Scarsdale High School from 1988 to 1992, by the age of fifteen Oringer was teaching guitar lessons for cash, later moving on to fixing computers out of his parents house when he realized it was more lucrative. Oringer started selling his own software products over the internet when he began attending Stony Brook University in 1993, inventing and selling thousands of copies of what Forbes describes as "one of the Web's first pop-up blockers." After graduating with a BS in computer science and mathematics in 1997, from 1996 to 1998 he studied computer science at Columbia University, graduating with an MS. While enrolled at Columbia he continued "trying to create products to complement the pop-up blocker," using a subscription model to sell "personal firewalls, accounting software, cookie blockers, trademark managers," and other small programs. Oringer estimates that he founded about ten small startup companies, most of which had Oringer as the sole employee.
Founding Shutterstock (2003–2011)
While marketing his software through a mailing list, Oringer realized that emails with photos were better received than emails without. Finding it difficult to find affordable generic stock photos online, in 2003 he purchased a Canon Rebel camera to take pictures for a new stock-photo marketplace that catered to advertisers and "microstock photography." Oringer went on to take about 100,000 of his own images over six months, eventually posting a culled collection of 30,000 images to a new website he named Shutterstock. Funding Shutterstock entirely with his savings, Oringer rented a 600-square-foot office in New York for the company and initially handled all roles himself, including customer service. Like his previous projects he made the photographs available via subscription, with unlimited downloads and a monthly starting fee of USD $49. He also advertised Shutterstock on platforms such as Google AdWords.
Initially hiring friends to serve as models for the stock photos, Oringer later hired a photo director to organize shoots for the company. When demand exceeded his photo supply, he became an agent and hired additional contributors, also hiring a team of reviewers to ensure "editorial consistency and quality." With Oringer as CEO, Shutterstock claimed that it was the "largest subscription-based stock photo agency in the world" as of 2006, with 570,000 images in its collection. Shutterstock branched into film in 2006 with the launch of Shutterstock Footage, and expanded beyond subscriptions into a la carte pricing in August 2008. In 2009 Shutterstock purchased Bigstock, a rival credit-based microstock photography agency. Claiming it licensed more images than "any other brand worldwide" in 2011, that November Shutterstock debuted Shutterstock for iPad, which it provided for free.
New tools and IPO (2012–2013)
Under the auspices of the newly formed Shutterstock Labs, Shutterstock Images LLC announced the Shutterstock Instant tool in May 2012, which displayed images in an interlocking mosaic to increase viewing speed. Also in May 2012, Oringer brought Shutterstock public after filing for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, which it completed on October 17, 2012. After going public, Oringer continued to own about 55 percent of Shutterstock, largely through the investment company Pixel Holdings. Stock value over the ensuing year increased considerably, and on June 28, 2013, Andre Sequin, an analyst at RBC Capital Market, announced Oringer as the "first billionaire to come out of Silicon Alley - New York's thriving tech sector." His net wealth at the time was estimated at USD$1.05 billion.
Continuing to release new online tools and projects, Shutterstock announced Spectrum, a new "image discovery tool," in March 2013, and Skillfeed, a subscription-based online marketplace for instructional videos, in June 2013. In August 2013, Shutterstock announced it would integrate its library with Facebook's Ad Creator, allowing advertisers to select from Shutterstock's images when creating ads. In September 2013 Shutterstock launched Offset, a marketplace prioritizing high end curated photos, and a few months later the company launched its first Android app. Shutterstock opened offices in Berlin, Germany in October 2013. At the time, Shutterstock stated it served 750,000 customers, with 30 percent of those customers in Europe. Shutterstock's shares had reached a $2.5 billion market value by the fall of 2013, while revenue for 2013 was USD $235 million.
Recent developments (2014–2016)
In 2014, Oringer spoke at 2014 Class Day at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. After maintaining its New York headquarters for years in a Wall Street office, in March 2014 Oringer relocated Shutterstock in the Empire State Building. The new location was built with no private offices, instead with 23 "pop-in rooms" for private meetings and conferences when needed. Shutterstock acquired WebDAM, a provider of online digital asset management software, in March 2014, and that May Shutterstock integrated its image library into Salesforce's Social Studio. Shutterstock debuted a "multi-color image discovery tool" in July 2014. Revenue was $328 million in 2014, an increase of 39% from 2013, and that year Shutterstock paid "over $83 million to its roughly 80,000 contributors."
In January 2015, Oringer oversaw Shutterstock's acquisition of both Rex Features, Europe's largest independent photo press agency, and PremiumBeat, a stock music and sound effects service. Penske Media Corporation formed a partnership with Shutterstock in June 2015, which gave Shutterstock an exclusive right and license to PMC's archive, which included magazines such as Variety, Women's Wear Daily, and Deadline. In March 2016 Shutterstock announced it would be distributing material from the Associated Press, and Shutterstock also debuted its Reverse Image Search tool, allowing users to find images based on "color schemes, mood, or shapes."
Awards and recognition
Oringer has been recognized with a number of business awards, and in 2009 he was selected 41st on the Silicon Alley 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and technologists in Manhattan. Business Insider named Oringer the coolest person in all of New York technology in 2013. Oringer was recognized in June 2012 as New York's Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and the following year Oringer was recognized as one of Crain's New York class of 2013 40 Under 40.
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- Stephen Shankland "Shutterstock Buys Rival, Shifts Photo Sales Strategy", CNET, September 23, 2009
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- Brad McCarty, "Shutterstock brings its 16 million images to the iPad with a dedicated app", The Next Web, November 3, 2011
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- "Shutterstock Introduces Spectrum, A Breathtaking Way To Explore Millions Of Photos Using Color", Shutterstock Press Release, March 21, 2013
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- Josh Constine, "Facebook Makes Ads Prettier With Shutterstock Partnership To Offer Free Stock Images In Ad Creator", TechCrunch, August 22, 2013
- Tom Cheredar, "Shutterstock launches new high-end photo service ‘Offset’", VentureBeat, September 24, 2013
- Martin Bryant, "Shutterstock launches an Android app to let you browse its 31m+ images on the move", The Next Web, December 10, 2013
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- Anthony Ha, "Salesforce Launches Its Social Studio For Marketing Collaboration And Custom Integrations", TechCrunch, May 6, 2014
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- "Website and about". premiumbeat.com. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
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- "Shutterstock About Us Page". www.shutterstock.com. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
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