FAST COMPANY: What do you believe is possible that others don't?
JON ORINGER: I believe anything has to be possible. You have to be able to face any problem that comes along and unravel it into a solution. You can't be afraid of the problem, don't be afraid of failure, don't be afraid to make mistakes, make sure you learn from each step, iterate, and stay as efficient as possible without being paralyzed by a difficult situation. Business is a string of seemingly impossible problems looking for solutions. Each problem you solve creates a new barrier to entry for your next competitor. Problems are good. Impossible problems are even better.
What do you believe is possible that others don't?
A self-professed technologist and serial-entrepreneur, Jon set out to build technology companies.
Through one of his endeavors, he ran into a challenge: how to acquire affordable, high quality images
that clearly represented his current venture. Unable to find a solution, Jon built one that went against
the grain of the current stock image business model. In 2003 Shutterstock was born, coded by Jon
himself and populated by thousands of his own photographs. Applying tactics from other industries,
such as the 25/day subscription model, Jon programmed a global marketplace for stock images that was
completely different than any other stock image provider.
The site soon opened to outside contributors and grew to become a dynamic online marketplace for
fresh, high-quality, licensed images. Shutterstock quickly caught on as the first subscription stock photo
marketplace and first site to source footage for the marketplace stock mode, and recently surpassed 200
million licensed image downloads.
Today, Jon continues to advance the platform’s technology, building unique, intuitive tools to improve
the user experience, attract some of the world’s most innovative artists and sell all manner of original
and creative digital imagery and high quality video.
Jon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in math and computer science from State University of New York
at Stony Brook and a Master of Science degree in computer science from Columbia University.