From Flickr To Findery: Caterina Fake On Building Online Communities

When it comes to building online communities, Caterina Fake has a few big name successes under her belt, including Flickr and Hunch (which were sold to Yahoo and eBay, respectively). She is now building a new platform that focuses on location-based storytelling.

Findery (formerly called Pinwheel) lets people leave notes with historical information, among other content, on an interactive map. For example, do a search for Austin, Texas, and you’ll find a number of stories ranging from one user writing about a popular nature trail called Turkey Creek that is “a slice of peaceful serenity” to another user touting the best BBQ joint (of course) to one sharing a secret swimming hole.

As Fake shares during our Skype video chat, her affinity for travel inspired Findery. While on a camping trip with her daughter to the Sequoias in California, she wanted a way to leave their memories on a map. “It struck me very strongly that this would be a very beautiful way of telling stories, finding out about places around you,” she explains.

As a self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Fake recommends embracing the power the Internet to find the missing links when building a company. She reminds us that anything is possible in the technology age, noting that some of the best businesses in the world were started in dorm rooms. Or, in this case, dreamed up under a magnificent tree.