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Behance Cofounder Matias Corea On How He Built A Thriving Hub For Creatives

Co.Design has partnered with the Brooklyn design studio Hyperakt to bring you Lunch Talks, a video series of conversations with smart, creative people. Here, a talk with Behance cofounder Matias Corea.—Eds.

Barcelona-based Matias Corea was a graphic designer before he was an entrepreneur–so he knows firsthand the difficulties creatives face staying organized, getting exposure for their work, and connecting with clients. In 2006, he cofounded Behance, a design-centric online portfolio site that gives creatives more control in these areas.

In this Lunch Talk, Corea discusses how he built the site and community from scratch, starting with a small invitation-only community of 200 designers to a platform currently hosting 8.3 million public projects. The secret? “There’s no silver bullet [for growing a community] besides asking your friends and having content that’s very good,” he says. It also helped that in the beginning, Behance was invite-only, creating an air of exclusivity that made people more excited to join.

The main hurdle to developing Behance first showed up in the one and only focus group the startup did in its early phases. Designers said they’d be wary of the platform because they’d be afraid work they put online would get stolen. But people soon overcame that fear. “We didn’t make a feature that changed that,” Corea says. “People overcame that. People are more interested in exposure. Behance gives the opportunity to someone who’s 18 years old in Barcelona to get out there, get exposed to agencies in Paris and London and New York City.” For many Behance users, that benefit outweighs the risk of some jerk plagiarizing your work (which is still disturbingly easy to do).

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