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Shutterstock Founder And CEO Jon Oringer To Step Down In April


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Just now, Charles Lewis said:

I have never understood the need for expensive offices in Midtown New York. 

I used to have this argument all the time with the firm I used to work for. We made our money by going out to client sites. We didn't make money sitting in a fancy office on Madison Av.. So why were we doing that? Why didn't we have cheap offices somewhere in New Jersey or Connecticut which is what a lot of the financial services companies did when they moved out to Stamford (e.g. American Express, UBS).

SS makes its money as the middleman between content providers and content buyers through the internet. SS has zero need to be in expensive offices in NYC.

Yes, that too. I see business that moved it's manufacturing South or out of the country, to save money. Many have the engineering and home offices in the Mid-West where they started. They own the building, it's conservative as far as expense goes. (compared to downtown NY, Chicago, or some other major business cities) They could be sticking to Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin for example.

I forgot to say:

Good Luck Jon, hopefully you'll have more free time to enjoy your rewards for creating the business.

 

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Shutterstock is always welcome to set up office in my house in Mumbai if things are tough in Manhattan. I'll be happy to charge them the going market rate of 500$ a month. Maybe I'll even throw in a f

Didn't think it would happen so soon when I said this yesterday!

The post I replied to said they didn't know who will take over. So I replied with a screenshot of the part that mentions who will take over. Wow... Amazing how a simple intention of trying to help a f

Posted Images

 

14 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

You lose money in CD's and Money Market. Interest rates are generally outpaced by inflation. 

And you can lose way more money in stocks, gold, silver, commodities, foreign currency.  Investing in those risky, violatile markets is a young person's, 20s and 30s, game.  Once a person hits 55, which I'm about to, it's time to pull back and get conservative.  How old are you?  You want to buy and hold in those risky investments in blind good faith, or try to time those markets, buy and sell, go right ahead.  Maybe you'll get lucky.  You might get lucky at a casino too.

Lousy interest rates from CDs and money market can be outpaced by feeding more PRINCIPAL money into CDs and money market from income from work and residual royalty commissions.

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1 hour ago, Foodio said:

Well, so far this is all very speculative, but...my two cents is that I think all of the agencies understand that there's a fine balance between remaining competitive and profitable on their end while at the same time maintaining a royalty structure that can continue to attract the kind of content they absolutely rely on to succeed. I agree with Phil, the tipping point is already perilously close - and if you look at a lot of the contributors on the free sites you will see that for many former microstockers that tipping point has already come and gone. You are right that this sort of thing most affects people who either make a living from MS, or devote a substantial amount of time to it. I disagree though that contributors throwing in the towel could in any way be good for the MS world. The opposite actually. And the more that jump ship with nowhere else to go I wouldn't count on those free sites shutting down just yet. 

Good points.

Maybe some people have decided to find something else? I'm talking about serious people who depend on this income, finding other interests.

What's your view of the tipping point? I'm not sure I understand that? If I was to see my opinion, I don't know how so many smaller agencies are staying in business. If they drop out, then better for us and the larger collections. More buyers and some stability, instead of the race to the bottom, price cutting, value cutting and commission cutting.

I look at this much like the personal computer market or early software markets of the 70s and 80s. As I see that, we are better off as consumers, with less choices, but still good alternatives from companies that are encouraged to compete. PCs have many fewer brands and names, and then there's only one Apple. 😉

Software was fine, as companies came and went, many had a great idea, produced that and were either done or bought by a larger business with more tools to develop and market. Anyone remember Wang word processing, Lotus 123, dBase? 🙂 Standards and giants.

Source, Ajax, Hotmail, Pegasus, Prodigy, CompuServe, AOL, pay email services, many pre-dated the actual Internet and were dialup services. Now, whether people know it or not, most email is provided by Yahoo under contract from your ISP. There's Gmail and the list drops off sharply after that, to some pay services, Outlook is one of those.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mike Kuhlman said:

 

And you can LOSE money in stocks, gold, silver, commodities, foreign currency.  Lousy interest rates from CDs and money market can be outpaced by feeding more PRINCIPAL money from income from work and residual royalty commissions.

But history shows that in the long term you make money by being in the stock market.

 "According to historical records, the average annual return since its [S&P 500] inception in 1926 through 2018 is approximately 10%."

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/042415/what-average-annual-return-sp-500.asp

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Maybe the next big success story will be some guy completely doing away with the trappings of "traditional business practice" of office space, a physical address.  Maybe right now some spark somewhere is working out how to run a business with only a few percent of the physical costs - and they will do to the current model what the current model did to the physical slide stock libraries when digital came along.

Or maybe this corona virus will be "the big one" and in ten years time there will be no industry because the human race has been decimated and reduced back to basic agriculture to survive

In either case some will get rich, some will get poor, many will get pissed off and quit, many will be lured with dreams of quick and easy money.

All we can really do is watch what happens and try and be ready to flex and move when required without either jumping too soon and hurting ourselves or moving too late and getting left behind.  The news from SS is, to me, no different from the news from A.  It is data that may mean something but as yet does not have enough other data to tell what and running around in circles worrying is not going to achieve anything except wasting energy.

Take pictures.  Learn to take better pictures.  Brush up on basic agricultural theory just in case you turn out to need it.  Be ready for change - but try not to pre empt change (unless you have invented how to run this business without a physical address in which case did I mention I have some great photos you can licence for me) dont waste energy worrying about what has already happened and which you cannot change.

 

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3 minutes ago, Charles Lewis said:

But history shows that in the long term you make money by being in the stock market.

 "According to historical records, the average annual return since its [S&P 500] inception in 1926 through 2018 is approximately 10%."

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/042415/what-average-annual-return-sp-500.asp

LONG-TERM:  Yes, you hit the nail on the head.  How old are you?  Will you be ALIVE in 10, 20, 30 years to see the market rebound from a 50% loss and show you that paltry 10% gain?

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Well, I don't know who will take over. But I just got one of those awesome .60 cent video downloads, and apparently SS still isn't making enough money, so it will likely be not an improvement...

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To put things into perspective: (true stories)

I was approached by a company who does those screensavers for TV etc. Their deal was not to pay contributors per sale, but by the number of likes a picture would get on their site! (think about that for a second)

on the other hand, I was also approached by a company who wanted to license/rent some of my pictures for some short term projects to hang in an event venture. Don't want to reveal the details and what  they offered, but it made me happy and they absorb all the cost of printing etc.! This is recent and still in the works

The moral of these stories is, as long as you don't let them screw you and branch out, you'll be fine.

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2 hours ago, Mike Kuhlman said:

LONG-TERM:  Will you be ALIVE in 10, 20, 30 years to see the market rebound from a 50% loss and show you that paltry 10% gain?

With the planet on the brink of an environmental collapse, I doubt any of us are going to be alive 20 years from now regardless of how old we are. That's my ray of sunshine for today. 

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3 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

Maybe the next big success story will be some guy completely doing away with the trappings of "traditional business practice" of office space, a physical address. 

Unfortunately, that's how business seems to work in this country.  Someone, like Jon, starts small with an idea and it begins to take off.  He has to expand: add employees and servers.  His little startup booms, but he has to turn to outside investors to keep growing with the demand.  IPO.  With a huge infusion of cash, assets, and contributors, the business keeps growing to the point that someone decides it would be a good idea to waste money on premium NYC office space.  This last decision is often justified by thinking that the double digit growth will continue for a long time.  In the meantime, the original business model is copied by competitors who are still at the level of growth that precludes them from wasting money on things like over-priced office space.  Suddenly, the growth slows and competition increases.  Desperate to grow, they add more digital assets regardless of its potential value to buyers.  And then they start offering 60 cent video clips.  They do everything to improve the bottom line as quickly as possible except the most obvious: leave NY and its cost of doing business behind. 

Business people in this country rarely take the long view of their companies, as they never seem to weigh the cost of decisions in the short-term that can affect their profitability years down the road.  In the end, it's always people, like us, who end up having to pay for their frivolous spending and really bad decisions.

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25 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

Unfortunately, that's how business seems to work in this country.  Someone, like Jon, starts small with an idea and it begins to take off.  He has to expand: add employees and servers.  His little startup booms, but he has to turn to outside investors to keep growing with the demand.  IPO.  With a huge infusion of cash, assets, and contributors, the business keeps growing to the point that someone decides it would be a good idea to waste money on premium NYC office space.  This last decision is often justified by thinking that the double digit growth will continue for a long time.  In the meantime, the original business model is copied by competitors who are still at the level of growth that precludes them from wasting money on things like over-priced office space.  Suddenly, the growth slows and competition increases.  Desperate to grow, they add more digital assets regardless of its potential value to buyers.  And then they start offering 60 cent video clips.  They do everything to improve the bottom line as quickly as possible except the most obvious: leave NY and its cost of doing business behind. 

Business people in this country rarely take the long view of their companies, as they never seem to weigh the cost of decisions in the short-term that can affect their profitability years down the road.  In the end, it's always people, like us, who end up having to pay for their frivolous spending and really bad decisions.

I'm not sure they do everything to improve the bottom line. In my experience, top-line (revenue from operations), growth and market share dominate corporate thinking. 

Then, one day, someone notices that their profit sucks and their margins are shrinking and they go off and do some drastic cost-cutting without ever thinking through the strategic implications.

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they underperformed the market...

I don't think they see the new markets for images. Give a billion images to sell where there's a billion buyers. My sales map has two big white spots...

I suppose they'll add variety to the range of their supermarket. There will be sections of ready-made articles, trays with curved software and ready-made tweets for lazy instagrammers.  Change without changing anything.

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9 hours ago, Rudy Umans said:

Thank you for posting this so HUGE.

Now I didn't need to get up to get my reading glasses..

Thank you again. very considered

I just took a screenshot and posted it here. I didn't know it was going to be that big when posted. Can't believe that bothered you so much you had to respond with sarcasm. You're probably the type of guy that comes to a party and complain about the free drinks.

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