When Caterina Fake '91 set out to create an online game, she had no idea that her team's impromptu side project would become a benchmark for social networking and Internet photo sharing. As the cofounder of Flickr, Fake created an online community where people can interact, share ideas, and create unique content. Through Flickr, people can easily share photos, tag them for easy retrieval, and post comments on other users' pictures. Flickr isn't simply a place to host photos. From the beginning, Fake and her team quickly discovered the value of meeting and greeting each user in their virtual community, just as they would act as hosts to their own neighborhood. This formula was an instant success, which resulted in Flickr's close-knit community, and helped drive the Internet to become more collaborative and user centered.
Fake's success also grew beyond the virtual community. She and Flickr's co-founder, Stewart Butterfield (who also happens to be her husband), appeared on the cover of Newsweek in March of 2006. That same year, Time magazine named her as one of the world's most influential people.
An overnight success, Flickr was sold to Yahoo! in 2005, a year after its initial launch.
photo credit: Caterina Fake