Getting Images


  Guggenheim Boulder 
  Originally uploaded by fredwilson.

This morning I was treated to an excellent presentation by Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images, the leader (dare I say dominant company) in the stock photo and video business.

Jonathan is everything you want in a founder/leader. He is a company builder, a solid manager, a thinker, a doer, and more than anything else a passionate believer in the power of images to move people.  And the Company he leads, Getty Images, is a testament to his force of character.

The presentation included a photo montage put together for Live Aid with images of the poverty and famine in Africa that was moving to say the least.  I like that – selling more than your stock.

But the entire time I sat in the audience listening intently to his presentation I was thinking that I wasn’t going to use one of his images to decorate my post.

I am using a photo from Flickr, in this instance, a photo I shot today on my afternoon bike ride around the desert surrounding the Boulders resort.

And I couldn’t help but wonder how user generated content that is free and doesn’t require a license, will change the images business.

The Business 2.0 blog is not decorated with stock photos, its decorated by the Flickr photo of the day.  And they are amazing images, every single one of them. Produced by the people, for the people, of the people.

When everyone has a camera in their pocket (or a videocamera) the best of the amateurs is often as good as much of the pros.

Something to muddle on some more.