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DPChallenge Forums >> Stock Photography >> 2008 Year end wrap up at Cutcaster
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01/05/2009 01:22:47 PM · #1
Cutcaster began 2008 as an optimistic unknown; an innovative idea that was just taking shape and full of potential. Our aim was to develop a dynamic marketplace where buyers could easily find and license fresh and unique user-generated content while content creators worldwide could discover the true value of their work. No one had heard of Cutcaster outside of a handful of people. We had 800 accepted files, fewer than 300 members and I was still trading stocks on Wall Street. At the end of January, I left the stock market to work full time on Cutcaster. What started with a few hundred files blossomed into a community of over 3600 members and 107,393 accepted files on January 1st 2009. (Congrats to both Marburg and Beth Pulsipher for having the closest predictions to our year end total accepted files). What a difference a year makes.

What Happened in 2008 - A few highlights:
1. Buyers outreach program started in mid-September- Email, print and web advertising, Google Adwords campaign, press releases, direct sales calls and email blasts, SEO techniques, joined two affiliate programs, our internal referral program, handwritten introductory letters, onsite Cutcaster demos, participation in buyersí conferences i.e. Picturehouse, and participating in different forums.
2. Contributor outreach program- Grew from 800 files to over 107,000 by years end. Pretty amazing growth, Iíd say, and the quality has been excellent so keep up the great work.
3. Started the year with 300 members and now we are over 3600 members and 1700 members have uploaded a file or more.
4. Numerous site features and enhancements rolled out. We have always been fast to correct things and roll out features that the community needs and things will continue to be like that in 09.
5. New image and vector search algorithm
6. Best customer service in the industry- We roll out the red carpet for everyone.

What to expect in the New Year
1. Iím moving the Cutcaster headquarters to San Francisco at the end of January and you shouldnít notice any changes except a new address. This is so I can efficiently run Cutcaster and be close to the talent and money that I need to take on our competitors. Iím sad to leave NYC but extremely excited to be on the West Coast.
2. A lot more attention and work on the buyer front i.e. roll out corporate accounts, introduce credit packages and extended licensing, enhanced clipfolders, search algorithm tweaking and re-weighting the results, more direct sales calls, attending more buyer conferences, Cutcaster APIís, promoting more exclusive content on Cutcaster, tiered pricing for different resolution sizes and much more advertising in both print and web.
3. More sales, more data to help you make better decisions, more tutorials to help you know what to shoot and how to shoot it, more image and illustration requests
4. A much faster site

Goals for 2009
1. More sales, more revenue lines for contributors, more ease of use on the site.
2. Surpass 1,000,000 images and vectors
3. Get over 400,000 new images in the marketplace from sources that werenít in the shallow pool of stock we see today
4. Increase membership to 20,000
5. More fun

Obviously, Cutcaster is a tool to earn money from your content or find outstanding content for the projects you are working on. However, Cutcaster is a community in action and is only as good as our contributors, supporters and buyers. We know we have nothing if we donít have a strong community and that is why we work tirelessly to best serve our members. A special thank you goes out to Ashley, My family, Justin, Michael B., Zac, Lope, Barbara, Tara, Charley, InSITE, Lita, Dennis, Janie M, Linda, Carolyn, Jeffbeck, Martin, Shaolan, Victoria, Moriya, Dan M, Vasiliy, Jason, the whole Blip.tv team, Gracie, Henrik, Jeff S. and Shawn to name just a few.

There have been more, and I canít thank you all enough for providing your support and patience as we grow. We know that it is a community in action that accomplishes more than any individual does, no matter how strong they may be. Spread the word, keep up the enthusiasm, and continue to be a part of something from the ground floor.

Here is to a great 2009 and hope you will join us,

John and the Cutcaster team

Message edited by author 2009-01-05 13:23:44.
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