An American entrepreneur and businesswoman, Catarina Fake is the co-founder of Hunch and Flickr a photosharing app sold to Yahoo in 2005 with about 50 million active users. Catarina Fake is a partner at Founder Collective and an angel investor with investments in several businesses like Etsy where she is the chairman of the board, Kickstarter, Stack Overflow and 20×200.
A graduate of English from Vassar College, she began her career as a Lead Designer at Organic Online, a web development agency. She was involved in the developing websites for Fortune 500 companies like McDonalds, Colgate-Palmolive, Levi, Kimberly-Clark and Nike. She was Art Director at Salon.com and was highly involved in the development of online community, personal publishing and social software. Catarina joined Netscape in 1997 to manage the company’s community forums.
In partnership with Stewart Butterfield and Jason Classon, in the summer of 2002, Catarina Fake co-founded a game company named Ludicorp whose pilot game was Game Neverending, a multiplayer online game. Ludicorp failed due to paucity of funds and the game did not launch, but Catarina partnered with Buttterfield to launch Flickr that went on to become of the most web influential startups. Flickr, a photosharing website grew at a fast pace that saw it acquired by Yahoo in 2005 with about 50 million users. After Yahoo’s acquisition of her startup, Catarina joined Yahoo where she was head of the Technology Development group known for the Hack Yahoo Program and Brickhouse till summer of June 2008 when she resigned.
Catarina Fake in 2009, alongside Chris Dixon an entrepreneur with a team of 11 MIT graduates started Hunch, a platform that makes recommendations to users based on the tastes and opinions they have entered into the system using decision trees. Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia and Gideon Yu former CFO of Facebook joined Hunch board of directors and the company was acquired by eBay in November 2011 in a deal worth $80 million.
Catarina Fake as a successful entrepreneur and investor has his own business principles that has helped thus far and are applicable for startup founders. Below are some key principles and advices from Catarina Fake:
- Have A High Tolerance for Failure: Catarina believes failure is part of discovering the problem you need to be working on. An entrepreneur that is too scared to fail or admit failure is a long way from succeeding at finding and solving problems.
- Value Teams Over Ideas: For Catarina Fake, a group of super-smart and talented individuals supersedes the thinking that a company starts with an idea. With a great team, Catarina believes amazing success can grow out of ashes of some of an individual’s failure.
- Leadership: “Never allow your anxiety to infect your company”. Entrepreneurs will always have anxieties as head of a company or a team. As a leader you must protect your employees from your anxieties.
- Build Marketing into Your Product: “A well-built product markets itself”. Lots of famous books are perfect examples of marketing built into product design.
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