Picter: A better way to manage photography submissions
Please introduce yourself and your startup Picter to our readers!
My name is Claudio Ricci, I am co-founder and CEO of Picter. Picter aims to simplify the life of professionals working with photography by setting a new standard for handling images. Right now we are focused more specifically on improving the management of submissions to photography competitions. Organizations can use Picter to streamline their photography submissions—and photographers can easily submit their work to various calls for entries. Everything happens in one place to create an efficient workflow for both sides. But this is only the beginning. We have many more ideas on how we can use cutting edge technology to revolutionize image data handling.
How did you get the idea for Picter?
The idea was born out of a need to improve image data handling. The founding team of Picter are the same people that initiated the non-profit art project Der Greif. The core of Der Greif is a printed magazine for contemporary photography, published once a year. For more than 10 years, we have invited photographers from around the world to submit their work so our team can put together the magazine. With over 25k submissions globally, mainly sent via email and FTP, three years ago we reached a point where handling all files became almost impossible. So we decided to build our own solution to efficiently handle all data in the team. We talked to friends from the industry about our newly developed tool and realized that there was a big need – and the idea of Picter was born.
How difficult was the start and what challenges have you had to overcome?
The most difficult part in the beginning was to get enough funding to be able to work 100% on the project. It was important for us to convince the people behind the Bavarian Flügge program. The program helped us to launch our idea. As a next step, we made it into two accelerator programs, Media Lab Bayern and LMU Entrepreneurship Center, who both helped us enormously, not only with with coachings but also mentoring and networking.
One of our strengths is that we have a very diverse founders team with profound knowledge in various areas as design or programming. This gave us the freedom to start right away with working on the project. However one of the big challenges was, and still is, growing the team and building up a new company from scratch.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience is everyone who works with photographs on a professional level. That includes image creators like photographers, and image users such as editors, media houses, agencies (digital, photo, news, …) but also companies and organizations working with photographers.
What is the USP of your startup?
When you deal with images, you usually have two sides: image creators and image users. What makes Picter special is that we offer a solution for both sides. As soon as creators and users come together in one central hub, work can be done way more efficiently. Licensing, accessing, sharing, selecting, communicating—everything can be done seamlessly in one place. Picter can increase the daily workflow of professionals in the photo industry by up to 40%. We are currently exploring the possibilities of blockchain technology and we believe that we can mark a new era in image data logistics by using this technology.
Can you describe a typical workday for you?
There is no ‘typical’ workday at the moment. Although our team is constantly growing, I am still responsible for a various set of tasks. This includes sales, preparing and presenting pitches but also administrative and organizational tasks like recruiting new talents or paying the rent for our office. Additionally, me and Simon, co-founder and CSO at Picter, spend currently a lot of time at train stations and airports. We are regularly travelling to conferences, meetups, fairs and photography events in order to get our product out there. Luckily, some of us are friends since Kindergarten, so we don’t mind spending so much time together on the road.
Where do you see yourself and your startup Picter in five years?
In five years we plan to be THE platform for everyone who is professionally working with photographs.
What 3 tips would you give other startup founders on the way?
In the beginning it can be really hard to get started. So my first tip is: talk to people from different areas and with different perspectives about your idea as much as you can. The idea makes maybe 15% of your success, the remaining 85% is you, your team and your commitment. So don’t be too afraid that people will copy your idea.
Second piece of advice is listen to what these people say. Don’t sell your idea; tell your idea and then be quiet and listen. Every different point of view is valuable feedback. Consider every person as a potential client and find out if they would use your product and what their needs are.
Thirdly: Be quick, start doing, find like-minded people, write a business plan and iterate. You will learn so many things on the go, you can’t even imagine right now but sometimes the journey is the reward. Building your own business is the best school that you can go to.
More information you will find here
Thank you Claudio Ricci for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.