Caterina Fake (b. June 13, 1969)
In the early 1990s, when many of us were still trying to figure out how to use e-mail, this Vassar College graduate was building online communities and social software as art director of Salon.com. In 1997, she took a job managing the community forums of Netscape. Five years later, her entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and she co-founded Ludicorp with her then-husband Steward Butterfield. Fake’s company then created Flickr, one of the most popular photo-sharing sites in the world.
Tech giant Yahoo! acquired Flickr in 2005 and hired Fake to run its technology development division. In 2009, less than a year after resigning from Yahoo!, Fake co-founded the website Hunch, which builds taste profiles of Internet users.
Just two years later, eBay acquired Hunch for a reported $80 million. Aside from business success, Fake has won numerous awards, including a 2006 spot on the coveted Time 100, Time magazine’s ranking of the world’s100 most influential people.
Believing that part of truly being successful is helping others, Fake is a partner at Founder Collective, a venture capital fund. And considering that she told entrepreneur.com that “the real world is a bottomless source of inspiration for what you can build [online],” it seems that we can look forward to more of Fake’s genius productions.