Caterina Fake

Whenever Flickr is mentioned people aren’t talking so much about a website, or even a web app, they’re talking about an institution – a Web 2.0 institution. In just over two years Flickr has grown to a user base of four million and propelled 37-year-old Caterina Fake into Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ list – not bad considering Flickr was nearly an online game rather than the photosharing phenomenon it has become.

Alongside husband Steward Butterfield and developers such as Cal Henderson and Eric Costello, Caterina Fake formed Ludicorp in 2002. The company created Game Neverending (GNE), an innovative massively multiplayer online game based on social interaction and object manipulation. “We wanted to build a web-based game that would take the social web to the next level. When we realised it was the communication that was so important we changed direction,” recalls Caterina. GNE followers were gutted when the game was scrapped in 2004, but from the snippets of GNE code left over Flickr was born.

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