Home Flickr Co-Founder Fake Announces New Mobile Startup

Flickr Co-Founder Fake Announces New Mobile Startup

Caterina Fake is one of the most interesting thinkers on the web. She co-founded social photo sharing site Flickr and turned it into one of the world’s most important websites by focusing on creating a culture of customer service and community. Then she co-founded Hunch, a data-driven service that analyzes peoples’ interests and powers predictive recommendations on other services around the web. Both of those startups have pointed towards the future of social media.

Now Fake has announced that she’s working on a new company. Code-named 2BKO, the company has raised just under $2 million according to SEC sleuthing by Liz Gannes. It looks like it’s going to be focused on mobile, on a high-touch interface and probably on Fake’s close observation of human behavior online. It sounds exciting.

Caterina Fake on Social Media and the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

“It’s an age-old problem, exacerbated by technology. To be always filled with craving and desire (also called defilement, affliction) is one of the Three Poisons of Buddhism, called kilesa, and it makes you a slave. There is true meaning in social media–real connections, real friendships, devotion, humor, sacrifice, joy, depth, love. And this is what we are looking for when we log on. Most of the world is profane, not sacred, in the Mircea Eliade sense. So it is. But within it is the Emmy award speech of Mister Rogers, a Japanese man being rescued at sea, Abraham Lincoln, moms who comfort sick children, the earnest love that dogs have for people…

“FOMO can be fought. Stay alert! En garde!” – March 15, 2011

There are no details available yet concerning what the startup will do and Fake declined to offer any in response to my inquiry.

Fake has said that she is hiring, however, and is looking for developers with skills in Ruby on Rails (the relatively accessible language that Twitter and other popular services have been built on in recent years), Backbone.js (an open-sourced javascript component of DocumentCloud, a cutting-edge source-document startup that serves journalists) and jQuery mobile (Touch-Optimized Web Framework for Smartphones & Tablets).

That might give some indication of the type of service Fake and team are building.

Fake as Remix Artist

One thing’s for sure, though: it’s sure to be an innovative effort. Fake has a history of taking things that are old, or un-new, and remixing them in radically different ways. She once asked her blog readers to cut the labels out of their clothes and send them to her so she could sew them all together to create a new dress for a fashion show. The development of Hunch was largely influenced by the mistakes she saw made at Yahoo Answers.

Of Flickr’s innovation Fake once said:

“When we started the company, there were dozens of other photosharing companies such as Shutterfly, but on those sites there was no such thing as a public photograph — it didn’t even exist as a concept — so the idea of something ‘public’ changed the whole idea of Flickr.”

We eagerly await more details about what Caterina Fake and team are up to next.

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