Close-up: Caterina Fake

Radhika Sivadi

< 1 min read ·


She helped create Flickr in 2004, and now Caterina Fake is starting a new service called Pinwheel, which lets users leave public or private posts on a map.

It has been a year and a half since Caterina Fake, who helped create Flickr in 2004, left her second start-up, Hunch, an online recommendation service. Now, Fake is back with a new company, Pinwheel.

The service, which launched in private beta in February, allows users to tag a map of the world with stories and photos. One of the inspirations was Flickr, says Fake. She noticed that people were using the photo-sharing site to create so-called memory maps: annotated satellite images of their hometowns.

So far, Pinwheel users have been adding notes like, "Where I popped the question," but Fake says that's just the beginning. "People will use it in ways I've never even thought of," she says.

Having sold Flickr to Yahoo and Hunch to eBay, Fake didn't have trouble getting funding-Pinwheel has already raised $9.5 million. But there's extra pressure, she says.

"People have heightened expectations," says Fake. "But prior success has no bearing on subsequent success. You have to go out there and take the same risks as you did the first time."

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Radhika Sivadi