We Are Smarter Than Me

Crowdsourcing New Businesses

Barry Libert and Jon Spector

There was a time—just a few years ago, really—when thousands of highly skilled, professional photographers counted on the licensing of their work by stock photo houses to pay a big chunk of their rent. Not anymore. A lethal combination of new technology and crowdsourcing is doing them in.

This is the way it used to work: To illustrate their wares, magazines, ad agencies, corporate publications, and film companies routinely turned to photo agencies that stored collections of shots by professionals. Customers might have to pay fees of $100 or more for the one-time use ...

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