Flickr and Organic Technology

An article in USA Today implicitly gives the essence of organic growth, both in terms of product features and product adoption, in talking about Flickr founders Stewart and Caterina.  Here is Caterina on organic product growth:

“Had we sat down and said, ‘Let’s start a photo application,’ we would have failed,” [Caterina] says. “We would have done all this research and done all the wrong things.”

And here is Yahoo’s Brad Horowitz on organic adoption:

Yahoo has kept the Flickr site low-key, with no front-page promotion. Word of mouth is its best marketing tool, Horowitz says.

“The right way to find Flickr is to be invited by a friend, to get plugged into the social network that way,” he says. That way, you’re more likely to “get it,” he says.

On a related note, people might like to go to the wayback machine and read about my rods and cones view of sidelong innovation.


  1. dear world: please no more ‘stewart!!! and!!! caterina!!!’ articles. thank you – regards, citizens of earth.

  2. Dear Citizens of Earth:
    Message received. But they’re so darn cute.