Bloomberg, Cornell Tech, and Tech:NYC invite you to join us for the latest installment of the Cornell Tech @ Bloomberg Speaker Series, featuring Joel Flory, CEO and co-founder of VSCO, in conversation with Scarlet Fu of Bloomberg Television.
After a decade-long career as a professional photographer, Joel Flory launched VSCO (or Visual Supply Company) in 2011 with his co-founder Greg Lutze to serve creatives like themselves. The company’s first product was a pack of photo editing presets that dramatically decreased the time users spent editing photos. In the first two days after making the product available for sale, it grossed $250,000 in revenue. A year later, VSCO launched its first mobile app, which allowed users to capture and edit images and was downloaded one million times in its first week. The potential for even greater growth through mobile precipitated VSCO’s full transition to the platform.
In early 2017, VSCO introduced a paid subscription service that gives users access to all of its presets and film emulations. Rapid growth followed, with one million subscribers a little over a year later and two million by the end of 2018. Instagram users have tagged more than 200 million photos with #vscocam, but VSCO’s own mobile app eschews the markers of popularity to focus on promoting creativity and inspiration. There are no comments, likes, or follower counts on VSCO, and the company has built a successful business without relying on a massive audience it could sell to advertisers.
We hope you’ll join us for this conversation, in which Flory and Fu will discuss the role of creativity in VSCO’s genesis and evolution, its unique position in a landscape of Snapchat filters and Instagram influencers, how the company uses artificial intelligence to identify the feelings that images evoke, why it chose to raise venture capital funding after achieving profitability, and the process of developing new digital tools that mimic analog film.
Cocktail reception begins
Doors close, conversation starts
Audience Q&A with Cornell Tech students
Networking and hors d’oeuvres to follow
PLEASE NOTE: Seating is limited and registered attendees will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Doors close promptly at the top of the hour. Individuals arriving late may be turned away from the building. No walk-ins allowed.
Sign up for the Cornell Tech @ Bloomberg Speaker Series mailing list here.
Joel Flory is a co-founder and the CEO of VSCO. He and his co-founder, Greg, combined their passions for photography, design, and technology to build VSCO — a company for creators, by creators — in 2011. Prior to founding VSCO, Joel was a globally influential commercial and wedding photographer. A Bay Area native, he is deeply involved in supporting the local Oakland community.