Tell us how Pexels came to be?
I often built websites and looked for free photos for those websites. I couldn’t afford expensive stock photos because the websites were very small. There were a few sites where you could find free photos. But they only had a few photos, no search or the image quality wasn’t that good. I thought it would be great to have a place where you can find the best free photos in one place – Pexels was born. We built a prototype with WordPress and launched the first version two years ago. We immediately got a lot of positive feedback and kept improving Pexels.
How do you stay engaged and creative?
I think the key to creativity is to be passioned about what you do. If you do what you love, it’s easy to stay engaged and creative. I also try the to learn new things and experiment with the things I learned.
What do you love the most about Photography?
Everyone takes photos every day. But shooting really great and exceptional photos is very hard. You have to find the perfect location, lighting, exposure, colours and composition. This makes photography a very interesting and exciting hobby and profession.
Is there a formal structure for your creative and new ideas process?
We don’t have a formal process of how to build new ideas. But the most time it looks like this: 1. We ask ourselves, do we really need this feature? Is it a problem users actually have? To answer this question we ask users, do a poll on our website or analyse the data we track with Google Analytics. 2. The next step is to design the feature. I get inspired by websites that try to solve a similar problem or I look at websites like Dribbble. It is important that the feature is easy to use and as simple as possible. 3. Then we build a prototype. The first iteration of the prototype doesn’t have to be perfect. The goal is to get a feeling of the new feature and get early feedback from users. 4. The last step is to improve the feature based on the user feedback and to make it perfect.
On what project are you currently working on?
In the last weeks, we worked on three new apps for Pexels: a Mac app, a Windows program and a Photoshop plugin. The goal of these tools is to improve the workflow if you use Pexels every day. The apps are not available yet. The launch will be soon.
Name three tools that you use in a typical day?
1. Sketch. I love Sketch because it makes it easy to design new beautiful features. 2. Slack. We use Slack to communicate in our team because we work remotely. 3. Trello. Trello is our project management tool to plan our next goals and objectives.
Who were some of your most significant mentors?
I read a lot of blog articles about web development, startups and marketing. I also meet sometimes other startup founders in Berlin. This is always very interesting.
What do you enjoy the most about your career?
Working on your own project is great. Of course, there are also things I have to do that are not so much fun. But the most time it is great to build a product thousands of people use every day.
Tea or coffee?