Jon Oringer: Founder & CEO at Shutterstock

Jon Oringer is an American Entrepreneur, who is well known for establishing a stock media and editing tools provider, Shutterstock. He is a programmer, photographer and a billionaire businessman. He discovered "one of the Web's first pop-up blockers" while studying in college during 1990s. He assiduously found ten more startups that were used to sell his own software products through subscription method. He has received a number of business awards. In 2012, he received Ernst & Young New York's Technology Entrepreneur of the Year award. He is serving as the Board Member at Partnership for New York City since December 2013. He holds an estimated net worth of $1.25 billion, as of 1st December 2020.

Exclusive interview of Jon Oringer 

Jon Oringer- Biography

Name Jonathan E. Oringer
Born 2 May, 1974
Age 46 (2020)
Birthplace Scarsdale, New York
Nationality American
Education Stony Brook University; Columbia University
Profession Businessman; Photographer, Programmer
Position Founder & CEO, Shutterstock
Net worth $1.25 billion (1 December, 2020)

Jon Oringer- Personal Life
Jon Oringer- Education
Jon Oringer- Professional Life
Jon Oringer- Startups
Jon Oringer- Founder & CEO at Shutterstock
Jon Oringer- Business idea
Jon Oringer- Microstock Photography
Jon Oringer- Honors & Awards


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Jon Oringer- Personal Life

Jon was born and brought up in Scarsdale, New York. At age 5, he started learning computer programming. He used to code "simple games and plug-ins for bulletin board systems" through his Apple IIe. He developed a hobby of clicking pictures in his early teens.

He resides in West Village, in Manhattan. He became a certified commercial helicopter pilot in the year 2012. He pays around $42 million for his Miami Beach mansion, that itself marks a record.

Jon Oringer- Education

Jon completed his formal education from Scarsdale High School (1988-1992). In 1993, he was enrolled in Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science specialized in Computer Science and Mathematics. He received his graduation degree in 1996. He then pursued Master of Science focused in Computer Science from Columbia University (1996-1998).

Jon Oringer- Professional Life

He started making money from an early age by taking guitar lessons. He eventually went on to fix computers outside his parents house and found it more remunerative. He started selling his own software products on the internet while studying in college. He discovered and sold thousands of copies of what Forbes describes as "one of the Web's first pop-up blockers."

While pursuing his post graduation at Columbia University, he continued to develop products to adjunct the pop-up blocker through a subscription model. The subscription-based method initiated the growth of sales in "personal firewalls, trademark managers, accounting software, cookie blockers" and other small programs.


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Jon Oringer- Startups

He asserts that he was the sole employee at those ten startups that he founded initially. He released new online tools and projects like Spectrum, a new image discovery tools in March 2013. In June 2013, he launched a subscription-based online marketplace for instructional videos named Skillfeed.

Shutterstock also launched Offset, a marketplace emphasizing high end curated photos and few months later, the company formerly launched its first Android app. He also founded SurfSecret Software, a privacy and security software company, where he served as Founder and CEO for 5 years (January 1998- January 2003).

Jon Oringer- Founder & CEO at Shutterstock

Shutterstock Logo

Jon serves as the Founder and CEO of Shutterstock., headquartered in New York. However, he announced in February 2020 that he would renounce his CEO position and serve as the Executive chairman from April 2020. The company operates in more than 150 countries and 20 languages.

He founded Shutterstock in 2003 with an aim to provide microstock photography, which has been traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012. Thereafter, he became New York's first tech billionaire in 2013. As of March 2016, Shutterstock had over 100,000 contributors with 1.4 million active customer base in 150 countries.

As of 2006, the company became the largest subscription-based stock photo agency in the world with 570,000 images in its collection, headed by Jon. Shutterstock acquired its rival credit based microsoft photography agency, Bigstock in 2009. In 2011, the company debuted with Shutterstock for iPad, which can be accessed for free.

Jon made Shutterstock public by issuing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange on 17 October, 2012. Post that, he owned 55 % of Shutterstock, largely through the personal investments that he made for the company.

Jon Oringer- Business idea

Jon thought of establishing Shutterstock when he realized that emails with photos were received better than without. The idea emerged while he was going through a mailing list to market his software. It was getting difficult for him to find affordable generic stock photos online.

He then thought the idea of microsoft photography with an aim to sell images over the internet at a lower range of prices. He funded his startup entirely with his own savings and handled all roles solely, including customer service. He advertised Shutterstock on major platforms like, Google AdWords.


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Jon Oringer- Microstock Photography

He was a passionate photographer as well. Thus, he purchased a Canon Rebel camera to take pictures for a new stock-photo marketplace that offered its services to advertisers and microstock photography.

He captured about 100,000 images within six months. He then posted a gleaned collection of 30,000 images with a new website named Shutterstock. He made these photographs available through a subscription model, which would enable unlimited downloads and a monthly starting fee of $49.

Initially, he hired his friends to serve as models for the stock photos. Gradually, he hired a photo director to organize shoots for the company. However, with an increase in demand, he exceeded his photo supply. He eventually became an agent and hired additional contributors and reviewers to ensure quality check and editorial consistency.

Jon Oringer- Honors & Awards

  • Business Insider named him the coolest person in all of New York technology in 2013.
  • He was recognized as one of Crain's New York class of 2013 40 under 40.
  • He received Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year of New York in June 2012.
  • In 2009, he was selected 41st on the Silicon Alley 100, which is an annual list of the 100 most influential entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and technologists in Manhattan.
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About Megha Rani

Content Editor
  • Ranchi, Jharkhand
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