Anyone thinking about setting up their own fully functional search engine to license images should read Yuri Arcurs article
about the trials and tribulations he went through in creating PeopleImages.com
Yuri started the project with lots of advantages. He had access to development funds; experience in managing a large staff engaged in photography production and a sterling reputation in the stock photo industry which virtually guaranteed him loyal customers once he launched his site.
Nevertheless, he found that without any experience in the information technology field, creating a site for the world’s top selling image collection was an interesting battle.
Yuri has always been very willing to share his experiences and this article is no exception. Here are a few comments from the article.
“Managing six IT guys would prove to be more time-consuming and more difficult than managing my entire business.”
“Very few people will tell you to your face “this will not work” or “we need to delete 1,000 hours of code work because it will create bugs.” Especially not if they are hired by you.”
“News of the launch was leaked to the media three days before our original launch date, and it was posted on the front page of the biggest newspaper in Denmark. It became quite clear what we had to do. We had to launch now. Not in in three days. Not tomorrow. Now.”
“All the tools that a normal manager can use to direct a project are inaccessible to an IT manager that is not a developer themselves.”
“We, as artists, are perfectionists, we have to be, but for a perfectionist to ever create anything great, you must be able to say: “Stop – Enough with the details!” and settle with the less attractive option.”
“Programmers love detailed planning, and most other people do, too, but great interactive design was never arrived at from the very first go-ahead. It is, by its very nature, an experimental process and you will find yourself often arriving at the best solutions when you start using the interface yourself. The only problem is at this point somebody has already had to build it and be ready to discard it.”
“We discarded the whole site two times and had to start over. Most people would consider that a total flop, a loss in all ways, but it ended up getting us closer and closer to having a thorough understanding of how the site would need to behave.”
“Preparing for the launch event, I had a 6min live TV spot lined up on the launch date in front of 1.5 million viewers. I was extremely lucky to get this pitched to the editor in such a way that they ended up running the story. But when it actually was about to unfold I was more nervous than I have ever been prior to any interview. I only had about 15 hours of sleep the last week before the launch, and had to be ready to go live at 8am in the morning with 4 hours of “airplane sleep” – and, naturally with all the stress involved in the launch, I fell ill the day before the TV spot. It was simply madness, but it had to be done and it had to be done well.”