Zymmetrical, BrightQube Go Gently

Posted on 1/4/2010 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

As 2009 wound to a close, so did several more stock-image companies. Most notable for a couple of firsts they introduced to the industry are royalty-free sellers Zymmetrical and BrightQube, which ceased to exist in December and November, respectively.

Zymmetrical officially closed its doors on December 30. “The stock industry and the economy in general are a hard situation these days, and we have made the difficult decision to close the operation, preserving our health and future potential,” said company founder Keith Tuomi in a statement.

Established in 2006, Zymmetrical was a user-generated marketplace that sold fonts alongside images and video, with an emphasis on what it referred to as “fair trade”—or being contributor-friendly. It allowed content creators to set their own pricing and paid 70% commissions. Zymmetrical was also first to market with a Firefox plugin that allowed buyers to search the image database from the browser’s toolbar.

Zymmetrical traffic now redirects to Tuomi’s earlier venture, Flyerstarter, which trades in crowdsourced vector templates. The company’s second major investor Paul Melcher continues to write Thoughts of a Bohemian.

Comparatively little is known about the whereabouts and plans of BrightQube founder Lee Corkran, the first man to build an aggregator search engine that displayed the entire image collection at once and allowed same-page purchase. The technology, which BrightQube dubbed Dynamic Mosaic, first launched to buyers in 2007.

BrightQube secured venture capital, won awards and was the first among a new type of search engine (the most notable introduction of a similar set of tools came a year later in Masterfile’s Endless Media). Another BrightQube first was offering microstock and traditionally priced imagery on the same Web site, where image costs ranged from $1 to several hundred.

Corckran’s Linkedin profile indicates he was heading BrightQube through July 2009. BrightQube’s Web site has been down since at least mid-November, without a forwarding address.

Copyright © 2010 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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