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The ubertification of photography

It made a giant noise as it caught everyone by surprise — $230 million investment in a company providing photo services.  After Adobe’s $800 million purchase of French microstock photo company Fotolia, Pond 5’s $64 million investment and Shutterstock’s  $76.5 million IPO, it is the highest figures ever seen invested in the photo world, by far. Sure, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion but that was for its formidable dedicated audience, not for its inexistent business model. In the case of Meero, it’s obviously for…

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Leaving one’s comfort zone: What can we learn from the Google Pixel 4?

Let’s say your company has developed very strong expertise that could be applied to other use cases or markets than those you’ve successfully pursued. That makes it very tempting to expand. However, while some companies do this successfully, a large number of others learn through the school of hard knocks that applying their technology to previously unchartered territory is a lot harder than they’d thought. Especially when they move from being a software to a hardware or a cloud company, or v.v. Here are a…

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10 questions to a founder : Generated Photos

While the release of this person does not exist by three researchers created a massive wave of buzz, it never went beyond curiosity. When Ivan Braun and his team launched Generated Photos, the interest changed to concern and apprehension. Generating human portraits via AI was no longer a research paper but a real, viable business. One that can and probably will profoundly disrupt a multi-billion industry led by the likes of Adobe, Shutterstock and Getty Images. While GAN generated images do not come as a surprise to readers…

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Photo by Zukiman Mohamad from Pexels

Photography’s misconceptions

Depending on who you ask, photo prints are up, or down. Depending on where you look, DSLRs are dead, or not. If you ask VC’s consumer photo apps are out, if you ask developers, they are a hot item. The only certitude, one all seem to agree on is that the creation and sharing of photos show no signs of slowing down, ever. What else can we all agree on? Let’s push aside some misconceptions: Photo printing is up: According to IBIS World, the online…

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AI imaging news roundup: the good, bad, and ugly

New AI imaging products, research papers and scandals keep popping up – so, I thought it was a good idea to present a roundup of the AI imaging announcements of the last two weeks. Needless to say, there was a lot of commotion around FaceApp but, before we get into that, let’s start with the other AI imaging news. UC Berkeley, the Univ. of Washington, and the Univ. of Chicago: Natural adversarial images. Pictures that are routinely misidentified by AI are known as “adversarial images.” These pictures can…

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Gig Photography market: What’s in store?

I’d like to share a few thoughts spurred by our recently released Building the Gig Photo Economy study, as well as the conversations I’ve since had with quite a few folks using or supplying Gig Photography services. First of all, we live in an era of diminishing stigma against outsourcing household tasks that consumers traditionally have done themselves. Coupled with compelling use cases for deploying gig photographers or photography workers as I wrote about earlier, there are plenty of opportunities for innovative vendors to offer services that make finding, engaging,…

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The solution to Deepfakes

The real strength of deepfakes or alternate images is not that they falsify the truth – we have been able to that since the birth of photography but rather, thanks to social media, that they are completely dissociated from their original creators and thus their intent. When the Soviet government released a documentary, we knew to be skeptical of its content as they were notoriously prone to propaganda or biased information. Today, when we see a photo or video, we do not know its origin…

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LDV Vision Summit : It’s in the silence after

After all, it’s not about a specific connection, nor is it about one particular talk or presentation. It is neither about any particular individual that you catch up with or meet for the first time. The real value of the LDV Vision Summit, instead, is the sum of it all. Like a great book you keep on thinking about months after you finish it, the LDV Vision Summit fills you with so much inspiration, so much broad thinking, so much forward vision (no pun intended)…

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Sea Machines Robotics delivers autonomous and advanced control technology for workboats and other commercial surface vessels. Photo ©Sea Machines

Why These 10 Venture Capitalists Are Investing in Visual Technologies

Investors from Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, Lux Capital, Glasswing Ventures, Imagination Capital, B Capital Group, FirstMark Capital, True Ventures, Eniac and we at LDV Capital share insights. Visual technologies were once considered cute, niche & science fiction. With more visual technology companies like Pinterest and Zoom going public, the world is starting to see the impact that visual technologies will have on our everyday lives. Large acquisitions of visual technology companies range from GM acquiring Cruise for more than $1 Billion, Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye…

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Photo storage: Shoebox – the end of an era ?

Last week Shoebox announced it’s closing its door on May 22nd, signifying the end of an era when one innovative cloud-based photo management/synching solution after another came to market in the 2010-2015 timeframe. Founded in 2012, Shoebox has always stood out to me for its novel interface, which enabled users to search for photos by leveraging the photo’s metadata in innovative ways. For instance, you could filter your photo collection by the camera model you used, your location, time of the week, year and month, or season. MyShoebox even…

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