Wisdom Lives in Words

Memorable Quotes by Alan Schaaf

I've found that instability from growth comes in waves.
Alan Schaaf
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When we first started growing our employees, I was scared. I would often think, 'If we had more people, what would they do? Is there really enough work?'
Alan Schaaf
I'm against the SOPA act, and Imgur, as a company, is against it.
Alan Schaaf
Let's get real: the .GIF format is outdated and is not really that great for the modern web anymore. It was created in 1989, and it wasn't even created for the purpose of animation.
Alan Schaaf
We're trying to be a content destination for viral images and to be an entertainment destination in general.
Alan Schaaf
The Imgur community, as a whole, is generally a lot more positive and a lot more funny than other communities.
Alan Schaaf
I ran a profitable boostrapped company for five years, then raised $40 million from Andreessen Horowitz.
Alan Schaaf
How do I find someone for a position I've never worked with - or worked under, even? I feel like I'm not qualified to make a lot of these decisions.
Alan Schaaf
In many ways, products are a reflection of their founders, and I consider myself a geek. But aside from that, Imgur just organically evolved into the epicenter of geek culture.
Alan Schaaf
The successful entrepreneurs that I see have two characteristics: self-awareness and persistence. They're able to see problems in their companies through their self-awareness and be persistent enough to solve them.
Alan Schaaf
We want to be like a YouTube for viral images.
Alan Schaaf
One of my favorite sci-fi books is 'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card. I would recommend it to anyone who loves sci-fi. It's a perfect intro to sci-fi.
Alan Schaaf
In the early days, it was enough for Imgur to have a team that was focused on building product and engineering. But I realized early on if we were going to be successful, we needed someone who would be a bridge between the company and community.
Alan Schaaf
On Imgur, introverts can be extroverts. They don't have to worry about curating their own brand and are able to express themselves more authentically. They can go on Imgur and be themselves.
Alan Schaaf
Imgur is a data-driven company, and our community is our most important signal. But you can't perfectly plot humans neatly into a chart. It takes someone with instincts and empathy to truly understand the community and represent them in all of the company decisions.
Alan Schaaf
At Imgur, we need a solid product that works on various platforms, so we're looking at iOS, Android, front end, back end, and devops.
Alan Schaaf
When I was in high school and college, I'd always been into websites, and when you'd read about sites and the companies and people behind them, they were always in Silicon Valley. This one's in Mountain View, this one's in Palo Alto. They're all right here. I knew I wanted to move out here, whether it was to work at Google or some other company.
Alan Schaaf
We're not going the photography route. I think there is a real distinction between photos and images, and Flickr is for photos, and Instagram is for photos. You wouldn't put a filter on a meme; you'd put a filter on top of a photo that came from your camera.
Alan Schaaf
It's not always about 'Can you do the job?' It's about 'Can you fit in with the team?'
Alan Schaaf
For millennials, being a geek is a positive thing, and we see people proudly self-identifying themselves as geeks.
Alan Schaaf
I think it's interesting to know that being a geek isn't the negative thing that it used to be.
Alan Schaaf
Geek culture is all about being super passionate about your interests and not afraid to express them, even if your interests are unpopular.
Alan Schaaf
I don't think display advertising is the future of advertising.
Alan Schaaf
The office has a really fun 'community' feel, kind of like Imgur itself. The things that you see that are on the walls and on our desks came directly from our users.
Alan Schaaf
People can express themselves better with images than just text, so they communicate more this way.
Alan Schaaf
'Change' is seen as a dirty word, but personally, I'm searching for it.
Alan Schaaf
When I come into the office, the first thing I do is I plan out what I want to accomplish that day. I write it down in my notebook and make sure I accomplish it before I leave that day.
Alan Schaaf
We want to become the best place on the Internet for self-expression and entertainment. If we have to raise money to achieve that goal and maybe move faster, we'll do it.
Alan Schaaf
We try hard to provide the best user experience possible, and that means the best ads possible, so we work with the brands to come up with the best images.
Alan Schaaf
I'm probably most proud of the fact that we are bootstrapped and that we are able to do not just the typical Silicon Valley startup thing. We are basically throwing away all the typical conventions of other startups.
Alan Schaaf
Imgur offers a rare place for people to express themselves in a real way without the fear of social judgment. Everyone has an equal chance of sharing their story to millions of people because it's not about who you are but about the quality of your content.
Alan Schaaf
Honestly, I could care less about business development.
Alan Schaaf
Imgur has always been profitable right from the very beginning, and the only time I ever had to spend money on it was for the initial domain name because as soon as I released it, people liked it so much that they were donating, and so Imgur survived for the first six months just purely on donations.
Alan Schaaf
We've talked with over a dozen VCs and angel investors over the years. But we've never clicked with any of them until Andreessen. During our initial meeting, we were bouncing ideas around about where Imgur could go.
Alan Schaaf
There are so many easier ways to live your life than to start a company.
Alan Schaaf
Being bootstrapped is great. You own 100 percent of it. But the downside is that you aren't able to move as fast as you want.
Alan Schaaf
I like to think of an image as different from a photo.
Alan Schaaf
If a whole bunch of users want a specific feature, and we think that feature is pretty cool, too, that that's just what we'll do.
Alan Schaaf
My favorite interview question is, 'If you could have a superpower, what would it be?'
Alan Schaaf
As long as we continue to bring in more traffic, I'm much more concerned with building a good user experience and developing tools that will help grow the Imgur community of users.
Alan Schaaf
GIFs work because the punch line is instantaneous. It's entirely different from almost any other form of content on the Internet, which takes time to consume.
Alan Schaaf
When I look at other products, I naturally think of ways to improve upon what already exists.
Alan Schaaf
Revenue is not where the focus of the company is at. We are focused on pushing out cool products like our analytics.
Alan Schaaf
The only thing that matters on Imgur is the quality of the content.
Alan Schaaf
If you're even on the fence about hiring someone, that person is a no. You have to feel it in your gut.
Alan Schaaf
The reason I want to be able to teleport is that I don't like waiting around. It's one of my pet peeves. I also don't like traveling, because I don't like sitting on a plane for six hours, doing nothing, essentially wasting time. You know what would be awesome? Bam, I'm in New York.
Alan Schaaf
People come home from work, and they just want to unwind.
Alan Schaaf
Entrepreneurship, to me, means that you're a psychopath. The world doesn't work in the way you want it to, and you have a vision for how it should work. Unlike everyone else, this isn't OK with you. You have to go out, against every possible odd, and do something about it. That's what makes you crazy.
Alan Schaaf
Imgur is all about images, some of which may be photos but don't have to be.
Alan Schaaf
It's gotten more open and easy to create a business on the Internet. That's a really awesome thing for entrepreneurs and for the world.
Alan Schaaf
If there is a viral video on the Internet, you know it's on YouTube. You can search for it, find it, see the view count, and then take that link and share it with whomever you want. That's what we are doing for images.
Alan Schaaf
I'm proud that I've been able to attract an incredible team to work with me.
Alan Schaaf
I'm the type of manager who doesn't really like the word 'manage.' Nor do I really like the word 'boss.' I like to look at myself as more as a leader.
Alan Schaaf
I don't have much time to read. I'm more of a problem solver. I'll have an idea or a problem, and I'll learn what's necessary in order to do the idea or solve the problem. If I need to read a book, then I will, but it usually comes down to researching on the Internet and reading blog posts.
Alan Schaaf
Imgurians increasingly live on their mobile devices, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to browse and discuss Imgur's content wherever and whenever they want.
Alan Schaaf
When I was a student, I was working at the technology call center, where students call in if they can't get their email to work or something. A minimum-wage kind of job.
Alan Schaaf
We want people on the Internet to go to Imgur for their viral image fix. And what's so awesome about images vs. videos is that instant gratification.
Alan Schaaf
If SOPA were to pass, Imgur would not be able to exist. We survive on user-generated content. It would be impossible for us to police the amount of traffic we get for what is or isn't copyrighted material. It's just not possible.
Alan Schaaf
Imgur isn't about following a celebrity, and it's not about following a person in real life. You don't have to build up a massive following and use that to get your distribution.
Alan Schaaf
Over the years, the Internet has been going down the path of becoming a more personalized experience.
Alan Schaaf
We want to be the best place on the Internet. That's where the focus is at.
Alan Schaaf
Ultimately, you have to provide value to the user.
Alan Schaaf
Not only do Imgurians get the opportunity to find the content that they love but also serve up their favorite content to others who visit their profiles.
Alan Schaaf