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Nominated by:

Remo Giuffre
Founder & Director
Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Eileen has nominated 2 Thinkers. View Them.

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Eileen Gittins

Founder and CEO | Blurb

San Francisco, United States

"There is no try, only do"

Generally thinking:

Business, Work & Strategy
Technology & The Future
Media & Journalism
Arts & Entertainment
Creativity & Design
Body, Mind & Science

My tags:

ArchitectureArtBrand StrategyCultureEntrepreneurshipFilmGraphic DesignJournalismScienceMarketingMediaMedia RelationsMuseumsMusicPhotographyPrintingProduct DesignPublishingStrategy GeneralTechnologyTravelVisual ArtsWriting

Very good at:
+ telling stories
+ creating something from nothing
+ persuading others to come along for the ride

About me & my work:

Back in the day, I was CEO of two start-ups in San Francisco, Personify and then Verb. But then 2001 hit and the crash happened and there was no proverbial room at any of the VC inns. So I started photographing again (I have a degree in Art/Photography) and in a former life worked for Kodak -- but all I knew was that I desperately needed a creative outlet. GAH.

I assigned myself a project to photograph fellow entrepreneurs I had built these companies with -- and what started out as personal work very quickly became something I needed to share back with this group. But it would take me forever to make custom prints for each of the 30 folks -- so I thought, "I know, I'll make a book -- how hard can that be?"


So I then spent the next year of my life learning about printing and publishing and got to the point of thinking "This shouldn't be this damn hard. Somebody should fix this."

So that somebody became me. I had three questions for myself:

1) Am I alone? Will others want to create highly illustrated books for any or no reason?

2) Could we make money on a book of one? I figured if we could accomplish that, then we could open up the world of book publishing to anyone who had access to a browser, a budget of $20 and a story to tell. Hmmm...

3) Would I go to jail? If we scaled this thing, there would be no way to do legal checks or validate copyrights or any of that. Double hmmmm.

Happily it all turned out well. We have now produced about 8 million print books since our beginnings in 2006, and more than a couple of million people are Blurb authors around the world.

By far, this is the best company I have ever built and the best job I have ever had. I figure there a lots of things we can do in this world, but giving voice to millions of people -- hard to top that in my book :)

My links:

Blurb | publishing platform for ebooks and print books and magazines


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