Mark Getty is an entrepreneur and British businessman. He was already rich, but the company Getty Images is one of the largest photographic archives in the world today. Its existence was born from certain assumptions that are the legs of the table on which every successful company rests.
Getty Images is a family story and above all, a business story. It is the latter that interests me and I want to look deeper into Mark’s life.
Mark Getty was born in 1960, into a British aristocratic family, whose ancestors were among the first to invest in oil in the nineteenth century.
The oil dynasty, however, did not last long: in the 1970s, Baron Jean Paul Getty – Mark’s father – lost everything. To make up for it he had to start from scratch, but he managed to do it in style.
Baron Jean Paul Getty
In 1953, Jean Paul Getty started a construction company in California, and in 1964, he founded the Getty Oil Company. In a few years, he became one of the richest men in the world and his family entered the Olympus of the American dynasties.
The legacy that matters is not just the economic one: Jean Paul Getty passed on his entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to reinvent himself to his children.
Mark Getty, in particular, followed in his entrepreneurial footsteps and in 1995 founded Getty Images with partner Jonathan Klein.
Before founding Getty Images, Mark Getty worked for 10 years in England as a music producer and then as a photographer.
He collaborated with some of the greatest pop music artists of the 1980s but was never satisfied with his work.
“I didn’t feel fulfilled,” he said in an interview. “I didn’t feel like I was doing anything important.”
Then, in 1985, he moved to Los Angeles to try to make a fortune in show business. Even there it was not easy to find success.
“I tried to do different jobs”, he said, “but nothing really satisfied me”.
Luckily for us, Mark Getty didn’t give up and kept looking for a path that really thrilled him, and he found it.
Mark Getty’s idea is simple but brilliant: to put online an archive of photographs from which everyone can download the images they need for their own purposes, be they professional or personal. Today is a normal thing, but in 1995, was something completely new.
Getty Images was originally called “EyeWire” and only offered sports photography. But the company grew and started acquiring other companies specializing in different fields, from fashion to information.
Today Getty Images is an international colossus with offices around the world and an archive of over 200 million photographs.
The success of the company is closely linked to the creativity and resourcefulness of Mark Getty, who was able to seize an opportunity and transform it into a real empire.
It wasn’t always easy for Mark Getty and his company. Before becoming an international giant, Getty Images had faced several problems.
The biggest was the one linked to image piracy. In fact, when the site became famous, many users started downloading the photos without paying.
Getty Images solved the problem by introducing a licensing system that provides for the payment of a fee for the use of the images.
Today, the site is protected by various security systems and it is no longer possible to download photographs for free.
Another problem facing the company was that of competition. Getty Images is not the only company specializing in the sale of photographs online.
But thanks to its vast experience and the quality of its service, Getty Images has managed to stay on top and become the leading company in the industry.
What makes Getty Images so special? Certainly the quality and quantity of images available.
But there are other factors that have contributed to the company’s success.
– Getty Images offers impeccable customer service, thanks to which you can always find the image you are looking for.
– The company has managed to create a real community of users, who exchange tips and suggestions on how to make the most of the site.
– Getty Images also offers users a series of free tools, such as the “Photo Editor”, which allows you to edit photos directly online. In short, Getty Images is a one-stop shop for all those who need high-quality images.
The story of Mark Getty teaches that money does not serve alone. Who knows how many unwritten stories there are of attempts at enterprises, perhaps made by those who had capital, which has gone up in smoke. Millions or billions burned.
These negative lessons will not go down in history. No one explains to us why they failed, despite the money that the family or the father may have provided.
I don’t want to discriminate or mock these situations. Indeed, if people have large capital they have a right to spend it.
What interests me is to dismantle a cliché: money is not made only or only if a person has the availability of money. It is a lie.
Here are four the ingredients:
– Entrepreneurial skills passed on by his father
– Having the courage to try
– Retry after 1, 10, 100, 1000, failures
If there had been none of these four ingredients, we probably never would have heard of Getty Images.
Today, we are all users of his site.
Mark was an example: even when you have almost nothing, you have to have faith in your ideas and continue to work on them. With perseverance, determination, and patience.
Eventually, success comes. It is no coincidence that Mark Getty’s story teaches just that.
Industry analysts are very optimistic about the future of Getty Images.
“I think the company still has a lot of potential for growth,” said one expert. “And with Mark Getty at the helm, there’s nothing that can stop the company.” Jonathan Klein, co-founder of Getty Images, is also of the same opinion. “We are only at the beginning,” he said. “There are still a lot of opportunities to exploit.”
In short, it looks like Getty Images really has a bright future ahead of it. And there is nothing better than being led by a talented entrepreneur like Mark Getty.
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