Far be it for me to celebrate another's (ongoing) downward slide....ahh shucks, in this case, why not?
Back in July I wrote (OnRequest - Realizing the Obvious, 7/12/07) about how David Norris, founder of OnRequest, had finally admitted what everyone (except he, and his deluded investors) knew, that it was a bad business model, convincing up to five photographers to all shoot a job on spec, with one of them - if any - with the chance of being paid. It was like the traveling elixir hawkers of old, promising the world to those in need of a cure (or an assignment) with the promise of potential "riches".
Norris, who is touted recently in Seattle Business Monthly's The Top 25 Innovators and Entrepreneurs, was thankful that his payroll would be lighter in the coming weeks, laying off eight staff, as reported here by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
So, who's reporting what?
On one hand, he's celebrated (in the Seattle BM piece):
"...OnRequest has developed unique tools for helping companies brand their products and track their images. It can analyze a company’s artwork and find out if a firm’s unoriginal images are also being used by other businesses, an embarrassing problem that happens more often than companies realize."Right, that's called the risk of Royalty-free imagery.
"....OnRequest grow by about 400 percent in 2006 and the same rate of growth is expected this year. The company’s success has caught the eye of the venture community, as well, with a number of local firms investing millions in the startup."Hmmm, maybe not so much. When it's reported in the Seattle PI piece:
The cuts, which occurred Thursday, were not tied to problems in the overall stock photography business, said Norris....He said the company has experienced record revenue over the past several quarters, a trend he expects to continue this quarter.Then again, maybe not, unless you cut more staff, which is a common tactic for organizations looking to appear more profitable than they are.
Yikes! This is his fourth startup. Perhaps those with the VC purse-strings will recognize that Norris' risk to success ratio is a bit askew towards the risk side, so there's no fifth startup? Perhaps someone will see him in a ditch, with a broken spoke and just let well enough alone.
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