That is messed up. Really. Is there been one year where Corbis has NOT laid of people? This company is like a slippery tunnel. In, one way, out the other. Nothing, or rather no one, sticks. They must have employed half of the US workforce by now. 175 people looking forward to a grim Holiday season because the management is incapable of …managing. Corbis needs to install mirrors, lots of them, in their headquarters. And take a deep look at themselves. The Irony of it all is that once again, they buy a company, put the acquired senior management into senior management roles within Corbis, eradicate “redundant” jobs and hope for the best.

I am sure they said, this time it will be different, like they did with Westlight, Sygma, Zefa or The Stock Market. Another agency, another shot at a black hole.Not that I wish it will happen but lets meet again here, same time,next year and see how many more will get the axed. These guys are like the groundhog day of photography. Repeating over and over the same mistakes.

On a another very sad note, Photoshelter is shutting down its collection. Quite a surprised and not such a surprise. They have a very good team and were energized at conquering some real estate in the stock market. But that is where they made their mistake. They limited themselves to the USA and only stock. And that market segment is being ravaged currently by microstock and assignments, after being trampled by Getty, Corbis and slightly Jupiter.

A marketplace of so called “independent” photographer has little or no chance of surviving because it is flawed from the start. The best photographers are with agencies already. Thus any marketplace will be filled with the medium and not so good, those that could not find a strong agent. There is no strength in volume, in this case, because only quality matters. And when you shoot quality, you do not submit your work to a marketplace, you choose a real established photo agency.

Also, the pricing was off. You have to control excellent content to fight the just war of pricing against the Dark Side. Without exclusivity, the battle is lost from the start. So long Photoshelter collection, we will miss you. You took the right side even if you took the wrong tools.

Finally, “taking on Getty” as a business model will not work. Jupiter tried that and is still picking up what is left from its stock from the ground floor of the Stock Market. Creative Destruction is an idea that has left the building. Photography and selling it cannot be an act of revenge or vengeance, but an act of passion done by selfless individuals with no aspirations for financial rewards. It is not a battleground for egos, although it does create many strong ones. It is a long and painful uphill battle with no immediate rewards besides the pleasure of seeing images you love being published and enjoyed by others..  In a word, its not a business. Not really.One thing we will not miss is the hysterical blog of that egg lady who stole images. That, we can live without.

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