Today, we’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Jason Teichman as Pond5’s new Chief Executive Officer and Board Director. Jason brings with him more than two decades of experience in running digital-media businesses. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer at Web.com Group, where he helped businesses of all sizes to drive growth with a platform of creative services and online-marketing solutions. Prior to joining Web.com, he held executive leadership roles at Register.com and American Express.
“As we enter into this next phase of our growth, I’m incredibly excited to welcome Jason on board,” said Pond5 Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Tom Bennett. “He brings the perfect skillset and experience to leverage our success and to take Pond5 to the next level. Throughout his career, he has applied focus, hustle, and ingenuity to drive consistently strong results and grow companies at scale. He’s all-in on our mission, and understands the needs of the artists that use our platform. I’m looking forward to working with him, the team, and the Pond5 community to continue to make Pond5 the absolute best place for creators to find inspiration and to earn money doing what they love.”
To help personally introduce Jason to the Pond5 community, we sat down with him to talk about his plans for the company, his reasons for taking the role, and why he’s so excited about the future of media. Watch our video interview with Jason below, then read on for the full Q&A.
Why did you decide to join Pond5? What appeals to you about the company, and how does your previous experience relate to this role?
At Web.com, we made websites for businesses. We wrote their copy, redesigned their look and feel online. The thing I took away is that creating content is hard. Really hard. That’s why most people don’t do it. When I think about the type of content we make available at Pond5 — video, After Effects, music, photos — creating that type of content is ten times harder. The things we make available are incredibly hard to produce, but there’s also an insatiable demand out there for really good content, driven by so many different things.
That creates this environment with an amazing opportunity — for not only us, but also for the artist community that we serve. What I love about Pond5 is that the company has always been an innovator in this space. Thinking about putting the artist first makes it work for the artists and for the buyers. The combination of those two things made this a no-brainer for me.
What does that idea of putting the artist first mean to you? How do we help artists succeed?
It comes alive in how we interact with them every day. We talk to them about what’s selling and what’s not selling. How to shoot good footage. How to tag it right. How we can save them time and money by uploading it on their behalf instead of forcing them to do it on their own. These are things that define artist-friendly, and I think will continue to define our culture.
How will Pond5 maintain the personal touch that artists value as the company continues to grow?
I’ve heard a lot about the fear of becoming corporate and bureaucratized, and those things happen only when you do one thing: stop serving your customer. For us, if we stop serving our artists, then we are bureaucratic, and that can never happen. We need to always help our artists, and as long as we stay true to that, any process changes we make should only be viewed through the lens of whether it enables us to serve them better. If it does, then we should do it. If it doesn’t, then we shouldn’t do it. That’s really the only filter that matters.
Do you have ideas about ways Pond5 can empower artists that either we’re doing now and can do more of, or that we aren’t doing yet, but you’d like to see?
There’s the artistic side of being an artist, and there’s the business side of being an artist. Some of our artists need a lot of help on the business side. Particularly with, “How do I price my art?” That’s an area that I’m personally focused on, because I want artists to be able to properly value the work they spend a lot of time creating.
Another area that I think we can be even more helpful in is giving artists a sense of what we need, because the market out there changes a lot. We certainly have a lot of good insight into what people are looking for right now, and there’s a way we can share that information that could be even more helpful to artists.
How do you plan to evolve the business and launch new initiatives, while maintaining the democratic approach that’s always been at the heart of Pond5?
I think the key thing for us is making sure that all of our artists have an opportunity to participate in a differentiating way. Some artists are focused on drone shots. Some artists are focused on sports. Some artists are focused on lifestyle. We’re going to be focusing on lots of different aspects of the creative community. Not all at one single time, but we’ll give opportunities to all of our artists to participate in some special way. It’s just about creating equal opportunities for everybody, and helping people understand the approach.
There are many ways to define “artist-friendly,” but the big word for me, I think, is “empowerment.” We empower our artists to be as successful as they possibly can. That means help. That means flexibility. That means direction. That means different promotions. That means different programs. That means saving them time. All of those things enable artists to be more successful.
What do you see as the future of Pond5 and its place in the industry? What would you like to see?
We are and will continue to be on top of finding out where the demand is. We’ll keep procuring and building the collection from that perspective. My goal is to have this organization stay very in tune with and sensitive to what the artists are creating, and what the creative buyers are looking for, evolving our collection dynamically. That’s what we’ll continue to do.