Flickr's Butterfield honoured by UVIC

by Rob Lewis

Flickr Co-founder Stewart Butterfield was in Victoria last week to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Victoria. Butterfield and wife/co-founder Caterina Fake developed the Flickr photo-sharing service while running Ludicorp Research & Development in Vancouver - they were acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. 

Wendy McLellan of the Vancouver Province was able to catch up with Butterfield and profiled him in today's Sunday Profile.

According to McLellan's interview, local calls to Bring Stewart and Caterina Home (Facebook Group & Strutta contest) had little hope as the Flickr Founders have since divorced and won't be relocating to the same city anytime soon.

Ask Butterfield what he's going to do now and he doesn't have an answer. Ask where he lives, and he can't tell you that either.

When Yahoo bought the company, part of the deal included working for the California-based company for three years. Butterfield moved to San Francisco to manage Flickr, working with his team of 11 staff to develop new features and maintain the huge infrastructure that requires thousands of servers that now store about three billion images.

Four months ago, after he had fulfilled his three-year promise, Butterfield left Yahoo.

"I was exhausted," he says. "After working seven days a week, 14 hours a day for six years, I needed to take a good chunk of time off. I'm not very good at balance."

Butterfield says he's going to relax for a few months before making any decisions about the future. He's enjoying his hobbies -- cooking and playing classical guitar -- and travelling the world. His 17-month-old daughter lives with her mom in San Francisco, his parents are still in Victoria, and he's thinking about making his next home in Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York.

What would prevent him from coming back to Vancouver? "The rain. I grew up with it and I didn't know until I moved away that I hated it."

Check out the vintage pre-Flickr Ludicorp directory listing below - added to the Techvibes site by Butterfield himself.

Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ludicorp was born in the summer of 2002 and is a privately held company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. We're building a better platform for real time interaction online. Our current project is a real-time media-sharing community site called Flickr, and is of particular interest to digital camera and camera phone users. It is currently in public beta, and we welcome new beta testers. more

Tiny Speck
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Tiny Speck is a small company building something enormous. We show up in the afterburst of highly charged particle collisions; we are the only-imagined baryon consisting of two charmed quarks and one strange. We will blow your minds. more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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