Haute 100 San Francisco Update: Caterina Fake & Stewart Butterfield

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Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Fake and Butterfield continue to come up with new innovations to make full use of the internet.

Caterina Fake & Stewart Butterfield

Category: Power Couples

Company: Flicker

Industry: Technology

What Made Them Haute: Fake is an art director; Butterfield is a Web designer. The two of them are hailed as Web 2.0 geniuses, thanks to their photo-sharing site Flickr, which they launched in 2004 without a dime of investments from venture capitalists. Just 16 months later, Yahoo! wrote a check to the power couple to the tune of $30 million. More recently, gamers are holding their breaths in anticipation of Glitch, Butterfield’s collaboration for a new online game, and Fake launched Hunch.com, a site that will offer a recommendation to a dilemma after the user answers 10 questions or less. Is that haute? Yes.

What Makes Them Haute Now: Fake and Butterfield continue to simultaneously build their technological empire. The anticipation is coming to an end as Butterfield’s long-awaited multi-player online game Glitch gets ready for beta testing. Eager gamers have been allowed to alpha test the game for the past several weeks and the reviews are positive — it’s positively addicting. “[This is] definitely the most sophisticated flash-based avatar system we know about,” Butterfield said of Glitch’s customized character options. He plans on making even more advancements to the game before it is released in 2011.

Meanwhile, Fake has fine-tuned her Hunch.com website and redefined it as a recommendation service rather than a simple social Q&A inquiry. Users can now hook up their Hunch.com profile to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, answer 20 questions, and get highly customized recommendation for anything from what books you may like to where you would enjoy traveling. You can even see how you measure up with other users and their preferences. What you get are personalized, collective, intelligent recommendations on multiple subjects. Many other websites are getting in on online algorithms, but Fake’s site is at the head of its game. This power couple knows that the Internet is the future and they have no qualms about exploring its possibilities to the fullest extent.

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