Recently we were lucky enough to score an interview with Pixabay Co-Founder and CEO Simon Steinberger. As you all know Pixabay is the hugely popular free stock photography and video site. Read on to learn the story of how Pixabay got started, how Simon stays motivated and who his influences are.

Tell us how Pixabay came to be?

Before Pixabay, we launched micro blogging sites, like Wizzley.com and the German pendant Pagewizz.com. Users can publish their own articles on these sites – and in return they get a share of revenue. Images were part of these articles and every now and then, people just used Google Images to find suitable pictures. However, using such images often constitutes a copyright infringement, which can result in high fines. After that happened a few times, we decided to create an own image source for our authors – which was called Pixabay. We quickly realized, people allover the world were in need of free images and so we continued to develop Pixabay. Step by step in grew into what it is today.

How do you stay engaged and creative?

It’s just motivating to see how Pixabay becomes a bit more useful every day. Seeing it grow, receiving feedback, and getting feature requests on the site keeps us happily going day by day. Being creative is one part, but another important thing is just listening carefully to the community using a site. We always consider feature requests, discuss things openly in our forum. Most features requests are realized pretty quickly – and if we decide against a suggestions, we explain why in detail.

What do you love the most about Photography?

I think photography is – and always was – a very special art. Today’s cameras are able to produce impressive imagery. Super high-resolution shots, special filters and perspectives. Plus, lots of image authors manipulate their images before uploading them to Pixabay with various filters and effects … The results are so diversified, it’s simply stunning and amazes me day by day. But even in the old days, when photography was rather new, geniuses like Adam Ansel, were able to take pictures that still fascinate photographers today.

Is there a formal structure for your creative and new ideas process?

Be relaxed, do lots of sports. I love to do rock climbing or running. You can’t really focus on work during this process – you really can’t. But afterwards, your brain is so relaxed, free and ready to go :-).

On what project are you currently working on?

Mainly Pixabay, with focus on development and launch of our mobile iOS and Android apps.

Name three tools that you use in a typical day?

“Notepad++”, my favourite code editor. “foobar2000”, for listening to music while coding. And I’d say “TinEye.com” or “Google Search by Images” to check on copyrights for Pixabay uploads.

Who were some of your most significant mentors?

In a way, the Stack Overflow community – my favourite developer site. And rather an idol than a mentor: I think, what Mark Zuckerberg does with Facebook is something to really strive for: He’s not in for the money; he’s simply passionate about his creation and pushes it to the limit. And so are we, the Pixabay founders that is.

What do you enjoy the most about your career?

I’m free to choose my tasks: One day, I just love developing new features for Pixabay or other websites, another day I dig into social media or online marketing; then, there’s community management, design & layout, and a lot more. Most of the time, there is something to do that I really like!

Tea or coffee?

As a developer, I’d have to say Coke 😉 But if I have to choose between the two proposals. it’s tea.