SCARSDALE - They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but a photo has literally led to a billion-dollar empire for a former Scarsdale guitar teacher.
Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer recently became the first billionaire to emerge out of New York City's tech sector Silicon Alley, capturing success faster than better known websites, like Tumblr, Flickr and Etsy.com.
Oringer's parents were both teachers, and he started his first guitar lesson business at age 15.
After graduate school, Oringer started a company called Surf Secret Software to stop pop-up blockers. The company went bust, along with the eight other businesses Oringer tried to launch after.
Shutterstock started out as a one-man show on a shoestring budget. Eventually Oringer hired photographers who sold their pictures via Shutterstock to eager businesses around the globe.
Oringer took his company public last October, and since then, share prices have soared a staggering 230 percent in less than a year.
Each year Oringer holds a high stakes hack-a-thon where his 262 employees have 24 hours to brainstorm the company's next big idea. A company spokesperson says a big idea was born at this year's hack-a-thon, but for now, they're keeping it top secret.