[LRUG] [JOBS] Dangerous Search Engineer at Picfair

Benji Lanyado benjilanyado at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 06:41:01 PDT 2015


I will try to make this the least boring job spec you will read this year.
Please let me know how I did when you get to the end.

Picfair <https://www.picfair.com/> is looking for a Search Engineer.

The code this engineer writes could change an entire industry.

Before I get into it, I'll start by telling you *three ridiculous things
about image licensing*:

1) The average image agency royalty rake is 74%. Yep. The year is 2015, and
yet there is still a multi-billion dollar, rapidly growing online industry
built on an 1980s agency model. Getty, for example, take 85% of the
royalties from images they sell.

2) There is a spectacularly large elephant in the image industry's room:
Non-professional images. Yep, despite the dramatic proliferation of high
quality amateur images over the past decade, virtually none of them are
getting to market. The industry has made its bed: non-professionals need
not apply. In an age of abundance; artificial constriction. This is crazy.

3) The images that *do* get to market arrive wrapped in a quagmire of
licensing balderdash. Getty currently has 320,000 ways to license a single
image. 320,000!

Ok, you can see the problem here. *What is Picfair doing about it*?

We've created an open market for images. I'm sorry to do this, but we've
"AirBnB-ed it" - open the door to everyone, allow photographers to control
their prices and get paid fairly, and give buyers a ridiculously simple

Since our funding
last year (investors include Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, Google's Tom
Hulme), we've grown from 50k images to over 1m, have over 10k photographers
in 121 countries, and have sold images into international publications and

And we've barely even started.

A core part of Picfair's mission is to answer an industry-defining question
that nobody has cracked yet, or even tried to crack:  *How can we blend
human taste and algorithmic curation to deliver buyers the perfect image,
agnostic of whether it was taken by an award-winning professional or a
rookie Instagrammer?*

This is massive. From day one, we laid the rails for photographer-agnostic
quality metrics, which feeds into our nascent search algorithm. This means
you already get superb amateur images jostling with the pros at the top of
our search results - and the buyers love it ... a world of cool new images
to differentiate them from their competitors!

But there's soooooo much more we can do. If there are 10 steps towards
cracking this, we're roughly on step 2.

But when we get to step 10, we'll have changed an industry.

Come help us do it.

*The role*

We're looking for someone who wants to dive deep into search and
algorithms. Pick a perfect end point, and work obsessively towards it.
Here's some preferables:

• 3+ years experience working with search & complex algorithms
• Experience working with ElasticSearch, Solr, Lucene, & JVM
• SQL master
• Bonus (but not obligatory) CS or Maths at BS or MS level
• 3+ years programming and system design experience (Ruby preferable)

The salary will be competitive, will come with EMI, and an academic
bursary. Here's the spec <https://www.picfair.com/jobs/search-engineer> on
our site.

We're a small, fun team in the heart of the "Silicon Roundabout" community,
working from a very cool shared workplace next to Spitalfields Market.

Any Qs at all, just holler. We can't wait to meet you.

Benji Lanyado
Founder & CEO, Picfair.com
@benjilanyado <https://twitter.com/benjilanyado>

p.s. How did I do?
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