As part of our In Conversation series, New Rationalist is interviewing entrepreneurs who are trying to carve out their own path in their respective fields.
In our first series, we have Ivan Kutskir, creator of Photo Pea, an online photo editing tool. As opposed to industry titans like Adobe photoshop or GNU Gimp where a native app needs to be downloaded which will inevitably slow the system considerably, Photo Pea conveniently restricts the whole process of photo editing to your browser window.
In his own words, “Because photo editors are native apps, it is hard to find any good editor for some minority operating systems. Some users may even buy some specific operating system just to be able to run the photo editor. Photo Pea should remove all these problems.”
Photo Pea has been in operation since 2013 and has gathered several positive reviews from its user base.
What’s more, Ivan is always busy offering support round the clock as can be seen in the Photo Pea subreddit.
– Photo Pea
What is you full name?
Ivan Kuckir (in Czech), but I use Ivan Kutskir in English, so that it is easier to pronounce.
Give us a bit of personal background:
I was born in Western Ukraine in 1990. My family moved to the Czech Republic in 2002. I was studying computer science between 2009 and 2016.
On his blog Ivan mentions that he came up with the idea for Photo Pea during his spare time after finishing his courses on Computer Graphics.
Describe your product:
Photo Pea is an advanced photo editor, that works in a web browser.
What problem in the market are you trying to solve with your product?
I am trying to give people an advanced and affordable photo editor. I think that existing programs are either not advanced enough, or too expensive.
How is your product different from those of the established players in your market?
It is free, unlike other advanced programs. It is advanced, unlike other free programs.
What unique features does Photo Pea offer?
(From his blog) Photo Pea should be an advanced editor, so it can be used by professionals. It must have:
- Layers – to split images into several parts
- Layer masks – just generally useful
- Blend modes – specifying, how layers “combine” with each other
- Brush – there must be a way to change the color of pixels
- Selections – choosing, which pixels of layer you want to edit
- Procedural adjustments – changing brightness, hue, saturation, convolutions (blur, sharpening …) etc.
Do you think you can overtake your competition?
I don’t even know who is my competition. It changes each year, as Photo Pea gets more advanced and gets new features.
How does your product make you money? Or have you obtained funding?
Currently, I make most of money through advertising. I do everything using my own money.
Where do you see yourself and your product in the next 5 years?
It is hard to say. I hope I will hire other people to help me out.
Do you have any advice for new entrepreneurs?
Don’t take any advice from anybody.
We wish Ivan all the best for all his future endeavours!