Startup Stories – Death to the Stock Photo

Published February 11, 2016

If you are anything like our team, you are always on the lookout for beautiful (and inexpensive) photos to use on landing pages, sales docs, or fundraising materials. That is where Ohio-based Death to the Stock Photo shines. In July 2013, Allison Lehman and David Sherry set out on the mission to help brands, bloggers, and creatives find images that fit their “vibe and tribe”. What started with sending image packs to friends and family has turned into a company trusted by the likes of Uber, Pinterest, Slack, and Buffer.


The Challenge

Death to the Stock Photo has a small core team that is constantly traveling the world. They began to face the challenges of a remote culture and needed a way to keep everyone in the loop on the growth and health of the business. Before switching to Visible, Death to the Stock Photo had to deal with the burden of navigating through a series of Google Docs to keep tabs on different aspects of the business.

Enter Visible

With Visible, Death to Stock keeps the team involved and informed on where they have been and where they are heading. Since the team is constantly traveling it is vital to make sure everyone is on the same page. Visible is a place where Death to Stock product owners can update their KPIs and keep them up to date so they team can continue to move in the right direction. When contemplating changes to the product, the team looks to their metrics in Visible to guide to decision making process. From there everyone gets a comprehensive understanding of why and how decisions were made and are empowered to play their roles most effectively.

Most Valuable Metrics: Finding Product / Market Fit

Death to the Stock Photo routinely updates multiple metrics in Visible but finds the Sean Ellis Test (description below) and their Number of Customers to be most vital in understanding their growth. As a young company Death to Stock’s main focus is to ensure they are creating immense value for their core user base…finding that elusive Product / Market fit. Both the Number of Customers and Sean Ellis test allow them to do this by making sure they are continuing to create “must-have” features for a growing portion of their user base.

The Sean Ellis Test is a qualitative survey used to help determine Product/Market Fit by gauging how users would feel if they were no longer able to use the product. Death to Stock uses this metric to make sure that people’s lives are better after using Death to the Stock Photo than before. Although they can’t create this feeling for every user they try to make sure this is true for a chunk of their users.

Note: This is not real Death to Stock data

From the Team

When we make directional product decisions, we of course need to share the “what” with our team, but we also need to share the “why.” The “why” isn’t always derived from quantifiable metrics, but in the instances that it is, being able to quickly visualize those metrics allows us to efficiently get everyone of the same page so that we can move on to the execution.” – David Sherry & Allison Lehman, Founders

]You can learn more about Death to the Stock Photo by checking out their website, where you can get free photos (like the one below) for every month.


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