Empowering end users and opening up new markets
INNOVATION PROFILE:Jerry Kennelly, Tweak.com
JERRY KENNELLY is among Ireland’s best-known and most successful entrepreneurs. Beginning his career as a photojournalist in the 1980s he spotted an opportunity to create an electronic library of stock photography for use by publishers and designers throughout the world and founded Stockbyte in 1996 to exploit it.
Stockbyte, along with its sister company Stockdisc, captured 10 per cent of the worldwide royalty-free stock photography market inside 10 years and in April 2006 Kennelly sold them to Getty Images for the quite staggering sum of $135 million. Not surprisingly he picked up the Ernst Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year along the way and Stockbyte was selected as the Exporter of the Year and recognised in the Deloitte European Fast 500 and Fast 50 awards.
Never one to sit still Kennelly quickly turned his attention to building another global business and launched Tweak.comin February 2011 following a $10 million investment. Tweak.comis a web based services that aims to put professional quality design and graphics capability in the hands of business owners with no design or technical skills required. “We are aiming to empower business owners throughout the world to take control of the image of their business and produce Madison Avenue standard design and print,” says Kennelly. “It’s a bit like offering high-end fashion at off-the-peg prices.”
Created with end users in mind, Tweak provides a complete design solution in a web browser. “The ground-breaking technology we developed in order to make this design revolution possible is not only user-friendly, but it’s also resolved many of the issues which have previously made beautiful design inaccessible to millions of businesses globally,” Kennelly adds.
“Tweak allows people running a business to take control of their own design and print and do it to a very high standard,” he continues. “And businesses need this more than ever in today’s market. It is often underestimated just how much more visually literate people are today. The visual appeal of advertising and marketing instantly dictates how most of us perceive a business. People vote with their feet in this regard and they buy great pieces of design like the Apple iPhone in their millions.”
The service offers users almost a million pieces of design, which are customisable by colour, access to a vast range of stock images, a logo builder and editable sample copy for more than 350 business types. These resources allow users create their own business stationery and marketing materials and have them printed for a fraction of the cost of going through the traditional process.