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A Roundtable With Our Earliest Cloudinarians

Cloudinary has just hit an extraordinary milestone: 2 million developers! To celebrate this momentous occasion, we took a trip down memory lane with some of the team members who have been with us since the start. This roundtable discussion offered a glimpse into the heart and soul of Cloudinary, reflecting on what makes it an exceptional place to work, grow, and innovate. 

VP of Solutions Ran Rubenstein’s introduction to Cloudinary is a testament to the company’s early influence. “When I heard there was an opening at Cloudinary, I asked a friend if he had heard of them. He said, ‘Sure, it’s where you store images.’ I was amazed that a five-person company had that kind of word-of-mouth power.” This initial encounter highlighted Cloudinary’s potential and the ubiquitous demand for our services.

For Itai Benari, Director of Core Development, the journey began through a personal connection. “I knew nothing about Cloudinary until my neighbor, a friend of the founders, introduced me. The demo he showed me resonated deeply as computer graphics was always my interest. The 2 million developers mark shows how much people value skipping the tedious parts of managing visual media and jumping straight into creating.”

The story of Orly Bogler, Director of Customer Success, Digital, reflects the thrill of being a pioneer. “When I joined, there were only a few of us, and I was excited to help build something I truly believed in. Being one of the first employees allowed me to explore different roles and understand where I excel. Seeing Cloudinary hit the 2 million developers mark fills me with immense pride.”

One of the standout memories for Ran is witnessing Cloudinary’s adoption in academia. “I noticed bursts of signups from .edu or .ac. domains. Our free plan and no credit card requirement allowed academic instructors worldwide to incorporate Cloudinary into their curriculum, positively impacting students learning to code.”

Itai cherishes the direct customer interactions that shaped Cloudinary’s features. “Talking to customers and understanding their needs was a significant part of our early days. We often implemented features based on customer requests, earning loyal and loving customers. This customer-centric approach remains a charm of Cloudinary.”

Orly fondly recalls knowing every developer and company by name in the early days. “Watching them grow with us, or integrate us into their new companies, was amazing. The pride they had in using Cloudinary and being early adopters in a booming field was incredible.”

Ran highlights the simplicity and power of Cloudinary’s media transformation URLs. “Once you understand how they’re structured, you can use them as a natural language without constantly referring to documentation. This freedom allows developers to focus on creativity.”

Itai emphasizes the intuitive integration of Cloudinary’s building blocks. “Our media management is strongly tied to delivery/optimization and creative capabilities. You can build a lot in a short time with minimal roadblocks while enjoying vast options.”

Orly underscores Cloudinary’s role in eliminating hassle for developers. “Cloudinary makes it easy to get up and running with incredible features, allowing developers to focus on innovation and growth.”

Ran believes the simplicity and seamless experience of Cloudinary resonates strongly with developers. “You can get value from Cloudinary within minutes. Uploading and delivering an image transformed via other services could take hours, if not days. Cloudinary’s ease of use stands out.”

Itai points to the intuitive nature of Cloudinary’s transformation capabilities. “Not needing to explicitly compute and store results, but instead doing it lazily with a simple and predictable language, was instrumental for developers. Many have since recognized this power.”

Orly highlights the transformative power of Cloudinary’s features. “Our transformations are adaptable and can be built upon easily. Almost anything a developer can dream of, Cloudinary can help accomplish.”

Ran reflects on the decision to create an end-to-end service. “We solve upload, storage, management, delivery, and UI needs. Before Cloudinary, this required multiple services from different companies. Our broad vision and extensive SDKs make integration easy.”

Itai considers the addition of video and AI capabilities as significant milestones. “Introducing video and AI capabilities were crucial steps. However, our continuous improvement and responsiveness to customer needs contribute to our ongoing success.”

Orly attributes Cloudinary’s success to our customer-centric approach. “We build our product by developers and for developers, and our customers see and feel the difference. Our focus on customer feedback has been pivotal.”

Ran expresses pride in Cloudinary’s achievements and looks forward to the future. “I’m proud of what we’ve built and excited about where we’re headed, especially with the AI revolution.”

Itai values the company’s cohesive culture. “Being part of a successful company that serves many customers and maintains a close-knit culture is a joy and gives me pride.”

Orly reflects on the incredible journey and future potential. “Reaching 2 million developers is incredible. Our achievements make sense with such a great team, product, and leadership. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Cloudinary is thrilled to celebrate the milestone of 2 million developers. We owe this success not just to our dedicated customers and our incredible developer community but to our dedicated team as well. Our journey from a small startup to a leading image and video API platform has been driven by innovation, customer-centricity, and a passion for empowering developers. Thank you to those who have been part of this journey so far! And to those curious to learn more about how Cloudinary could benefit their organization, contact us anytime. Here’s to many more milestones ahead!

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