Epitaph For Digital Railroad


The news that Digital Railroad has shut down its servers is sad if not unexpected. It was clear the business was in trouble when the Diablo Management Group took control and chief executive Charles Mauzy departed with other employees. Nonetheless, I was shocked to hear that a notice had been posted on the DRR site today saying that it was shutting down. That left a lot of photographers around the world in the lurch. Apparently competitor PhotoShelter is offering a special rate for former DRR subscribers. I am a friend of DRR founder Evan Nisselson, and he sent me a note this morning, which I share here:

It is a very sad day! I am very sorry for our members. There are many variables that have helped and challenged the success of DRR. There are many things that could have been done differently and I am sure we all have learned through the process – I know that I have. I evolved to chairman of the board almost a year ago and since then have had no control and limited input. After Diablo Management took over the board and operations of the company on Oct. 10th I tried to gather people to acquire the company back. I came very close but unfortunately it didn't happen. These didn't materialize for several reasons including the very challenging financial times we are in. After these initiatives didn't materialize - Diablo wouldn't even return my emails or calls. We kept advising that the members needed and deserved advance notice if the company was going to turn off the platform but after this advice from several people - Diablo Management only gave members 24 hours to transfer images. Unfortunately sharing this perspective doesn't change anything but I hope it helps clarify a bit. Best, Evan

The history of the Internet is filled with the names of products and companies that are no longer with us. The fact that new VC funding wasn't available now isn't surprising either, given the state of the economy and tight credit markets. Does anyone have thoughts about what went wrong here?--David Schonauer