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Lyve and the Future of Photo Management

We chat with the company’s founder and CEO about dealing with 100,000+ photos


In 2013, the people around the world took more photographs than ever before. Thanks to entities like GoPro, smartphones and even drones, this trend is only on the upswing as more and more people gain access to these technologies. Once reserved for professionals and special occasions, photo-taking has become a daily ritual. With billions of photos uploaded every day to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, one cannot help but think about how these libraries are being stored and shared. Instead of endless external hard drives or an expensive subscription service, Lyve is changing the conversation about how all those personal images are saved and viewed. The free Lyve App organizes all of your photos into a single collection that you can enjoy on your many devices. Pair it with a 2TB Lyve Home and all your photos and videos will be safely stored and instantly accessible from anywhere.


Founded by CEO Tim Bucher, a Silicon Valley and Apple veteran, Lyve approaches storage with the same innovative spirit that has—up until now—been reserved for cameras. By optimizing images for mobile, the app gives users access to their computer’s entire photo library without consuming precious storage. Poised in front of the pack, Bucher and the Lyve team hope to lead the next photo revolution. To get a peek at what’s next, Bucher gave us his take on Lyve—its ability to house countless moments and memories—and the future of photo-taking, storing and viewing.

Do I want to post pictures of my kids everyday on Facebook? No, but I do want to keep them.


Tell us a little about how you use the Lyve app?

We always have our smartphones with us these days, but with Lyve, I have all my photos and video literally in front of me, wherever I go. It reminds me of life moments from this month or this day. Today, I actually got a notification for this picture I took of my son when he was four. He is wearing a pot on his head, so I texted it to him with a caption that just said “Nice hat, buddy.” Lyve has brought my life memories back to me in a way no other application has. It’s reconnected me to family and friends.

I know it sounds corny but it’s changed my life. It’s made me a lot more social. It’s estimated that less than 10% of all photos get uploaded. Do I want to post pictures of my kids everyday on Facebook? No, but I do want to keep them. Lvye also provides me a way to do that.

How has Lyve been received?

We’re now at the point where the whole word of mouth thing is starting to take off. When friends and family realize that I can flip through all my photos on my phone, they go and download it. For example, I was at a lunch with two buddies of mine, one of them had an iPhone and the other one had an Android. I was showing them the app on my phone and they both asked could download it. What’s really cool is that I could say, “Yes, this is platform independent.” Lyve gives you the freedom to capture as much of life no matter what devices you own and I think that is what really appeals to people.


We really opened up our lives on social networks and then we were like, “Oops!” and now we are in the process of reeling it in.

What are your predictions for the future of photo storing and sharing?

I think the world is becoming more personal. We really opened up our lives on social networks and then we were like, “Oops!” and now we are in the process of reeling it in. Social is becoming more about sharing these personal experiences with a small group of friends rather than the entirety of the internet. Personal is about your experiences. I believe that 99% of photo sharing is being done on our phones. Think about your own experience pointing out an image to a friend or colleague—it’s never on your laptop, it’s on your phone.

What are your thoughts on Lyve’s future within that?

When you are capturing these life memories, you want them to last forever. What company in the world is solely focused on that? You can’t say that’s Google or Amazon or Facebook’s main focus. There really isn’t today a Kodak of the 21st century—that’s what Lyve wants to be. Kodak, during its heyday, wasn’t about the camera devices but the data that was represented by the film. We want to be the digital form of that film in the future. So what it comes down to is data. And those personal experiences are the most precious form of information we have.

Portrait courtesy of Lyve, all other images by Cool Hunting


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