Who is Behind Midjourney?
Midjourney is an independent and self-funded research lab started in recent years by David Holz, co-founder of Leap Motion. Incredibly, they say they only have 11 people on their staff. Some notable technology veterans on their advisory board include Jim Keller, Nat Friedman, Philip Rosedale, and Bill Warner.
Their mission is to create tools that allow artists, designers, and others to prototype ideas rapidly and increase productivity. Holz sees artists as customers, not competitors.
The last year has seen the rise of Midjourney as they created a closed beta early in 2022 with the release of versions 1 and 2. Later in 2022, they launched their open beta version on July 12. With the open beta release, they also released version 3 of their algorithm. On November 10, 2022, they released version 4.
Midjourney made an unusual choice regarding the user interface of its product. They chose to leverage Discord as the primary user interface for the Midjourney AI. I presume this was to dedicate developer talent to advancing their AI models and version. If that was the case, it has worked as they started the year with a beta version 1.0, and now they have a very polished version 4.0 in production.
Around the time of the release of their open beta, they established a free plan and paid subscription plans for Midjourney. They now offer four levels of the Midjourney AI: free, basic, standard, and pro. The primary difference between the plans is the number of GPU hours allotted to you. The more you pay, the more hours you get, and the more images you can make—a pretty straightforward pricing model. You can also pay an extra $10 monthly to keep your creations private. I’ve heard they have an unofficial API, but I have yet to confirm that information.
Getting Started with Midjourney
If you want to start with Midjourney, look at our Midjourney Reference Guide. It's a great place to start your art creation journey.