Pinterest is the world’s largest idea repository. Pinterest has the largest collection of ideas ever collected, with over 250 million users worldwide and over 100 billion recipes, design ideas, fashion inspiration, and life hacks.
People who don’t use Pinterest often assume it’s a social media platform like Twitter or Facebook where users can share their activities with friends. That’s not exact.
In contrast to Facebook, where brands can more obtrusively insert themselves into the conversation, Pinterest has evolved into a much more useful resource for people to find ideas for their lives.
This unique strategy is working well; the business now brings in more than $2.5 billion in revenue annually. The brilliant app was created by three young people, one of whom is the successful internet entrepreneur and American billionaire Ben Silbermann.
Ben never would have imagined that his childhood fascination with collecting things, such as bugs, postage stamps, and baseball cards, would one day make him a multibillionaire. Sharing photos and pinning them to a pinning board on Pinterest is similar to his old hobby of collecting things.
How exactly did Ben Silbermann develop one of the most popular social media platforms ever? What can we take away from him? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Ben Silbermann was born in Portland, Oregon in 1979. His parents, ophthalmologists Jane Wang and Neil Silbermann, raised him. Ben went to the MIT Research Science Institute in 1998.
He graduated with the class of 1999 from both Des Moines Central Academy and Des Moines Roosevelt. Later, he earned a Political Science degree from Yale University in the spring of 2003. Ben was hired by Google as an employee of the online advertising group after graduating.
He started as an ad designer for Google. There, he was exposed to big-picture thinking. He imagined products and ideas while watching people work at Google, but they were always shot down because he did not come from an engineering background.
Google would not let Ben create products, which frustrated him. He used to whine a lot. Up until the point when his girlfriend told him to stop whining and just do it. Silbermann had big ideas and a dream to make them a reality, so he left Google to start something new and big.
After leaving Google, Ben began to develop many innovative products, e.g., tools for keeping medical records, but they all failed. Ben finally joined forces with Paul Sciarra, a college friend living in New York.
They both liked the idea of starting their own business and Sciarra began teaching Ben the fundamentals of programming, and the two collaborated on Tote, an online shopping app. The tote was a failure, so the two began brainstorming new ideas to help them with their startup.
Ben and Paul met with many of the capitalists, but everyone was interested in putting their money into promising ventures. Ben soon discovered a contest taking place at NYU with a significant cash prize for the winners.
Though the two came in second place without any money, they were able to meet some investors, and one of them was persuaded to fund half of the round if they could secure the other half.
Finally, they were able to secure funding and begin work on their startup project. At the time, Pinterest acquired a tiny house because it couldn’t afford an office. Ben met his third partner, Evan Sharp, through a mutual friend while both were students at NYU.
Evan and Ben had a shared interest in collecting things and wanted to make something related to it for themselves. They discussed Pinterest. He appeared to be the only one who understood what Ben was saying, as most people assumed Pinterest was another social media app. But it isn’t!
Six months later, they named it Pinterest and opened an office across from San Francisco’s Ferry Building. The platform’s Beta version was released in 2010, and since then the business has been steadily improving the tool to make it one of the biggest in the world.
When Pinterest first started, its creators faced a lot of criticism. Since it was a photo-sharing website, copyright violations frequently affected the brand.
Additionally, in March 2017 without warning, the Chinese government blocked Pinterest. Also, India temporarily outlawed Pinterest in 2016 due to online piracy and copyright violations.
Nevertheless, the business overcame all of those obstacles and developed from a shaky image organization tool into one of the most widely used social media platforms worldwide. It is currently a well-known brand in social media networking.
Growth started slowly. Even after 9 months, Pinterest had only 10,000 users. Ben, however, refused to back down; he had personally written the first 5,000 Pinterest users. They built around the small but devoted group of users they had amassed and became well-known for their “fan meetups.”
Pinterest introduced business accounts in October 2012, giving companies the option to either start from scratch or convert their current personal accounts into business accounts. 2013 got off to a great start as Pinterest received additional funding. At that time, Pinterest employed almost 100 people.
The app’s most well-liked feature, Pins, was introduced the same year. In 2014, it experienced tremendous growth. In 2014, users pinned more than 30 billion images, most of which were pinned in under six months.
Additionally, Pinterest added guided Search and Custom Categories to let users see the content they want. This update was very significant because it greatly simplified the process of finding content.
The international growth of Pinterest increased by more than 135% in 2015. After Facebook, it was the internet’s second-largest referral traffic source.
Pinterest is an excellent resource for learning about what people are interested in. Additionally, it’s a great place to guarantee that customers will think of your products first. Despite being primarily made up of “boards” and “pins,” Pinterest is significant in the fashion world due to its image-based user interface.
Pinterest promotes available-to-buy brands. Business pages typically include a variety of data, subjects, and information, such as product prices or ingredient lists for recipes. The more from brands option was added in 2019 along with personalized recommendations.
The analytics are also very similar to Google Analytics. It is a developed service that produces thorough statistics on the traffic to a particular website, which is frequently used by marketers. The pins that have received the most clicks are the ones that are most likely to sell, and the companies gain access to data as a result.
Additionally, Pinterest has disclosed an update to the Creator Fund program. designed to aid Pinterest creators in establishing a presence on the site and making money off of their Pins to encourage them to post more frequently.
Every month, new campaigns are launched, allowing content creators to monetize their work. The campaigns are linked to goals; if a campaign goal is met, you earn money.
Pinterest became one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies after two years as a start-up. The business received $150 million in venture capital from well-known investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer Venture Partners.
Pinterest was just an idea before all of this. Ben Silbermann worked on his idea, and it was successful. Ben’s main goal was not to make Pinterest successful, but rather to make it work. And his self-assurance and diligence made him a millionaire.
Following are the lessons you can learn from Ben Silbermann:
— Be optimistic
Be ready to experience many setbacks and disappointments when beginning something new, but understand that these are inevitable steps in the process. There are always ups and downs in a startup.
The only way to persevere, though, is to remain upbeat and focus on the end result. Ben has experienced numerous failures, but his optimism and ability to see the big picture have kept him going until he finally created Pinterest.
— Always stick to your passion
Know that you can’t control everything. There will be things that are out of your control and will frustrate you. However, if you are passionate about something, you should pursue it. The end result would be worthwhile.
You must discover what makes you happy because that is the person to whom you must first answer. Building a startup is extremely difficult, but if you are doing something you enjoy or creating a product you are passionate about, it is one of life’s most rewarding experiences.
— Learn from No
As a startup, you’re going to encounter the word no a lot, whether you’re looking for funding, making job offers to candidates, or attempting to forge partnerships. Ben is a great businessman because he understands that most of the time, people have good reasons for saying no.
He was patient, self-aware, and intellectually honest enough to assess the situation and make the necessary adjustments. Regardless of the reason for the rejection, Ben emphasized the significance of using it as an opportunity to grow and improve so that you can position your business to start receiving some thumbs-ups.
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