Posted by Marta Majewska | Posted in sxsw | Posted on 13-03-2012
Pinterest. One of those social networks everyone loves…or loves to hate. Whichever side you’re on, one thing is certainly true: Pinterest is the talk of the town. At SXSW or beyond. Dailies, magazines and blogs can’t stop writing about it, research companies can’t stop reporting on its record growth and brands are jumping into the “me too” bandwagon quicker than ever.
But it was not always the case. Contrary to what many people think, Pinterest is not really a new service. It was set up in November 2009 and believe it or not, nine months in it hadn’t even reached the 10k user base. The reasons why it still exists today is that its founders were too embarrassed to admit their failure. Luckily. Few months ago, the Pinterest craze just suddenly exploded. “It was weird and surreal”, said Ben Silbermann, Co-Founder of Pinterest, in today’s Q&A with blogger Chris Dixon.
The session was one to really enjoy, Ben Silbermann showed passion for his product that I haven’t seen here yet this week. Down to earth, an ex-Google employee, Ben always wanted to start his own tech company. A collector at heart, his personal passion for collecting stamps and coins, gave him an idea for Pinterest. “Things you collect say so much about who you are”, said Ben “and all I wanted to do is create a site that would help people discover, collect and share things they love.”
Design has always been at core of Pinterest. Simple product around people, pins and boards. Awesome boards, because if your collections wouldn’t look beautiful, why would anyone spend time building them. Boards should be something users are proud of, something they want to show off to the people. Users have always been important to Ben, without them the site wouldn’t exist.
Even though most think the site is all cupcakes, rainbows and unicorns, there are some unexpected uses that even the founders of Pinterest have not predicted. Core lifestyle activities like decorating, cooking, home and design were the obvious guesses but the site is also used by museums to share their art or by travel aficionados to create travel guides. A recent Fake Mitt Romney account with yacht collections and great deals gave everyone a good laugh too.
What’s the future? New profiles, influencer identification, better content attribution and platform expansion. It looks like Pinterest is not going anywhere. Not anytime soon.