Showing posts with label Pinterest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pinterest. Show all posts

Sunday, January 17, 2016

How Do You Explain The Rejection Of Good Ideas?

Great ideas, by definition, are not obvious. Precisely because most people can't think it, they are great.

Pinterest was rejected by pretty much everybody in the Valley. It had to become a hit in Iowa first, of all places.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pinterest Dwarfing Facebook?

Pinterest dwarfing Twitter is yesterday's news. But Pinterest dwarfing Facebook?

Inside Pinterest: The Coming Ad Colossus That Could Dwarf Twitter And Facebook
A visual social network where people create and share image collections of recipes, hairstyles, baby furniture and just about anything else on their phones or computers, Pinterest isn’t yet five years old, but among women, who make up over 80% of its users, it’s already more popular than Twitter, which has a market capitalization of more than $30 billion. Pinterest’s U.S. user base is projected to top 40 million this year, putting it in a league with both Twitter and Instagram domestically ........ To date, Pinterest’s users have created more than 750 million boards made up of more than 30 billion individual pins, with 54 million new ones added each day. During the 2013 holiday season Pinterest accounted for nearly a quarter of all social sharing activity. Among social networks, only Facebook, with its 1.3 billion users, drives more traffic to Web publishers. ...... on the basis of average revenue per user, it’s only a matter of time before Pinterest blows past Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the social pack. ...... As Silbermann explains it, Facebook “is about your connections, your past events, your memories.” Users on Facebook volunteer a staggering amount of retrospective information such as birthplace, alma mater and vacations, data the company can use to power its highly targeted ad offerings. Twitter can’t offer that level of detail, which is why its revenue per user, at around $3.50, is only half that of Facebook’s. Twitter’s value remains stuck in the now, promising advertisers a presence in real-time conversations about the World Cup, a presidential election or Orange Is the New Black........ If Facebook is selling the past and Twitter the present, Pinterest is offering the future. “It’s about what you aspire to do, what you want to do down the line,” says Silbermann. And the future is where marketers want to live. ..... that delicate moment when browsing becomes shopping ..... For now advertising is Pinterest’s only revenue line. But it requires only the tiniest leap to conjure a scenario in which the company acts as middleman for the hundreds of thousands of retailers already showcasing their wares on its platform. ..... This is Amazon’s turf, but Facebook and Twitter have been making incursions, with both companies conducting tests of “Buy” buttons for frictionless shopping. ..... In his Cannes keynote Silbermann dismissed Google as “the ultimate card catalog,” an outdated technology useful only if you already know what you’re looking for. ..... Pinterest, he says, “exposes people to possibilities they never would have known existed.” ..... Silbermann grew up thinking he’d be a doctor like his parents, both of whom are ophthalmologists. An accomplished cellist and debater, he spent the summer before his senior year in high school at MIT’s elite Research Science Institute and then enrolled at Yale, where he took premed courses. Halfway through college, though, he caught the business bug. Instead of taking the MCAT upon graduation, he took a job as a management consultant at the Corporate Executive Board in Washington, D.C. “Like a lot of young people, I just wanted a job at the beginning,” he says of taking the road more traveled. ........ After three years as a consultant he scored “ the only job I could get at Google,” as a product specialist, and moved out West in 2006. Silbermann spent his days translating customer feedback into product refinements, acquiring a skill he considers crucial to Pinterest’s success. ...... Silbermann was visiting New York when he met through a mutual friend a Columbia architecture student named Evan Sharp. “We both had the same hobby, which was the Internet,” Sharp says. “I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, and Ben grew up in Des Moines. For both of us, in a way, the Internet was this really precious window into worlds outside our day-to-day experience.” ....... Sharp told Silbermann about his collection of thousands of architectural drawings and photos, which had become increasingly hard to organize. That resonated with Silbermann, who’d noticed that Tote’s users seemed more interested in saving photos of products than in buying the products themselves. ...... the three launched the first desktop version of Pinterest in March 2010. Users could save images from anywhere on the Web to thematically organized boards ..... As the work progressed, Sharp moved to the Bay Area and took a job at Facebook to support himself while the three worked from their makeshift offices, a “dirty apartment” in Palo Alto. ..... Its early gains were the result of laborious word-of-mouth marketing, with Silbermann leaning on everyone in his network to spread the word and personally contacting several thousand users to quiz them about what they liked and disliked. “If he hadn’t done that, my guess is we would’ve given up in a few more months,” says Sharp, 31. “It’s kind of ridiculous how long we worked on it, given how little success we were seeing.” .......... Nor was it an overnight sensation with investors. “He had a hell of a time raising money in the beginning,” says Ron Conway, a perpetual member of the Forbes Midas List, whose firm, SV Angel, invested in April 2011 at the urging of fellow angel Shana Fisher. Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman was one of those who failed to see the potential. “A friend sent it to me, and I didn’t even take the meeting,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘Ehhhh, this is interesting, but I don’t know what to do with it. It’s too conceptual for me.’ ” ...... To date, Pinterest has raised $764 million in seven rounds from a group of investors that includes FirstMark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer Venture Partners. In May it closed that blockbuster $200 million round that provided fuel for its international expansion. At that valuation–and given the mania for fast-growth companies over the ensuing six months, a raise in the range of $8 billion to $10 billion is possible–Silbermann’s estimated 15% stake and Sharp’s estimated 10% would make them, on paper, candidates for the FORBES billionaires list. ........ “ I spend a lot more of my time trying to clearly communicate where we’re going so everyone can march in the same direction,” Silbermann says. “Technology has made it easier for small teams to scale fast, but no one’s ever released something that makes it easy to build a culture proportionately as fast.” ...... “My mind is like a warren, whereas Ben’s is like a f–king database.” ..... the phases of the so-called purchase funnel: awareness, consideration, preference and purchase. ...... More than 90% of Pinterest usage is on mobile, higher than Facebook (68%) and Twitter (86%) ...... Every Promoted Pin has to start out as an ordinary pin, living on the partner’s boards, and stunts like price promotions and contests are off-limits. ..... “How do we do for discovery what Google did for search?” Silbermann muses. “How do we show you the things you’re going to love even if you didn’t know what you were looking for? We think if we answer that question, all the other parts of the business will follow.”
Okay, so the metric is revenue per user. I can see Pinterest going past Facebook on that.

Ben Silbermann On How Pinterest Slowly Grew To Massive Scale
In June 2010, more than two years after Ben Silbermann left his job to start what became Pinterest, and three months after launching, the site had 3,000 registered accounts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Pinterest Story

Q+A Ben Silbermann
We started making Pinterest around 2009, when there was a lot of attention being paid to social services that were focused on real-time text-based feeds like Facebook and Twitter. ..... helping people organize things
Introducing the 2 Young Men Who Made Pinterest
Silbermann's first foray into the Silicon Valley tech scene was cartoonishly wide-eyed. He'd feel bolts of excitement reading about start-up company hires and funding round announcements on tech blogs. ...... Silbermann decided he should get his start at Google, and landed an entry-level job at the company’s display-advertising group. ...... November 2009, when he and a college friend, Paul Sciarra, along with Evan Sharp, who had been studying architecture, started working on a site on which people could show collections of things they were interested in, on an interactive pin-board format. ...... "After nine months, Pinterest was still under 10,000 users, and a lot of them weren't using it every day." ..... Silbermann and his team labored long and hard over the most miniscule site details, such as typeface contrast. They fully coded dozens of versions of the pin screen before selecting and launching one in March of 2010. ...... Just last month, a study found Pinterest surpassed Facebook in terms of retail outlets or brands that fans "follow" or "like." A survey by PriceGrabber, a price comparison site, found that 21% of Pinterest users polled had purchased items they spotted on the site. ...... "It's important to have people in your life who can talk to you about other stuff: life, sports. It's going to take a long time to build a big product that'll change the world."

Pinterest founder bemused by sudden rise to fame: Social network site fastest grower so far
Mr. Wamsley, a serial entrepreneur who's been in Silicon Valley since the dot-com era, said he hasn't seen a startup take off overnight like this since Netscape....... Mr. Silbermann's wife, for her part, was key to getting her husband to finally tackle the startup he'd been talking about for years while holding down a customer support job at Google. "She said, 'You should do it or shut up about it,' " Mr. Silbermann told the audience. ...... Pinterest is the 16th most-visited Web site in America -- ahead of and -- and the 50th most popular in the world ........ Venture capitalists who, two years ago, didn't understand the startup now are clamoring to follow in the footsteps of Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, whose venture firm in September led a $27 million investment. Big-name media have come calling to interview Mr. Silbermann and been largely rebuffed....... The son of two family-practice physicians in Des Moines, Mr. Silbermann grew up collecting leaves and insects. He went to Yale figuring he'd follow in the family trade, then switched to political science. After graduating in 2003, he landed a consulting job in Washington and joined the firm's technology practice because, he said, that's what was open......... "I felt like the story of my time was happening in California," he told last week's crowd, "and I wanted to be part of it." ...... The Google job, he said, taught him a lot, but as a nonengineer in a company that prizes tech skills, his ceiling was limited. After his wife's tough-love pep talk, he finally took the plunge -- right before the 2008 Wall Street meltdown made it nearly impossible to raise money....... It didn't help that Mr. Silbermann's two co-founders were as nontechnical as he was....... After the site launched in January, 2010, however, the going was slow. Four months in, Pinterest had 200 users; half were Mr. Silbermann's friends in Des Moines....... Then on a whim, he attended a conference of interior designers, who immediately grasped the appeal of a site where they could compile interesting design possibilities gleaned from around the Internet. Thanks to word of mouth and the courting of a handful of bloggers, Pinterest's traffic began growing at 40 to 50 percent each month -- and it hasn't stopped
Pinterest 2010-2011: The True Inside Startup Story
By January 2011 though the site started to explode. “We may have only had something like 40k users, but Pinterest was driving millions and millions of page views. More importantly it was all doubling each month. That’s a lot faster than it’s growing now.” ...... After leaving Pinterest Sahil worked with the team to build their iPhone app. He designed and coded the entire application in a matter of weeks. Now he’s taken some funding and is working on his own startup Gumroad. When asked about whether or not leaving Pinterest was a good decision considering the explosive growth curve, Sahil maintains that his greatest work is still ahead and in spite of the lottery-esk financial opportunity, “The satisfaction of working on and building your own product versus working for someone else does not even compare.”
Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched as a closed beta in March 2010. The site proceeded to operate in invitation-only open beta....... Silbermann said he personally wrote to the site's first 5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even meeting with some of its users ...... Nine months after the launch the website had 10,000 users. Silbermann and a few programmers operated the site out of a small apartment until the summer of 2011 ...... Early in 2010, the company's investors and co-founder Ben Silbermann tried to encourage a New York-based magazine publishing company to buy Pinterest but the publisher declined to meet with the founders ....... In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark .... the site became the third largest social network in the United States in March 2012, behind Facebook and Twitter ......n October 2013, Pinterest won a $225 million round of equity funding that valued the website at $3.8 billion

Pinterest CEO: Here's How We Became The Web's Next Big Thing [DECK]
grew from 5,000 users in August 2010 to 17 million this month. ...... The 45 minute talk was all about how he abandoned his long held plans to become a doctor, founded Pinterest during the recession, survived early failures, and built a company for the long-run...... When Pinterest launched, Ben sent it to all his friends in California – "and actually, no one got it." .... Most early users came from Des Moines. "I suspect because my Mom was telling all her patients," says Ben. ....... Suddenly people started using Pinterest in ways the company hadn't expected. Like say this board: "Things That Look Like The Deathstar."
Pinterest’s Unlikely Journey To Top Of The Startup Mountain
After leaving Google he spent time working at places like the Hacker Dojo, and every coffee shop in the valley. ...... Four months after launching, Pinterest only had 200 users. Ben has said their product was “in stealth mode but not because we wanted it to be.” The first major pockets of users were in Iowa and Utah and the company wasn’t on any radars in the Valley. ...... It didn’t pop in California for the first year and a half. Ben believes the typical market fit philosophy for technology of having to get early adaptors on board is no longer required. There was no press coverage on the site, but the early users really liked it, and more importantly they used it a lot. “The site grew by the same percentage (40%-50%) every single month. It’s just that the number started so low that it took a while to get going.” ....... The team attempted to raise money, but the non-engineer driven founders had little success. Despite dozens of meetings with “everyone” in Silicon Valley. Most passed on the deal. They worked with a lot of engineers most of which weren’t near the Facebook and Google level of talent they’re getting access to today. ....... Much of what you see on the site today was in the product at the very beginning. They were one of the first sites to do the grid-like layout and they over invested in design. They spent months working on it. “We were obsessive about the product. We were obsessive about all the writing and how it was described. We were obsessive about the community. I personally wrote to the first 5,000-7,000 people that joined the site.”

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pinterest Fast Approaching

English: Red Pinterest logo
English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pinterest May Be Bigger Than You Think, Competing To Be The 2nd Most Popular Social Network
67 percent of American Internet users are on Facebook, 16 percent are on Twitter and 15 percent are on Pinterest. .... For Pinterest, the 15 percent user number is up from 12 percent in August 2012, suggesting it continues to grow. Instagram placed fourth in the study with 13 percent of American Internet users on the service. .... Pinterest was offering an experience that Facebook wasn't. .... Women outnumber men on Pinterest by 5-to-1
For Pinterest to be competing with Twitter is really something. And it is growing at a clip that it will likely zoom past Twitter. There is a lesson there. Facebook is organized around photos and updates. Pinterest is organized around photos you don't even have to upload. Like many women say, Pinterest is their Google.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

"Link Tax," A Stupid, Stupid Concept

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
So you should pay someone because you linked to their content? Crazy. That is like being in America and refusing to recognize the dollar. Link is payment itself.

Google's 'link tax' negotiations break down as France talks tough over new laws

When more people link to you you get more traffic. If or not you manage to monetize that traffic is your problem/challenge. That is not Google's problem.

France the nation state can not get between entities like Google, Facebook, Pinterest and their users. This is yet another example of the tussle between the nation state and tech giants. France the nation state does not own the people living in France. The tech giants should go to battle. The people will be on their side.

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Monetizing A Blog

English: Red Pinterest logo
English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here's a good one.

How I monetized a blog in 30 days: what worked, and what didn't

The Pinterest Gods
I help my mom run a cooking blog called The Yummy Life. She writes all the content, and I make sure the site actually works. We've been at it for almost two years, and until recently there wasn't much reason to worry about monetizing it because there was never enough traffic for it to matter. Then one day the Pinterest gods decided that we deserved better and in a frantic storm of pinning, our traffic shot up to about 25,000 visitors per day...... Before the spike we were getting ~4k visitors per day. The peak of the spike brought ~67k. It then fell to about 20-25k and it's stayed there ever since. There hasn't been any downward trend in the past three weeks, and almost all of the traffic is still coming from Pinterest.
#1 - Remove as much crap as possible from the sidebar (Good, Bad)
#2 - Use affiliate links to customize the ads for each post .... create her own ads for each post. Each ad links to a product on Amazon through an affiliate link. .... the Amazon affiliate links are generating almost twice as much revenue per visitor as the AdSense ads (~$5 RPM from Amazon, ~$2.50 RPM from AdSense).
#3 - Have the ads scroll with the page
.... steps #1 and #3 combined to increase our AdSense CTR (click-through-rate) by a factor of 33 (.03% to 1%).
Bad Ideas
Google AdSense text ads
Amazon pre-made banner ads
Amazon aStore .... This month we've had 3,288 orders placed through our on-page ads. We've had exactly zero placed through the aStore.
$0.99 eBook
Publishing networks
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