Pinterest – Why it’s worth it’s $5 Billion valuation

I just discovered Pinterest a few months ago. I like it because it is visual. And, I’m not alone. 92% of all pins are made by women, retention rates are 84%, CPMs are $30-40, and 75% of usage is on mobile.

Pinterest drives 7.10% of web traffic that sites receive — more than either Reddit or Twitter — and, more importantly, it controls a whopping 23% of referral traffic to e-commerce sites. (It’s also worth noting that Pinterest is driving traffic offline too. Last summer, Harvard Business Review found that 21% of Pinterest users bought an item in a store after pinning, re-pinning, or liking the item on the site.)

Facebook has about five times as many active monthly users around the world as Pinterest, it only drives a tiny bit more referral traffic to e-commerce sites. But, Pinterest users are 10% more likely to make a purchase than people who arrive from other social networks and they spend twice as much as users who come from Facebook, according to data from Shopify.  Pinterest might not be as big as Facebook, but it is much more likely to drive sales, which means it can charge a lot for paid advertising

Pinterest was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. Ben used to work in customer support at Google. He took two things away from his Google experience: he learned to think big and he was exposed to people who built amazing products. “Google had the audacity to think at a really big scale,”  Referring to Google World “We’re making so much money, let’s take a picture of every street. Like, nobody does that! It was inspiring” While working for Google, he had products on his mind. But he wasn’t an engineer so he felt his ability to create things was restrained. He resigned and spent the next few months figuring out his life. “It takes time to figure out how to not go to your job in the morning. All of a sudden you have a lot of time and no structure.”

He connected with a friend from college, Paul Sciarra, and the two began trying a few ideas while watching their personal savings dwindle. They made iPhone apps without much success. “I’ve worked on products where they go down in the middle of the night and no one notices. You get the ‘site down’ notice but it doesn’t matter,”  Pinterest’s big idea is “helping people discover things that they didn’t know they wanted,”  So beauty and simplicity are its highest product goals..

In the early days, Pinterest had “catastrophically small numbers,” Nine months after launch, the site counted 10,000 users, with few of them active on a daily basis.  Silbermann said he recently picked up Eric Ries’s “The Lean Startup,” and was grateful he didn’t read it at the time, because it might have convinced him to give up at that point. In fact, he’s not sure why he didn’t quit — probably because he was afraid of embarrassment, and doubted Google would hire him back.

Maybe it’s because we have all become so flooded with information, and the constant talking by talking heads who seem to never stop talking. After awhile it’s like a Charlie Brown cartoon, wah, wah, wah, wah. Not to mention that most of what they are saying is either conjecture, overstated hype, inflated or downright lies and in between all the talking there’s 10 minutes of commercials for things we don’t need or can’t afford.  The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image.

With that I will leave you with a Never Give Up Pinterest site


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