Recently, I had the chance to attend Pinterest’s first tech meetup launch and talk hosted at Pinterest HQ, Discover Pinterest. While I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, I was excited to peer inside their headquarters and to possibly hear about upcoming features.
At Headquarters, I was surprised to see how many of the participants were men. There were hardly any women in the crowd. I met one of Pinterest’s technical recruiters, and asked him about the men:women ratio. He shook his head and said they’re “working on it,” and that many of the interns were women, which didn’t sound that equitable to me.
Unsurprisingly, everything at Pinterest is branded with the red-and-white Pinterest logo, from the sidewalk signboard welcoming people to the pillows on the sofas, with a homemade, DIY feel that is part cozy homespun and part nerdy SOMA. This article from Fast Company says “the handmade feel to Pinterest’s offices is actually the expression of something deeper…a core value that is likely key to the company’s success.” At any rate, I love that their HQ decor echoes what you see on many Pinterest boards.
On to the presentations. Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com explained how old-world constraints no longer apply. And how a system like Netflix must be able to withstand a single failure without the entire system going down. Several nerdy guys whispered to me that they were here to hear Vogels, and that he’s “kind of a superstar.”
Michael Lopp, Pinterest’s Head of Engineering, explained how pinners (Pinterest users) repin and add context to a pin through their own experiences. Each pinner’s experience creates a unique context.
Lopp asked how many pinners were in the room; only about three hands went up–mine included. If there had been more pinners, would he need to explain about context? I don’t think so! Helloooo, Pinterest–how about hiring some more women? (Ahem. I am available.)
This Pinterest logo is made entirely out of Rubik’s cubes. Cool.
Besides the awesome DIY decor, the food was great (including the wine and beer bar–thank you, Pinterest), the people super friendly, and we got to know a little more about the people behind the brand.
By the way, if you’d like to hear some the top ten Pinterest tips (for both newbies and more advanced pinners), here they are.