People are fundamental not just for our data model, but because eventually, we’ll be able to connect you the people who really share your taste and express who you want to be. And that’s something that’s happened for decades in magazines and on blogs and on TV.
Huh. One of the things that I tend to like about Pinterest is that it feels less social. There are so many things where it’s like, jesus, all you want me to do is connect in some abstract sense.
If you look at the startups that are getting really big right now, they are either all friend messaging apps. What’s App, Line, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat all of them do that. Which is great, there’s a playbook, you get the address book and you go from there. Or they are marketplaces, Uber and Airbnb.
Exactly. Touch my phone and something happens in the world.
Which is great. We’re this weird different thing. We’re not gonna grow the way the messaging apps are gonna grow. We’re not building a marketplace of sellers or creating an inventory of services. So we’re a very weird company right now.
In a lot of corners, it seems like interest in the iPad is declining, but it seems like y’all are big on the iPad.
iPad is my favorite experience by far. It’s one of the perfect iPad apps because it’s a grid. If I can soapbox for 60 seconds again, the grid is like the thing that got us big. The grid, the grid, the grid. Pinterest is about browsing through objects and picking out the ones that are meaningful to you. And what the grid does is facilitate your ability to go through objects in an efficient way. Our job is to put the right objects in front of you to start with. But the iPad is the perfect place for us because that screen is tailor made for sitting there are browsing through things.
Are you the reason there is so much retailer traffic coming through the iPad?
I don’t know. But the second half of my thought—and this comes from my architecture background—if you think about discovery as this experience people have. Discovery is this thing that people do all the time right now in stores, in museums, in physical spaces. So many of our public physical spaces are organized around a collection and they are organized to help you access and browse through that collection to find the things you find meaningful. We’re just a digital version of that experience with a much larger inventory that cuts across different types of things.
But the reason I mention that is that the reason retail feels like an obvious fit for us is that you’re doing on Pinterest what you do in a store, browsing through things and picking out the things you like, saving them for later, and maybe eventually buying them.
But all that goes back to the UI, goes back to the design of the service, goes back to the screen you’re on, goes back to data that we use to power what you’re looking for. That was my soapbox.
* After I published my story, a reader pointed out that John Battelle coined this phrase in 2003 to define a larger set intentions, which is to say, all searches. My usage is much narrower. My apologies for any confusion.