An Interview with Pinterest co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Evan Sharp

“Pins and pixels: an interview with Pinterest Co-Founder Evan Sharp” by  (October 2016) in Creative Review.

Thinking about how we design toys is a very good precedent for thinking about how we design Pinterest, not that Pinterest is childish, we’re not going to use primary colours or anything, but it is childlike, you’re in a playful state of mind when you use it. […]

When it comes to creating a new feature for Pinterest, Sharp says there are two main routes. “Two thirds of the work we do is driven by a specific business need. So this year we are really focused on international growth. In a lot of countries – like Brazil – it’s much slower to use the internet and smartphones can be a bit underpowered relative to the US and Europe. So our mandate was that we needed to rebuild our apps with speed in other countries in mind. That’s a very top-down, strategy-driven process. “The other third of our projects tend to be very creative-driven,” he continues. “We have a formalised way of doing that called Makeathons where we all stay up all night. Some of the best ideas come out of that undirected play.” […]

Pinterest has seen a 50% growth in users the UK in the past year. Over 3 million items are ‘pinned’ in the UK every day with fashion, food, home décor and travel being the most popular categories. While all this referencing, curating and planning, accessing the world’s ideas, is a remarkable thing, does Sharp worry that it will contribute to a global monoculture? A world where there is one standard of ‘good taste’ for all? […]

…Pinterest was slow to find an audience at first. One theory for this is that most tech early adopters are single males who typically work in the tech or IT world themselves. The things that Pinterest proved to be great for – renovating a home, planning events such as weddings or a holiday, choosing what to make for dinner that night, looking for a new outfit – are of relatively little concern to that group. It was only when Pinterest began to be picked up by Middle America, in particular by women looking to do just those things, that it really took off.



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