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Ben Silbermann

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Ben Silbermann's Social Links


When Ben Silbermann was a young child he liked to collect things. This Iowa native who was born in 1983, began college as a pre-med major, but changed his mind in his junior year. Both of his parents are doctors. He graduated from the Research Science Institute at MIT in 2001 and from Yale University in 2003. He then went on to work with Google after he graduated. He was hired to design display ads. After he left Google, he began to play around with designing IPhone applications. He worked with friend, Paul Sciarra. They formed two other companies, Tote and Cold Brew Labs. Neither venture was very successful.

He failed to gain much recognition from his iPhone apps. Tote was a marketing tool with one stop shopping for stores such as Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and American Apparel. While the idea sparked interest, the checkout process was laborious and not user-friendly at all.

He then joined with Sciarra and Evan Harp to create and release Pinterest. His girlfriend named the site. The design began in 2008 and the first prototype was launched in 2010. Pinterest is a virtual board where fans and users can add pins of their likes and hobbies. Ben acts as CEO of Pinterest. Pinterest is the third largest active social media site in existence as of 2012. The site in 2013 has an estimated value of over 1 billion dollars

Companies and Investments

Cold Brew Labs (Co-founder), Tote (Co-founder), Pinterest (Co-founder and CEO)

Lessons Learned

Silbermann took two ideas away from his Google employment. He states he learned to think big and he was exposed to people who built amazing and innovative tools and products. In interview after interview, Silbermann expresses the idea that thinking big was the core for Pinterest. He knew that if he found the right tool and backed it with audacious passion and vision, the concept would take off. Silbermann personally gave his phone number to the first 5000 people who signed up with Pinterest, so he could monitor their opinions and usage experiences. The think big worded because by 2012, Pinterest had 25 million monthly visitors.

Inspiring Quotes

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

Maya Angelou

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

Truman Capote

When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I’ve finished, if the solution is not beautiful I know it’s wrong.

Richard Buckminster Fuller

As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.

Lao Tzu

The role of the artist is to not look away.

Akira Kurosawa

Ben Silbermann's Quotes

If you really dream big, you can achieve really big dreams.

Ben Silbermann

What you collect says so much about who you are.

Ben Silbermann

Ive 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 doesnt matter.

Ben Silbermann

Influential Books

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Mike Joyce - Swissted: Vintage Rock Posters Remixed and Reimagined

Michael Ruhlman - The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America


Jonathan Harris, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Llama, Maya Angelou, Pablo Neruda