When I think about the years since we created Pinterest in 2009, I have been attacked most by many reasons for our team to feel proud. We are a company of heart and soul in an industry of brain and processing units, and Pinners love this! That's why now we can serve over half a billion people every month.

So, as I step off the board to focus on my next chapter, I want to preserve some of the things I've learned for all the people working on Pinterest in the past, present, and future, writing about the soul of Pinterest.

Pinterest is inspiration

It took me years to truly get Pinterest. Initially, I thought about it in Buzzwords: Visual discovery, social bookmarking. Eventually, I heard our Pinners say that Pinterest is inspiration for exploring what our souls desire next.

Inspiration is Pinterest's secret sauce. Everything it does is to inspire - evoke a feeling. Advertisers value conversions, but the feeling of inspiration is why Pinners subscribe, come back, and love our brand.

Inspiration supplements what social media lacks. In this era of constant connection, Pinterest connects you with you, especially the parts of you hungry for spring. It's personal, not social, media.

Inspiration reveals who we are becoming

Inspiration is my time. It's hard to make time for ourselves: we can feel selfish, worry we'll fall behind, or fear looking inward. Although Pinterest is personal, because it's also useful, it sidesteps these internal barriers.

Inspiration propels us forward. It fulfills our need to share to become more resonant. Inspiration guides us to what matters and prompts us to act: it's both compass and pin of our lives.

Images reflect our souls. They speak directly to our intuition. Pinterest lets us flow in the visual language of dreams, imagination, creativity - of our future.\nPinning is an intimate conversation with a future you.

Inspiration is a mystery

Inspiration is very difficult to measure directly. It's a feeling, not an action. Therefore, at Pinterest, especially behavioral data must be contextualized with qualitative insights. The company must always actively seek and listen to Pinners.

Inspiration is easier shown than said. Our culture lacks sharing frameworks to relate our feelings. Therefore, communicating the value of inspiration experienced more clearly is discussed. "You know it when you see it."

Inspiration needs a dose of reality. Alone, aspiration can activate Pinterest Perfect Pin - the critic inside compares. That's why Pinners enjoy finding humor in failure, and why Pinterest Champions that you are yourself are not your selfie.

Great leaders inspire

Inspiring leaders need truth. Inspirational leaders anchor purpose. But purpose requires intelligence and outstanding action. None of these teams can develop to value beautiful stories over complex truths.

Inspiring leaders develop evangelists. Companies truly caring about their users create a huge asset: a product that everyone loves. Leaders of such products know their users are the best storytellers of their company.

Inspiring leaders prioritize meaning. Leaders are clear about what needs to be done. Inspirational leaders are also clear about why this is important. This turns the work we have to do into the work we can do.

Who Pinterest is becoming

Pinterest is an inspiration model in business. It's best when it takes its own medicine: the feeling of inspiration. Pinterest performs business rituals, all hands, board meetings, investors call also inspire.

Pinterest is leading in technology. In a breakthrough industry, it has achieved invaluable leadership by, simply, caring: by putting Pinners first and honestly owning its mistakes. Pinterest leads best by example.

Pinterest is inspiring the world. It has an extraordinary opportunity to lead billions of people to create a life they love. To lead with an inspiration model. To equip the world to imagine a more positive future.

Thank you

I can step down for Pinterest better than ever. A founder only feels okay stepping down when the time is right.\nI am grateful that Pinterest has strong leadership, a growing business, and a positive role in society.

Your job now is to make Pinterest the most inspiring company on earth. For everyone at Pinterest listening to Pinners, building a singing product, teaching the world why inspiration matters, and doing the never-ending work to make the basics great: thank you. With your care, Pinterest will grow its business - and create a more inspiring world.


Spring 2024, San Francisco

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