Pinterest Founder Ben Silbermann On Why The Best Talent Goes After Adventure, Not Success

The best employees never shy away from a challenge.

“I think the thing that I’ve learned is that really great people, they actually want to work on hard problems,” says Ben Silbermann, cofounder and CEO of Pinterest.

With Pinterest in its infancy, Silbermann never imagined that he would be able to attract the best of the best in the engineering world–but he was wrong. He found that when he shared his ambition to making Pinterest a service available to billions of people, the talent came to him.

Ben Silbermann

“I couldn’t figure it out–I was like ‘why are these people coming over?'” says Silbermann. “I think that a lot of the most talented and driven people, they’re not super deterred by failure.”

“So if you put out a really big challenge I think they get reality excited by that–they say ‘hey, why not, let’s go give it a shot and if we fall short on that at least we took a shot at doing something really important and meaningful.’ It wasn’t about guaranteeing success, it was about guaranteeing adventure, and going and doing something.”SS