It’s fair to say that Ben Silbermann spends a lot of time on Pinterest. As the social network’s founder and CEO, he’s intimately familiar with its every feature.
However, Silbermann says that too much attention to detail can blind an otherwise crucial aspect of running a company: a user’s first experience.
“One of the hard parts about building a service that you use yourself is that it’s easy to forget what it was like the very first time someone someone signs up,” he says. “Every once in a while I’ll create a brand new account and give it a try and see how hard it is to find things that I really love, see if I’m using it or thinking about it differently.”
Silbermann and his team focuses on improving the browsing experience of everyday users, but he points out that while he may be on Pinterest every day, most people aren’t. To improve the service, Pinterest’s team needs be cognizant of a first time user’s needs.
“I think there are a lot more people that don’t use Pinterest in the world than do use it, so for most people that first experience is really, really important,” he says. “I think feeling really close and in touch with that first user experience is pretty basic to making it better every day.”