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Pinterest vs. Fancy & Svpply

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What was the secret formula that made Pinterest hockey stick

Pinterest is about self-expression:

It "tipped" when there were enough curators bringing new stuff into the system so that the majority of people -- who mainly repin, not pin -- had enough content to choose from.

For what it's worth, the same thing happened with Wikipedia, Reddit, 9gag, and Tumblr: a critical mass of new content creators is what makes a service tip.

Ah! the "critical mass" that makes any gizmo more attractive.

Critical mass of content creators expressing themselves.

Which gave a critical mass of content to people who want to repin because pinning is too complicated.

It takes time to build up such a community, and some design features of Pinterest (the elegant simplicity, the big buttons) probably helped.

I also think they were smart in featuring pins from your social network. (I wonder what degree of separation they reached in to your network).

So when you visited for the first time it did not look like an empty house.

It's interesting, because some users were clearly upset that Pinterest was auto-following other users on their behalf.

It seems like they reach into your network JUST ENOUGH to give you some content for the initial user experience.

But that's a difficult line to walk because some users really do feel abused by such action.

That auto follow feature may be the reason they took off; (My Thought) I am not against it since its not a platform where you are posting your family information. But I can see how some people might be offended.

If they could improve the system in a way where they do not make one follow people but still show you pins from your network.

The way they can improve is as follows. I seem to have captured tons of images that I like over the years in several subfolders on my local machine. If I could just dump all of those up on Pinterest, have an interface to easily sort them into collections (or even auto-sort) and also store a copy for me similar to dropbox/icloud, or even find the best or better similar copies on the Web like Tineye, I'd be very happy.

The other thing is, turn all of the "day in pics" into a picture newsfeed. I've always wanted to create a startup that was a news-in-pics news portal. Kind of like flipping through a magazine and if someone was interested, you read the caption. News is viscerally visual, long print or text is dead as a communication media. Simply look at the Internet trends, reading seems to be a dying pasttime.

Connecting to drop box and perhaps to other picture sharing sites might certainly help. The news feed idea seems really cool. Sort of like Flipbook for news?

There are a lot of ifttt recipes for Pinterest-to-Dropbox. Here's an example.

Or is that not what you mean?

I mean the other way around... Dropbox to Pinterest

Yeah, the Pinterest uploader only seems to be for desktop.

But a person should be able to make an ifttt recipe for Dropbox to Pinterest once they have APIs.

After visiting Svpply -- -- I'm convinced that self-expression was important to Pinterest's success.

That is, it's not all about things you can buy.

Rather, it's about things you care about.

True, Pinterest is much more picturesque. They are not focusing on the commercial aspect as much. Just creating a beautiful dynamic moodboard.

And that's what makes it engaging.

So really: they focused on engagement, rather than commercial relevance.

They focused on growing what they had, rather than monetizing it.

As did Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and Instagram.

Agreed, engagement is the key. They went after the big idea model rather than the go to revenue model.

It's suprising that the big idea model rarely works.

It's harder to get big than it seems.

Did you guys see the TechCrunch/HuffPost? It's as if they stole the source code from Pinterest.

I wonder if it'll take off with content creators self-expressing themselves.

I doubt it will get much traffic. Everyone already has Tumblr for that.

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