What would an in-real-life version of Pinterest look like? Every year Pinterest employees get together and create just that with our internal conference called Knit Con, where we take two days to put down our computers and teach each other new skills.
We recently held our fifth annual Knit Con with 250 employee-teachers around the world, dozens of guest speakers and over 20 Pinner- and creator-led classes. Little known secret: within the walls of Pinterest sit employees who are also experts in beekeeping, survival, ultramarathoning, kickboxing and watercoloring, and Knit Con is where they share their skills with their colleagues and friends - a practice we affectionately call “knitting”. It’s where classes like disaster preparedness, watercolor painting, and jiu-jitsu are explored.
By bridging online ideas to offline action, Knit Con is essentially Pinterest in real life.
As our largest internal event of the year, Knit Con underscores Pinterest’s mission and the uniqueness of our product. Every day, we work to bring inspiration to everyone to create a life they love. During Knit Con, we specifically immerse ourselves in what inspiration feels like and why it matters so we can continue building with these themes in mind. We believe the only way we can build a product used all over the world is if we have worldly perspectives at the table—both at the technological level and the human level.
More than 250 million people use Pinterest each month around the world to discover ideas in travel, art, style, food and more, so we know our skills and passions from outside of work or beyond our job titles are just as integral to the experiences we deliver. This is why Pinterest hires people who have more interests than they have time. That’s reflected in Knit Con and how it’s been supported by employees and leadership from the very beginning.
Knit Con is a reminder of why I started at Pinterest and why this company continues to inspire me every day. The event is meant to be a manifestation of Pinterest in real life: Open-minded to all types of hobbies and topics, surprising and exciting, and most importantly a positive nudge to try something new—even if your kokedama, dance moves, or cryptic crosswords aren’t perfect.
What’s more, Knit Con is by Pinterest, for Pinterest. Each year I’m impressed all over again by the incredible range of talent we have on our team. Not only do we rally a small army of volunteer teachers who prepare for months to host their best possible class, but we also have an annual Open Mic Night which showcases musicians and performers of all types. Watching all these components take shape, I’m reminded that magic is possible when people pull together great attitudes and a ton of creativity.
And for those interested in joining the team at Pinterest, please check out our careers page.
--Enid - Early employee, and culture & community manager