Ben Silbermann talks about using Pinterest to showcase the best of Japan

Japanese Pinner Paris Wakana

This is a part of our coverage of the Japan New Economy Summit 2014. You can follow our updates on Twitter as well at @thebridge_e.

Ben Silbermann, the CEO and founder of Pinterest, appeared at the New Economy Summit for the second year in a row (see his comments from last year here). He noted that this was his third trip to Tokyo, which surprised me, because the company – in which Rakuten has invested – recently rolled out a localized version of its service.

He noted that among Pinterest’s billions of pins and millions of collections, that there are a number of people now using their service in interesting ways in Japan

  • Food creator and blogger Masaki Higuchi gets inspiration from Pinterest, and that helps him be creative in his work.
  • Paris Wakana collects ideas for outfit, uses it to plan ideas for travel.
  • Rakuten using Rakuten recipes to share.

Silbermann said that each time he comes to Japan, he’s amazed at the culture of art, food, architecture and more. He hopes that people here can continue to use his service to introduce all these cultural elements to the world.

Welcoming women

During the panel discussion, Ben was asked how many executives at his company are women, given how popular Pinterest is among females. He answered:

Many of our senior positions are women. Across the board there are many strong women, and that needs to trickle down the organization. Many women are underrepresented in tech fields. We try to create an environment where gender is a non issue, and that takes some work.

He added that since half of the world are women, they want to create a friendly environment that would welcome anyone from that talent pool.

Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann
Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann