By Derek Andersen
The Evolution Of Pinterest’s Incubator: Cold Brew Labs

Exclusive: About a year ago I wrote about the evolution of a startup or idea and that the natural progression of time allows a company to evolve their messaging and vision into what it is to become. The founding team of Pinterest is no different than the rest of us.

Cold Brew Labs was founded in 2008 by Ben Silbermann and Paul Sciarra, and you can see where they started and where they ended up from screenshots of their early product and company messaging (thanks WayBack). Early in the company they were focused on building a mobile shopping product called Tote.  By early 2009 (pre-funding) they were preparing to launch that product.

See the evolution of their startup messaging from launching the Tote mobile app that eventually led the company to launching Pinterest.

It’s interesting that the Cold Brew Labs’ website was recently taken down. Seems funny considering the almost 4-year history the founders have had with the company. But you can see by February 2010 the team was still focused on building a beautiful personalized shopping experience. They were also able to raise some funds from local Silicon Valley firm FirstMark Capital.

By April 2010 their own design and messaging had evolved greatly. No longer are they building for “mobile shopping”, but now they’re building “social commerce applications” to make “curating and sharing collections of products dead simple.” It’s a big pivot from the original idea. One of their early investors recently said that it was because of what they learned with Tote that caused them to switch as they transitioned into Pinterest.

By January 2011 the company is much more clear and focused. “Social Commerce”, “Google”, “Palo Alto” all try to get your focus and attention. Traffic picked up and in only a few short months user totals would skyrocket.

Company overview of roles and offices of the two founders as well as some brief details about the company’s incorporation from 2008. It should be remembered that the team went through a significant amount of developers to get to the final core team that they have now. That changing team dynamic would have effected the direction and messaging of the company. One of the more ‘famous’ ones is Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia who was only there for 1-year. Ben told me in our interview at the Startup Grind in February that they went through a lot of developers.