speaking at pinterest

This morning I realized that I never wrote any sort of a recap about my visit to Pinterest last month. Here are a few details if you’re interested…

Earlier this spring, the company emailed me asking if I was interested in speaking at their employee conference, Knit Con. They wanted me to share about how the team uses their site to plan the dinners. It was obviously an easy yes and less than two months later, I was boarding my flight to San Francisco.

I hit the ground running! On my first day, I walked five miles (from the Ferry Building all the way to Golden Gate Bridge) and had a very tasty meal at Mister Jiu’s. Then I was back at the hotel to practice my speech one last time. The next morning, I got up early for breakfast and then I was in an Uber headed towards Pinterest’s headquarters. I was surprised by the amount of security at the building; I couldn’t even get in without an escort and I couldn’t leave the lobby until my guide came downstairs. Once she arrived, we headed upstairs because it was time for me to speak.

My session was forty-five minutes and I’d timed things out so that I had twenty minutes for content, ten minutes for questions, and fifteen minutes for food and drinks. But to my surprise, they had so many questions that there wasn’t time for food or drinks! The employees were genuinely curious about the ways we used their website and even had some insightful suggestions for how we could use it in the future. Once it was done, I asked my guide to take a ton of pictures of me in the lobby (#formymom) and then it was done.

The rest of my trip was spent drinking Blue Bottle iced coffees, walking around Ocean Beach, and sailing on a literal sailboat. If you’re ever in the Bay, you have to go sailing with this company. The captain was named Chad and it was $40 for ninety minutes. Just do it.

Here’s a lesson I learned: exploring a city by yourself is fun for, like, four hours, and then it’s sort of a bummer. It’s difficult to experience something so incredible and not have anyone there to witness it. For the majority of the trip, I felt very lonely and I hadn’t expected that at all. While it was a great trip, I was ready to come home at the end. Still, it was one of the most interesting experiences of my entire life. Truly, I can’t believe it actually happened!