Born in Texas on July 14, 1982, Ben Silbermann is now one of the most successful Internet entrepreneurs in the world. He is best known as one of the co-founders of the virtual pinboard website Pinterest of which he is the Chief Executive Officer. The other co-founders of this website are fellow Internet entrepreneurs Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. While this billionaire is well-known in business circles and the public are generally aware of who he is, there are many things that people do not know about him. Here are 10 interesting facts about Ben Silbermann.
1. He Loved Collecting Things as a Child
One of the things that Silbermann loved to do as a child was to collect things, says The Next Web. One of his strangest collections was dried insects that he would pin on cardboard. As an adult, he has said that what people collect says a lot about them as a person. Collecting is something that became more than a hobby to Silbermann as it was collecting that became the inspiration behind Pinterest. There wasn’t a website that allowed people to collect Internet articles, videos, images, and other content and to keep it all in one place.
2. He Was a Tech Geek as a Youngster
When he was growing up in Iowa, Ben Silbermann showed signs of great intelligence and an aptitude for technology says The Extraordinary. Many of the adults who knew him considered him a child prodigy. During the 1980s, there were many advancements in technology, and the young Silbermann was fascinated with these. He would often spend his time indoors experimenting with technology while his peers played together outdoors. By the time Silbermann was in his teens, the Internet was in its infantile stages and he was fascinated with the potential of the invention.
3. His Parents Are Both Ophthalmologists
Ben Silbermann’s parents are Jane Wang and Neil Silbermann, who are both ophthalmologists. They still have a family practice in Des Moines, Iowa, which is where Ben Silberman grew up. His parents did not encourage him to follow in their footsteps and qualify in the family profession. They encouraged him to follow his own interests and dreams.
4. Silbermann is a Family Man
Despite having a busy professional life with lots of responsibility, Ben Silbermann finds time to spend with his family. Silbermann is married to Divya Bhaskaran. His wife is a graduate of biomechanics and biomedical engineering from the University of Tennessee. The couple has two children together, and the family lives in a luxurious family home in San Francisco, California, which is also the city where Pinterest is headquartered. Silbermann prefers to keep his family out of the limelight.
5. He Has a Personal Net Worth of $1.4 Billion
According to sources, Ben Silbermann has a personal net worth of around $1.4 billion. He has earned this money through his work as an Internet entrepreneur. Forbes ranks him as 1425th on their list of Billionaires 2019. However, he ranks much higher on the list of America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 in 12th position.
6. He Has a Degree in Political Science
His success as an Internet entrepreneur is a sign that Ben Silbermann is an intelligent man, so it is hardly surprising that he has a degree. However, it may surprise people to learn that his degree does not relate to technology or Internet business in any way. In fact, he studied for a degree in political science at Yale University and graduated in 2003. Prior to attending Yale University, he had attended the Research Science Institute at MIT.
7. He Worked at Google
After Silbermann had graduated from University, he got a job as a consultant with Internet giants Google. He wanted to work in the engineering department but did not have the right degree. So, he worked in online sales instead. Although he enjoyed working there, his role was not in his field of interest and it was his dream to start his own business. In 2006, after three years with Google, he made the decision to take the plunge and he left to focus on his startup, Cold Brew Labs.
8. His First App Failed
Pinterest wasn’t Ben Silbermann’s first venture into being an Internet entrepreneur. Prior to setting up this website, he co-designed an app called Tote with fellow Pinterest co-founder Paul Sciarra. Unfortunately, the iPhone app did not gain significant traction and was technically a failure. This failure wasn’t a big disaster as he might never have founded Pinterest if he hadn’t failed with his first app.
9. Silbermann Has Won Multiple Awards
Throughout his career, Ben Silbermann has won multiple awards, most of which are for Pinterest. 2012 was a good year for Silbermann as he won three awards this year. First, he was the recipient of the Crunchie Award. Then he received the Webby Award for Best Social Media App, followed by the People’s Voice Award for Best Functioning Visual Design. Other awards that he has received include the Tenyck Award and the Yale 50K Business Plan Competition.
10. He Has a Good Following on Social Media
Although his own site, Pinterest, is considered a social media site, it has not stopped Ben Silbermann from joining other social media sites and growing a reasonable following. He joined Twitter in 2007 and now has 18.8 thousand followers on his Twitter account. His account is protected, meaning that only confirmed followers can read his tweets. His Instagram account has fewer followers at 2,367 as of June 2019. This is also a protected account that only confirmed followers can view. This shows that he takes Internet security seriously and he wants to avoid bots and trolls.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn