AMA: I'm Justin Edmund, the first product design hire at Pinterest.

almost 6 years ago from Justin Edmund, Product Designer at Pinterest

  • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I think the most potent advice I could give is "Don't be afraid." I wrote about this before, but I feel like people often get really afraid of branching out and trying new things, or speaking up, or doing something absolutely insane. Those are the qualities that I respect the most in a person though.

    Once you get over the fact that people are going to be judging you, watching you, and criticizing you, the sky is literally the limit. When you focus on doing the things that you think are right, you learn more and people will respect you for taking a risk.

    Quick story: When I was looking for jobs out of school, a lot of top design consultancies gave me offers and I turned them all down. Every one of my peers and professors thought I was absolutely nuts. I knew what I wanted, and I took the risk. I think things worked out pretty okay for me IMO. I didn't know specifically that I wanted to work at Pinterest, but somehow I'm exactly where I wanted to be.

    3 points
    • Tierney CyrenTierney Cyren, almost 6 years ago

      What do you think would have happened/what would you have done had things not worked out at Pintrest? What was the thing you knew you wanted? What was the reason that the consultancies offered you positions? Your portfolio? Your degree?

      1 point
      • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 6 years ago

        I had a few criteria that I developed over many, many interviews at many, many companies:

        1. I didn't want to work at an agency.
        2. I wanted to work at a startup or somewhere dealing with technology.
        3. I didn't want to work anywhere I would have been the first designer.
        4. I didn't want to be in New York City (my hometown).
        5. I wanted to be in San Francisco.

        I don't really know why consultancies offered me positions, but if I were to guess, it might have been some combination of being half-decent at design, knowing how to code, having built full products, and CMU being a prestigious design school.

        0 points