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How showing up for a meetup changed an engineer’s life & led to a $11B+ startup


As an entrepreneur, over and over again I witness the power of one very simple action: Showing up

I understand, showing up is hard. Especially in today’s fast pace life where a million things distract us & everything is expected to happen just by lifting a finger.

Let me tell you a story that the Founding Engineer of Pinterest told us during a Q&A.

Show up

In 2009, Facebook had just acquired a startup called FriendFeed for $50M. Bret Taylor (ex-CTO of Facebook) had arranged a meetup to talk about a non-blocking web server they wrote at FriendFeed.

Yash Nelapati was your typical Silicon Valley Engineer. Working at a big company but bored with his job and doing side projects to keep creating interesting stuff that he cared about. Yash had recently developed his love for Django and its community and was trying to look for a non-blocking server to use for his blog.

When Yash heard about a meetup arranged by Bret he decided to show up at the meetup.

Little did he know that just showing up at the meetup would trigger a series of events that would change his life forever.

Be Present

All right, so you showed up. You could have been binge watching Game of Thrones on Netflix or commenting passionately on someones post on the internetBut you decided to show up. 80% of work done

So back to our story.

Although there were only 20 people who attended the meetup, Yash got very excited with the presentation and asked some really thoughtful questions.

python meetup


Ben Silberman (Co-founder and CEO of Pinterest) was at the meetup trying to hire a developer for his bookmarking idea. He noticed the enthusiasm in Yash and pulled out Yash to tell him more about his bookmarking project.


Showing up sometimes = amazing stuff


Ben approached Yash to join his project. Yash though hesitant in the beginning joins Ben as the first engineer to work on a project because he finally got a chance to work on cool ideas and implement whatever he wanted. This led to the creation of Pinterest!

So if you think about it,

An engineer who was bored at his work, got curios about an open source product, SHOWED UP at a local meetup where he met a man who convinced him to create simple bookmarking product that is today used by millions of people and valued at more than $11BILLION today!

So next time you RSVP to that event of your choice but change your mind at the last moment to get back to watching Netflix, you are forgetting the power of showing up.

If you were wondering why did it take an entire month for Ben to convince Yash to join his startup, the keep an eye for our next blog post that describes how Ben convinced Yash to work on his idea aka .. How to hire your founding engineer. Stay tuned!

If you want to know the story of TINT and chat with our Founders check out TINT’s Q&A page

Read more interesting stories from Yash (Founding Engineer of Pinterest) and ask him questions directly on his Q&A page

Pavan is a Co-Founder/CEO of http://askmeanything.me where you can ask any questions directly to inspiring people and brands.