Today marks the official release of Pineapple, a software that aims to reinvent professional networking for Generation Z. With Pineapple, young professionals will have a method to network with others via a visual story profile that functions almost like a digital portfolio. The platform is only right now accessible via iOS.
David Diamond, the CEO and co-founder of Pineapple, who is 22 years old, came up with the idea for the professional network while working as a product design intern at Intercom when he was 15 years old. Diamond was first turned down by Intercom after submitting a conventional paper CV and being informed that he was too young for the position. Diamond claims he was successful in landing the position after enhancing his portfolio and résumé.
“I started to think about how lucky I was to have the job and how I got there,” Diamond said in an interview with TechCrunch. “I questioned what the other members of my generation were doing if they had to put together portfolios. From there, we were able to see clearly how to create a professional network for Generation Z. We observed that other networks were misrepresenting Generation Z. Instead of just concentrating on building another jobs board, we wanted to create a network that enables Generation Z connect with one another and find opportunities. Giving people profiles that truly reflect them was the aim.
Diamond and Oliver Cruise started Pineapple in 2020 with the intention of reinventing professional networking for Gen Z. Pineapple has completed a 10,000 user beta test and is now prepared to expand.
According to Diamond, Pineapple’s primary focus is on user profiles, which are intended to foster meaningful and in-depth professional connections by enabling users to express themselves visually. The app’s profiles resemble both LinkedIn and Instagram in that they present a user’s introduction, experience, projects, and other information in a fashion that is similar to a visual Story.
Communities, another significant component of Pineapple, are designed to assist users in discovering others who share their passions. There are specialized forums for a variety of issues, including VCs, marketers, and designers. You can connect with particular people by viewing the member directory for each community. Jams are threaded conversations for talks that extend for a full day within Communities. Jams can be utilized to delve deeply into a certain subject. As an illustration, an entrepreneur might start a Jam to respond to inquiries about their path.
Additionally, Pineapple has an Explore page where you can learn about additional Jams, people, and communities. The app also offers a For You tab that was inspired by TikTok and is meant to help you stay connected with your connections.
Diamond argues Pineapple still has a ways to go before attempting to compete with LinkedIn, despite the fact that some may view it as the “LinkedIn for Gen Z.” Currently, Pineapple is more concerned with assisting people with networking than LinkedIn is. For instance, Pineapple is the place where young users can go to network with their peers, learn new things, and discover individuals for their side projects, according to Diamond. Some young users may utilize LinkedIn to find a mentor. According to Diamond, LinkedIn’s hustle mentality and status/job updates aren’t a priority for Pineapple.
Before attempting to monetize, Pineapple will initially concentrate on growth. Pineapple will prioritize assisting creators in making money when it is ready to provide monetization capabilities to its platform, according to Diamond. Popular creators will be able to charge consumers for access to instructional content through creator subscriptions, which is one of the ways the firm intends to achieve this. Additionally, Pineapple wants to collaborate with businesses who will use the platform to hire staff members directly.
According to Diamond, “We aim to be the go-to professional network for Gen Z and people just starting their careers.” “From the perspective of the roadmap, we want Pineapple to be the clear choice for those just beginning their careers. I believe we need to improve in terms of profile-building in order to achieve that. Pineapple should allow you to create a mini-website, and you shouldn’t ever need a separate portfolio website if you have it, in my opinion.
In terms of investment, F7 Ventures and 500 Global jointly led a $1.1 million pre-seed round for Pineapple in April. Angel investors Julie Zhou, the former VP of design at Facebook, and Bradley Horowitz, the vice president of product at Google, participated in the round. According to Diamond, the funds was mostly used for research and development and for hiring important personnel at the outset.
Pineapple intends to close its seed round sometime in 2019. It will begin soon.