Clipboard CEO Gary Flake On Privacy And The Pinterest-Esque Redesign

Gary Flake is a cool guy. He’s the CEO and founder of Clipboard, a web clipping service that lets you grab pieces of the Internet and save them in your own curated catalog of web-flavored goodies.

It’s quite intuitive, and as Robin Wauters said at launch time, it’s highly addictive.

The first thing I had to ask Flake was centered around privacy. It’s a growing issue in the industry, and Clipboard in particular likely has access to troves of valuable data with regards to the way we use the Internet. Flake said that as it stands now, there are no intentions to use that data for revenue, or even to take it out of the private realm.

At that point, I couldn’t help but ask about the obvious: Pinterest. See, Clipboard doesn’t necessarily compete directly with Pinterest — the services are fundamentally different in that Pinterest is aspirational images and Clipboard is saved web clippings (utility-based). Even so, a Clipboard redesign in February was strikingly similar to the Pinterest layout.

Flake assured me that his redesign was imagined well before Pinterest hit the scene, and that he really doesn’t see Pinterest as competition at all. As I said before, the services are fundamentally different.

Another interesting tidbit discovered in our chat had to do with Clipboard’s highly impressive list of investors. Of the 14 or so investors, Flake only knew two or three of them around the time of investment. When all is said and done, it came down to the idea. Flake said that it’s such a simple idea, that when you see the product for the first time it really resonates with the users who have this particular need.

And who doesn’t? Everyone sees something on the Internet, whether it be an article, a coupon code, a picture, or an entire website, that they simply have to tuck away to check on later. Clipboard solves that problem, so it’s no wonder that the company is pulling in cash from names like Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, CrunchFund, DFJ, SV Angel / Ron Conway, Betaworks, First Round Capital, CODE Advisors, Founder’s Co-Op, Acequia Capital, Vast Ventures, Ted Meisel (former CEO of Overture and now at Elevation Partners), Blake Krikorian (former CEO of Sling and now an Amazon board member), and Vivi Nevo.

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