Builder Profile: Pietro Schirano

Lena Vu Sawyer

Pietro Schirano is the co-founder of EverArt. By pursuing his ideas on Replit, he’s been able to nurture a curiosity in AI into a startup with multiple apps and functions, run on Replit.

After starting his career in civil engineering, Pietro wanted to explore more creative endeavors. This journey would lead him to hold design lead roles across household names like OpenTable, Meta, Uber, and Brex, and eventually, to launch his own startup.

An avid social learner, Pietro picked up skills across marketing, business, and engineering in each of his jobs. One topic that particularly grabbed his attention was AI. After ChatGPT launched, Pietro says, “I had an epiphany that the world was never going to be the same.” Immediately, he started to test emerging AI tools, eventually sharing a prototype with his team at Brex that landed him a role as their AI team lead.

“Replit was the easiest A to B to get people experimenting with whatever product I wanted to test.”

Pietro continued experimenting with AI to build projects on Replit and shared those projects on Twitter. And as his ability and skills in the AI space grew, so did his audience. You can follow his journey on Twitter, from his initial discovery of Replit, to building a personal website and game of Pong using AI-generated code. The ability to share both the working demo and backend code for his work meant that his online community could chime in with help and feedback.

“It’s so much easier to get people to try your stuff with Replit.”

A demo of Pietro's project, Zing

His post about a GPT-generated game of Pong has received 6 million views since it was posted, and Zing, a fun Bing alternative he built and hosted on Replit, had 50k users within a week. For every project he shares, Pietro has a panel of users to test everything from his projects' stability to their design and function. Pietro has been able to modify and improve his projects little by little with his unofficial team of beta testers on Twitter and Replit as the pair programmer in his pocket.

“Replit extrapolates all the hard parts. All the boring things you had to do, Replit now takes care of it.”

As Pietro’s work started to garner more attention, Pietro turned to Autoscale Deployments to help manage the scale of his programs. “It made it really easy for me to know that the app could grow as I grew.” And especially for someone whose practice involves rapidly shipping prototypes and proofs-of-concept, Autoscale offered him a flexible way to manage traffic. He says, “For an indie developer, it’s so important because if I wanna go somewhere else, I have to pay for a set package and I'm spending, hundreds, thousands of dollars for something that might not be getting traffic all the time.”

Over time, Pietro started to observe that despite its incredible power, GPTs have a problem with personalization and that prompt engineering is more of a patch than a real solution. Pietro started hacking on a project that integrated all of his learnings and observations from not only his experimentations, but from his whole career. In November 2023, he launched DesignerGPT.

“How do we democratize these tools so that people really understand the power of what they can do?”

DesignerGPT takes users’ prompts and generates a complete website for them, which is then ported over to Replit for preview and sharing not just a block of code. Unlike other site generators, DesignerGPT outputs follow best practices in design and accessibility. The sites it serves up are responsive, have light and dark modes, and are consistent with the rules and structure laid out by each user in their previous prompts.

A demo of DesignerGPT

Pietro wanted to unlock the same capabilities and power Replit had given him for his users. He just announced the capability for users to preview, edit, and deploy their DesignerGPT sites on Replit.

Pietro’s viral streak has since extended far beyond Twitter. DesignerGPT’s top placement on the list of trending apps in OpenAI’s GPT Store has been enshrined in their launch announcement and his tweet about the plugin received 1.5M views in just the first week.

The visibility he’s gained by building, iterating, and sharing the work he’s built on Replit has unlocked new opportunities for him. He’s become an influencer, and his work and opinion have been featured in articles for the BBC and Vox, at conferences around the globe, and in podcasts like The AI Breakdown.

“It was an honor to go from being someone who is just passionate about something to being the person who people ask to speak about it. And I wouldn't be here without Replit, that’s just a fact.”

Lately, Pietro is focused on his startup, EverArt, where he continues to build tools that empower other creators to scale their abilities, ideas, and businesses with AI.

Hear Pietro share his story live at our Developer Day!

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