Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: Press Up To Go Down
Etsy was quite small by today’s measures — the community sold $7.93 million of goods in that September, my first month at Etsy. We had about 50 employees and we were in an office in downtown Brooklyn with a broken elevator that famously had a sign that read, “You gotta press up to go down.” ........... four years later .. We have different offices near the Brooklyn Bridge, a working elevator, almost 300 employees, and last month alone, the community sold about $65 million in goods ......... We believe, more than ever, that Etsy can help fundamentally change the way the world works by making it possible for individuals to make and sell things to other people around the globe — a people-powered economy ........ Decades of an unyielding focus on economic growth and a corporate mentality has left us ever more disconnected with nature, our communities, and the people and processes behind the objects in our lives. We think this is unethical, unsustainable, and unfun. However, with the rise of small businesses around the world we feel hope and see real opportunities: Opportunities for us to measure success in new ways… to build local, living economies, and most importantly, to help create a more permanent future. .............. although we’ve been at it for seven years, it feels like we are just getting started. .... After a lot of discussion about what kind of company we are and aspired to be, the team defined these core values for the company:
We are a mindful, transparent, and humane business.
We plan and build for the long term.
We value craftsmanship in all we make.
We believe fun should be part of everything we do.
We keep it real, always.
We want the company to last for a very long time and clearly stand for something in the world. ...... When you support a B Corporation, you’re supporting a better way to do business. Governments and nonprofits are necessary but insufficient to solve today’s most pressing problems. Business is the most powerful force on the planet and can be a positive instrument for change. ....... There are over 500 certified B Corps but Etsy will be among the biggest, along with mission-driven companies like Patagonia and Seventh Generation. ...... becoming a Certified B Corporation is one of the most important things Etsy has ever done. It helps us keep an eye on the “mindful, transparent, and humane” values we aspire to ....... Last year, over $525 million (525 with 6 more zeroes) changed hands among people on Etsy, and worldwide GDP was over $60 trillion dollars (that’s 600 with eleven more zeros). ....... Etsy has closed $40 million of funding from a roster of investors who have been believers in Etsy for a long time. ...... we plan to grow Etsy into an economic force all around the world and we want to provide more products and services to help sellers succeed and build their businesses on the Etsy platform. ...... Every day when I walk to our offices in Brooklyn, I walk past the spot where in 1855 the printers Andrew and James Rome typeset and printed the first edition of Leaves of Grass by great American poet Walt Whitman. ..... exactly 150 years later, barely three-quarters of a mile away, Rob, Chris, Haim, and Jared were doing the the 21st century equivalent of typesetting in coding the original version of Etsy.com.