Etsy News Blog

Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards handmade and vintage goods

In the lull between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day we were able to look back at the past year.

At the beginning of 2006 when we were in San Francisco, we agreed to buckle in for a ride together. In the following twelve months Etsy grew from 1,400 to 140,000 members, and the company doubled in size (from 4 to 8 employees). Towards the end of the year we snuck in new version of the site, which has caused us much joy after some tears.

We also put down roots in 2006, getting an office in Brooklyn and getting funding from a small group of wonderful people. Our goal with everything has been to build a sustainable business, and to that end I’d like to share our goals for 2007.

From the engine room, we have the goal of a site that’s rock solid and speedy. Behind the curtain we are also finishing up a much improved work process, both for writing new code and for managing the existing codebase.

Over in customer support, we will kick it up a couple notches. Our goal is superb support, extending beyond email into the realm of live help. We want such a reputation to precede us, and we’re drafting the roadmap for how to get there.

We will also make our site policies and guidelines clearer, more prominent and actively enforce them all. As the number of people and items on the site grows, so do the issues surrounding them.

Etsy will foster positive social change, through the use of our office for workshops and gatherings, and through outreach programs in local communities. We feel keenly aware the responsibilities a company owes the community that supports it. For us this means both Brooklyn and the whole globe. We want to support artisans wherever they are, doing more than just providing then with a website on which to vend their creations.

Of course we also have dozens of new features to add, many of them coming directly from your input. We’re excited to put our improved development process through its paces, rolling out new stuff on a regular basis.

We want to create a host of ways for you to syndicate content from Etsy onto your own site, in the form of widgets and shopfronts. We hope to have a public API as well, allowing other developers to build on top of what we’ve made.

To round off this list, we’re working on a new round of marketing materials, including limited edition press kits and a new line of promo materials. We’ve grown because of word of mouth more than anything else, and we want to help this as much as we can.

To accomplish each of these tasks we need more resources: people, hardware, a system to keep track of everything. The balance we seek is growing towards our goals while maintaining sustainability. We want to use what we’ve got in the bank and revenue from the site (while keeping the fees the same) to hit our goals. Let’s see what we can do! We’ve got our sea legs on and it’s open ocean in front of us.

Note: This was originally posted in the Etsy Garden.