When you hear the word ‘hack,’ chances are, you’re thinking of something sinister. Cyber attacks. Crude chopping. Unseemly coughs. It’s a shame, really, since ‘hack’ can also mean something wonderful: re-envisioning work and life by coming up with unique solutions to our problems, from the incredibly technical to the simple and mundane. Hacking, in this sense, speaks to an entrepreneurial, creative mindset that we nurture and cherish at Etsy.
At many tech companies, Hack Days and Hackathons are opportunities for developers to set aside time to solve problems that they otherwise don’t get to prioritize in their day-to-day work. At Etsy, we’ve taken this tradition and extended it over a week and asked that the entire company join in. Because “hacking” — the fun, creative kind — is exactly what we’re all about: using our skills to reimagine what we do and how we do it.
On July 13, we kicked off Hack Week at our offices around the world and closed out the week having collaborated on over 75 physical and virtual hacks to make life at Etsy — in our offices and on our marketplace — even better. Together, we worked on potential site features, improvements and prototypes, and we’ll be sure to share any important updates in the months to come, so stay tuned.
A few physical hacks Etsy employees worked on around the world:
In Dublin, employees greenified our outdoor office areas by creating a balcony orchard, lavender patch and an herb and vegetable garden to use throughout the year, creating beautiful spaces to connect with nature and grow healthy food.
London employees celebrated their city by painting a mural together, inspired by a cross-stitch pattern made by Etsy seller Satsuma Street (pictured on the right).
In Melbourne and San Francisco, employees decorated their office spaces with hand-painted murals and unique items made and curated by local Etsy sellers.
At our Brooklyn headquarters, employees worked on group quilt-making, reorganized our bike room, debuted a new employee counting system for our food program and resurrected the Etsy Record Wall, an old office decoration of vinyl records that was torn down during a prior office move.
Of course, we kept it real with employee-led scavenger hunts, an office dog show and pun-heavy decorations:
At Etsy, there’s an electric energy in our offices that’s even more vibrant during Hack Week, which no doubt played an important part in pushing through all of the unique, inventive projects we collaborated on together.
You can still feel it, especially considering that the result of our efforts are often vividly visible, from our walls to our desks to the site itself. Here’s to enjoying the spirit of Hack Week all year long.