Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 Etsy Year in Review

Since I haven't been able to post about Etsy since my blog went down; I am going to do a year in review.

Lets start with the new Etsy headquarters Chad Dickerson built before he was fired. I was just appalled that he made this decision with the support of the Etsy BOD. Number one Etsy didn't buy the building that they spent millions renovating. They are leasing it. Bad decision 1. Then they spent millions making it the most incredible place to work. Bad decision 2. Which is really nice for employees. Yoga rooms, quiet rooms, craft rooms, free lunches, etc etc. I kept thinking to myself "how can Etsy afford all of this?" I mean come on Etsy is not Google. Not even close. Etsy has barely ever made any money. Then Chad announced 6 months paid leave for all employees that become parents. Which again is really nice; but can Etsy afford it? Chad thought so. Or maybe he didn't?

I got some grief on the Etsy forums for saying that all of this money being spent to make employees happy was ridiculous. My point is most employees would rather still have their job than state of the art offices that caused them to be laid off. Its a no brainer.

Apparently some investors started wondering if Etsy could afford it too. And the answer was a resounding no. So what do they do? They kick Chad out, lay off hundreds of employees and bring in Josh Silverman. Who just happened to be put on the board just months before. Coincidence? Not hardly.

I knew (and posted in the Etsy forums for the last 2 years) that all Chad wanted was to take Etsy public, make his millions and then leave with his golden parachute. And that is exactly what happened. Its almost as if he deliberately spent all this money that Etsy didn't have--to get kicked out. He had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. I honestly don't know how he could have made such horrible decisions unless this was his goal. He got to use Etsy as his own personal play toy, experiment with the code he loves so much (Code as Craft anyone?) then take his millions and retire.

Now he has announced that he going to start writing about his time at Etsy on his blog. Hes not stupid. He knows that will bring a ton of traffic to his blog. I for one could care less what he writes. In my opinion it will probably all be lies just like when he was CEO.

A lot of my friends have asked me what I think of Silverman. I think he is only marginally better than Chad. Unfortunately he got the horrible job of cleaning up Chad's mess (laying people off etc) But I don't think he is making good decisions either. Etsy Studio in my opinion was one of the smartest things Etsy has done in years. Well except for the idiotic name they gave it. And now Silverman squashed it. Like most Etsy projects it has been abandoned after only a few months of running. So much money thrown away and wasted.

Silverman has been doing a few Q&A to make sellers think he cares. But won't directly answer any question. I had one voted up to be answered and got the usual non answer. Really its better not to do Q&A's unless you are going to give direct answers. Silverman and other Etsy higher ups are big on corporate speak. I have never seen a company use it as much as Etsy does. All it does is alienate sellers more. Sellers aren't stupid. We know when we are being talked around or down to. 

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