Eco Chic Solutions. Exquisitely-crafted fashionable items made from eco-responsible natural materials

Etsy ~ an online global marketplace and community that connects craft makers and buyers

By Dian Hasan | September 19, 2010

Etsy: a thriving eBay-like aggregator of handmade crafts sold by their makers.

Etsy has a million members who buy from 185,000 artists, 96% of them women. Each day, 4,000 new customers and 400 new artists join (2008 data).

This is a lot more than a movement, it’s a necessary and fundamental shift in the way commerce works.
Rob Kalin, Etsy founder

  1. What inspired you to create Etsy? We want to create new ways to shop that are only possible using the Web as a medium. The industrial revolution and consolidation of corporations are making it hard for independent artisans to distribute their goods. We want to change this.
  2. How long did it take you, from start to finish, to get Etsy off the ground? When did you launch?Rob, Chris, and Haim built Etsy in two and a half months. We launched on June 18 th, 2005.
  3. How did you get funding for the project? We have been funded by a pair of angel investors here in Brooklyn.
  4. How do you sustain the usage costs of Esty? We charge a flat 10 cent listing fee and a 3.5% sales fee.
  5. What programming languages & technologies does Etsy use? Etsy makes use of PHP, Python, PostgreSQL, OpenBSD and Gentoo Linux.
  6. How big is your development team? Anything special you’d like to say about them? The development team is Rob, Chris, Haim and Jared. Without them Etsy would be underneath a rug in a Brooklyn apartment.
  7. How many people do you estimate currently use Etsy? We have over 25,000 registered members and receive around 60,000 unique visitors per day.
  8. What is your opinion about the Web 2.0 phenomenon? How do you see Etsy fitting into it?Honestly we’re just focused on Etsy.
  9. What are your plans for the future of Etsy? We plan on letting independent artists sell their creations without the heavy tombs and heavy hands of distributors.
  10. Do you have advice or insights for other people who are trying to create their own Web 2.0 projects? Conduct your education in public. Love your users. Use gradients in moderation. Focus on the task and hand and get it launched. Ignore buzzwords. Meetings are distractions. Never be vaporware. Have fun. “Don’t fall in love with the autograph.” Be free.

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