Not long ago, I let everyone know that I had put my notice in at Amazon and was looking for something new. I spoke with a lot of awesome folks about their projects and companies and am honestly more excited than ever about the future of the tech industry as a result. In the end, though, the decision was clearer to me than it ever has been before. And, for what it’s worth, I wanted to take a moment to jot down why working at Etsy is the best fit for me:
Doing good things because they are good
A lot of companies and startups do good things, but Etsy takes it to a whole other level. From their Hacker Grants this past summer and fall to becoming a B Corporation, and even simple things like creating plant walls in the office, the people at Etsy are nothing if not enthusiastic when it comes to do-goodery. The attitude that “this is a good thing, let’s do it” permeates their culture and is immediately apparent when chatting with members of the team. Etsy isn’t simply a company, but also a community of people with shared values. It’s not difficult to lose that last bit somewhere along the way, with the product itself becoming the primary focus rather than the people building and using it. Etsy, however, makes a community-driven culture feel organic and obvious. You enter and think, “Of course it’s this way.”
It may seem somewhat silly to mention user-centrism at a time when everyone and their brother is focused on UX. But I would argue that, time and again, Etsy has proven themselves advocates of not only user-centered design, but user-centered product vision. The most interesting thing to me about their product is the natural, healthy tension created by two distinct groups of users: buyers and sellers. Every product decision at Etsy is viewed through each of those two lenses. As a result, the measure of success isn’t simply pageviews or amount of content created per day. Rather, it’s how well they can connect the right buyers with the right sellers. It’s how transparent and simple Etsy can make the process for customers so they can quickly and confidently find what they’re looking for, while also solving problems for makers so they can concentrate on, you know, making. It’s a tremendously juicy space that they are continuously and relentlessly improving not only with great design, but with the unwavering aspiration to connect the world’s creators and patrons.
Broadening my perspective
I was chatting with a friend awhile back and he said something that really resonated with me. He said that he’s always on the lookout to try things he hasn’t before. Doing what we’re comfortable with is all well and good, he said, but the best way to grow is to take on the things that scare us a little. The things unknown to us. With Etsy, there are a lot of things I’m excited about, but also challenges that I’m sure will keep me up at night now and again. At this very moment, simply moving to New York City is both exhilarating and frightening. I’ve been to the city a handful of times, and never for long enough to really feel like I get it. The logistics of moving cross-country by themselves are enough to warrant their own blog post, if not their own startup (please, someone start a company to make this simpler). The move, the new city, along with new responsibilities and design puzzles at Etsy will push me to become a better designer, pull me in new directions as a person and stretch my worldview in ways I can’t even begin to predict.
Interested in joining me at Etsy? Shoot me a mail and let’s chat.