Several months ago I wrote a post about how Twitter, by all common startup logic, should have died. Basically everything that could go wrong building a consumer Web company has, and yet the strength of the product carried it through some dark days that would have devastated most others.
Perhaps an even more extreme version of this is Etsy. Except Etsy is far more under the radar. I’m thrilled that our first PandoMonthly guest in New York for 2013 is the man who righted the tumultuous ship, CEO Chad Dickerson.
Like Twitter’s Dick Costolo, he is the third Etsy CEO.
Dickerson is only our second guest who didn’t found the company he is known for running. (The first was Tony Hsieh of Zappos, although he doesn’t really count because we interviewed him in the context of the Downtown Project, which he did found.)
Like Costolo, Dickerson wasn’t a Marissa-Mayer-like household name and was a bit of an unconventional choice. He’d joined Etsy as CTO after working as part of the noble Brickhouse initiative to make Yahoo cool again.
Etsy under Dickerson has been characterized by a heads-down approach, eschewing the New York tech world’s hype and parties and just building the damn business. Growth appears to have followed, despite many naysayers who have continually predicted the site’s doom. Dickerson came in at a time when skeptics were grousing that Etsy was too richly valued, its growth prospects were limited, and sellers were restless. Fast forward to last November, when Etsy had its first ever month of $100 million in goods sold – a 74 percent increase over the year earlier.
Forget all the New York companies you read about constantly. If you ask me, up-and-down Etsy is one of the most likely ones to get to that much-wished-for $1 billion exit to prove the ecosystem’s legitimacy. And much of that has to do with Dickerson’s little talked about tenure.
After months of serious arm-twisting Dickerson has agreed to a rare sit down to talk about the inner workings of the crafty giant.
Back in December our early bird tickets for this one sold out in a flash. We have fewer than 80 tickets left, so buy yours now! As usual, tickets are just $20 and include pizza and beer.