Etsy struggles

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In a recent New York Times article Inside the Revolution at Etsy, David Gelles gives us a glimpse of the problems now suffered by this important path to market.

It looks like there’s now a conflict between the publicly traded enterprise and the objectives of the not-for-profit.

The B Corp designation was supposed to help resolve this conflict. I guess in the case of Etsy, it never did or no longer does.

Mr. Gelles writes:

Etsy is barely recognizable. The “Values-Aligned Business” team, which oversaw the company’s social and environmental efforts, was dismantled. A new focus on profitability has sapped many employees of their enthusiasm. A workplace that once encouraged workers to express their feelings has clammed up. Etsy is no longer a B Corp.

Today, as [new CEO] Mr. Silverman continues to push for change and investors keep close watch on the stock, what’s most frustrating to some close observers of the company is that Etsy seems to have given up so much to gain so little.

“Etsy had the potential to be one of the truly great ones,” said Matt Stinchcomb, an early employee who now runs the Good Work Institute, which was originally an Etsy charitable foundation before being spun off last year. “But it looks like they are cutting anything that’s not essential to the business. This is a cautionary tale of capitalism.”

See the full article here.

Thank you to board member, Leora Kornfeld, for spotting this article.

Grant McCracken

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