Joining Etsy


I’m starting my fourth week at Etsy and riding the train North to SF. I wanted to take a minute to talk about my first few weeks and what lies ahead.

Plug: If you’re interested in joining me, ping mmorgan at etsy or visit

Etsy is a tribe

In the Seth Godin sense of the word, Etsy is a tribe:

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.

You might think this applies to just employees, but I’ve learned that Etsy is a large, interconnected network of awesome people — including crafters and leaders in the community — who care about a common mission. I think this is awesome.

What is that mission? It’s any number of things:

  • To redefine commerce and make it human again
  • To connect makers with their customers in a direct way
  • To give people with skills a fair marketplace so they can prosper

There are many ways to state it, but for me, the important part is this: we are trying to make the world a better place through technology. That’s what I love doing, it’s what makes me happy.

After a few weeks, I’m certain: This is my tribe.

For more on Etsy, I highly recommend the annual report, which is a good example of transparency in practice.

The world needs companies like Etsy to succeed

My time at Mozilla taught me that the sum of small conscious choices like what browser we use can create enough momentum to change an entire ecosystem. Likewise, how we choose to engage the economy around us is a small but pivotal decision we all make on a daily basis.

Missions like these seem daunting and ambitious at first. They require faith, passion and a stubborn optimism. It’s not a lighthearted we’ll get there someday — it feels more like a we must do this because someone has to. Over my first couple of weeks, I could sense it in Brooklyn.

On a personal note: As a father, I’d love to see Ella grow up knowing where — and who — things come from; to be able to learn about how things are made and maybe even meet the people who built them. I’d like for her to care about the people, quality and values behind what she buys and how it affects the world.

I’d like to make those things more possible. I feel like someone needs to.

This is only the beginning

The beautiful thing about tribes, missions and making the world better is there really is no limit to how far you can go when you have a group of highly motivated, talented people. Etsy is a great company that is already making a difference — but it’s really just the beginning for both of us.

The world, it turns out, still needs improving. Together, we have a lot of work left to do.