They’re Crafty

New York Times Magazine: Handmade 2.0 (requires login, free)


blockquote>All of which is a familiar-enough Internet-start-up story line. I was more interested in what made Etsy seem different from so many current efforts to “build community” online: the luck or genius of the site is that Kalin and the other founders encountered in the D.I.Y./craft scene something that was already social, community-minded, supportive and aggressively using the Web. It seemed to me that the company’s future would depend not only on the success of its sellers but also on its reputation among them. Nor could its reputation simply be for business acumen. If all Etsy did was channel D.I.Y.-ism into a profit machine, it could easily be seen as monetizing — exploiting — the creativity and hustle of 70,000 indiepreneurs. There was a cultural dimension, too.