Last May, I had the honor to welcome Dave McClure and the Geeks on a Plane group at MercadoLibre offices in Buenos Aires. I gave a short talk and answered questions on technology, e-commerce and Latin America. One of the geeks on that plane was Kellan Eliott-McCrea (CTO at Etsy), who kindly invited me to give an open talk in context of the Code as Craft Technology Talks series. It wasn’t until last monday when we found the opportunity to make this happen.
I’ve always hated the «success story» format, where somebody explains how well he figured out everything from the very beginning. In this talk I intended to share concrete examples of some mistakes we made, and what we learned from them.
Just in case you have an hour, here’s the video.
Etsy offices – A lesson on «design culture»
Etsy offices are located in Brooklyn, in a neighborhood called DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. As soon as you step a foot in that office, the «design spirit» takes over your senses. It’s one of the coolest, quirkiest place I’ve ever been to. Everything looks hand made. Every desk is different, crafted by a different Etsy seller. Every «normal» object was an excuse to craft something beautiful. Here’re some pics:
If you work there it’s clear that you are expected to carefully «design» everything you do, no matter if you’re a designer or an engineer. No surprise Etsy is arguably the most «beautiful» marketplace out there. This experience triggered something in my head: we need more than a good design playbook to reach the next level. Now I have a challenging (and pleasant) homework to do.