Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Maria speaks.. and unfortunately, so does Rob.

The Storque article from Maria and Rob has come out.

Why the hell wasn't this sent out as a email to every member? Isn't this majorly awaited statement worthy being sent out to the masses? Oh yeah admitting weakness and changes that are needed would be bad news. Whereas this is merely non-news. Same old words, no promises, no direction, no plan, no timeline.

No real info other than Rob and Maria reside in the same plane of existence. (And there is a picture to prove it!)

31 Comments:

lessa said...

Well, I do think one thing came out of it.

Sounds like Maria is going to be taking over. A pat on the back for Rob for getting it started but I'll take it from here vibe was throughout. Get the impression they may actually look for people above the age of 30, proper delegation of duties, perhaps supervisors and a chain of command is not too far off.

Still, not much beyond the feeling that Etsy's direction is changing and its whatever the suits who are writing the big checks want.

I just wish they'd give us a clue what they is.

Aja said...

Yeah...I dunno how I feel about that article. I mean, duh. It was no secret the website has grown exponentially. And duh, it needs to be treated differently than the Etsy of 2006. All I got from Rob was that he's stepping aside and handing the helm to Maria. I guess I expected a bit more (as I am sure I am not the only one) but on the other hand how much can one say when they're not even "in charge" anymore....

I am glad to know that Maria is watching things not only going on within Etsy, but outside as well (Hi Maria!) - Maybe she'll be able to translate the desires and needs of the community as well as the company into something more tangible than say, an article about pretty much nothing....

eh said...

this article seemed pointless. did i miss something?

sandwich_master said...

Importantly, to those in the audience who still for some reason want to rely on Etsy for their business, is that it has finally been acknowledged that it's time for Etsy to have a real manager, a manager who is actually competent.

While Kalin had a good idea and was lucky to have friends with tech skills to help, it's beyond obvious that he knows less than nothing about how to properly manage a large business.

So, a normal person (we think) is taking over running Etsy. Will she have the freedom to make the changes that are necessary? Like, develop a realistic vision for the future, and fire half the staff? We'll see.

I think Kalin and Co. really wanted to completely sell out as of last year. It was obvious they were trying to grow the seller base at all costs to attract a buyer. Instead, they got a partial buyout and had to stay in their previous positions. Now it seems Kalin is stepping down as he wanted to do anyway. Good. Go take a long ego bubble bath and shut up about your living room.

Etsy's growth has been so mismanaged. It will be interesting to see how it goes now.

Sgt Bunny said...

I'll be cautiously optimistic. She seems to have a solid grasp of what the issues are by reading not just the happy blogs but the "bashers", and what appears to be a fairly solid customer service background.

It's vague, but I can understand in a way not divulging a whole timeline just yet.

I could well do without the *runs through some threads, throwing cupcakes* people. Yes. Because that'll help. We all want cookies and candy, instead of honest discussion.


and was that all Rob's experience? cripes. It explains a lot.

el-stinko-armpit said...

I'm not impressed. That was a pile of buzzword-loaded bollocks.

ShrugItOff said...

I thought as a piece of writing from two heads of the company that it was rambling, went nowhere and really lacked substance.

I felt like I was reading a start up blog entry.

wigtime said...

I think it's what I expected. Too soon probably for her to say exactly what is going to happen, but people were pushing her to make a statement of some kind, to show her face. So they've made it clear that they know change is needed, that they'll be hiring competent staff, coming up with a strategic plan etc. The difference between a well-run company and start-up mess is that you study the situation, then plan, then do it. I'd be a little worried if she had too many details already.

KreatedbyKarina said...

Like I said in the forums...

This "article" reads like a cover letter for a job resume.

Blahblahblah "I'm really good at this" blahblahblah "I'm a team player" blahblahblah "here's what I did at my last job" blahblahblah

Tatyana said...

In Rob's own words:
"These are huge, and hugely important, issues, and they touch the entirety of Etsy Inc. We have been working as a company to create the framework required to improve how things get done."

and then:
"It takes upwards of 2 weeks to email all our members, so we need to find better solutions. There are several we're evaluating right now, and once we have some consensus we'll open them up for community discussion."

clearly, sending a mass email is too much work for etsy!

( http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5688734&page=8 )

The Disgruntled One said...

It reads like an essay full of excuses from Rokali. "I was young. We worked so hard. We were broke. I didn't know any better".

Fuck that.

Why in the name of all that's holy didn't he pay attention to anyone earlier, and get some damned help for the company? He had lots of advice offered to him, he just arrogantly didn't bother listening to it.

I guess it took 27 million dollars and a few meetings with real grown ups for him to see the light.

The sooner Swimmy's back on the porch in Tennessee, strummin', the better for all of us and our businesses.

godot said...

Rob will fade, and Maria will be excellent at PR. But, next year at this time I doubt anything will change. Mary mary will continue to say, we hear you.

You can hire a person with vision, but if the folks around her remain, there will be no one to execute that vision.

Get those websites up and running folks.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Well...I was actually a little encouraged. I mean seeing Etsy admit that they're not perfect was refreshing. Admitting that more communication is necessary, also refreshing. And...I actually liked it that there were no promises. I mean at least this way it's not another "hey, what do you guys think of THIS" that will then be ignored and not implemented.

It also made me realize "oh...it's only been six weeks since Maria's arrival". As we all know, Etsy needs a massive cultural and procedural overhaul. She's got to initiate a rebuild from the inside out. It's going to take more than 6 weeks. I bet she's met some resistance from the in-house cupcake lovers (What, I have to put down my cupcakes?! And work!?).

I thought their dual address was a great 1-2 punch:

1) Rob is forced to admit Etsy's imperfections AND the fact that he's not the man for the job when it comes to moving forward (something to the effect of "I'm the guy to be entreprenurial, now Maria is here to take things forward").

2) Then Maria introduces herself and the general idea of what she's focusing on...without overstepping the bounds of the fragile progress she's been able to make in the last short six weeks.

As long as we get something more tangible in the near future...then I'm happy to watch a little longer.

JD said...

I just gotta say...I find it ironic that I only knew it was up because I stop by here regularly.

impetuous said...

All I can do is offer a poll:
http://indienightmares.blogspot.com/

*rocking back and forth in fetal position with helmet on*

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

I'm actually kinda optimistic about the whole thing. I mean, I know there was a lot of drivel in there, but I think Maria has her head screwed on right.

Have I eaten the cupcakes?

:)

old hippie bitch said...

My feelings are much like everyone else's. Rokali has a Peter Pan complex, which he doesn't have to get over because Maria will be the grown-up.

I was disappointed in the lack of any vision in these statements.

I was disturbed that the forums received so many mentions. While there's some good discussion there, most of it is a waste of Maria's time.

Woodstock said...

Well. We wanted to hear from Maria and now we have. I really didn't expect any earthshattering news, not in the short amount of time that she's been here, I'm not sure what I was expecting. Obviously, she is cognizant of the dissent so she can't claim ignorance of the issues brought up.

I am heartened to hear that she is looking at staffing, I get the feeling that some people may feel their job is on the line now and will be on their 'best behavior', in fact, I get the distinct impression that is why all of a sudden we are seeing many more 'we're hearing you and taking notes' posts than we did before.

They are certainly understated in admitting that changes are necessary for Etsy to succeed, I suppose it wouldn't be good for appearances to admit that the place is really screwed up now and is going to take a major overhaul to fix.

As mildly optimistic as I am, I still feel as though this was really a PR move than anything else and I guess I didn't really expect any more, getting down and dirty and admitting mistakes and being brutally honest with us, Etsy's customers, just isn't hip and probably not that great for business. They want us to remember they are human, but they don't want to reinforce that with human behavior and common decency.

WindysDesigns said...

This quoted from a post in the forums:
:I am also really, really, REALLY happy that Rokali hired Maria, who has experience, understands this business and is interested in making Etsy the best it can be."

Ok, question, did Kalin hire Maria? Can you hire someone to supervise you?

Does anyone besides me feel that Maria's hiring had more to do with the influx of cash from an investment company more than Etsy seeing a need?

just bitchy said...

I'm sure Maria was hired as "Business Super Nanny" to keep an eye on etsy day to day for the investor group.

There's no way those particular investors would have given etsy one thin dime without having a say in daily operations and future directions.

I didn't like the word "bash." I see very little bashing and mostly very pointed and/or angry critique from people who are paying etsy for a service.

If you charge for a service you don't get to make excuses.

And if she is going to use the word "bash" then I think she should also use "koolaid drinking, pompom wielding, ass kissing, delusional cheerleaders."

the fluffy one said...

well, not too much said there. hardly earth-shattering, as rob implied it might be.

sounds like maria will be the voice of experience and will hire peeps who actually HAVE experience rather than just a personal relationship with another person already hired. that will be a good thing.

other than than, it was pretty much hot air...

nothing amazing. but we can hope for some grownups who know WTF they are doing.

ughaaa said...

bla bla bla yadda yadda yadda....JUST GIVE ME TOOLS....THAT WORK.

thankyouverymuch.

I'm sick of feeling like a dolled up poodle leaping through hoops of fire endlessly from every stage of listing to sale...

JUST GIVE ME TOOLS....THAT WORK.

Then you can carry on buying evil eye quilts and sightseeing with your boyfriend....

Simone said...

"That process should take into account the need to build a highly reliable and scalable technical infrastructure and one nimble enough to accommodate the dynamism of a business like Etsy’s"

It might be wishful thinking, but that sounds to me like we'll be having a whole new Etsy (V3!) at some point in future - hopefully not one built in PHP (really not good for a major site) and with HTML that makes you want to tear your eyeballs out!

I really do hope this is the case and that they get the right people to oversee and undertake this task.

On the other hand, it's going to take quite a long time to make that happen. I wonder if they'd continue to patch up the current problems at the same time or just leave them ...

beavis said...

I get the feeling the article was more just to appease the masses and really announce Maria. I doubt she has much to say yet.


I'm sure Maria's hiring is a direct result of the company's new investors. But, Jim sits on the same board as Maria and Rob. He has a say, too. And he probably did strongly suggest that they get someone in there that knows how to run an ecommerce site. Rob had a choice: bring in professionals, or kiss Etsy goodbye. I have a feeling he'll spend a lot of time nodding in the next 2 years while Maria works her magic.


One can only hope.


Six weeks is not much time to make serious sense of a company that's been run by people who have no clue. Even if she's been watching Etsy since last May it's different for her to get in there. Rob admits in his post that he really learned as he's gone along and doesn't know where to take it from here.

Ya think?


It's going to take her some time to sit down and really iron out Etsy's direction. Hopefully she's really listening. "BUY AND SELL HANDMADE!"

That's what it's about.

Get back on track.


One can only hope.

sandwich_master said...

simone: "It might be wishful thinking, but that sounds to me like we'll be having a whole new Etsy (V3!) at some point in future - hopefully not one built in PHP (really not good for a major site) and with HTML that makes you want to tear your eyeballs out!"

Not likely... but BTW, most of Etsy's backend is written in Python.

impetuous said...

I can't understand, what the harm would be, to simply say we think xxx is one of the most important issues for Etsy Customers and it is our goal to have xxx implemented by the end of the year.

Why can't they do that?

This "article" was total bullshit and Maria's bashing comment was totally and utterly out of place for her position as COO.

Grace said...

I just figured out where Rokali learned to talk. Check this article out, it's hysterical! (warning, go pee first, and get all liquids away from your computer.)

You'll have to cut and past this, because links seem to be getting cut off at the end so I'll do this in two lines:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news
/magazine/7457287.stm

LMAO!

Grace said...

WTF is wrong with Blogger, that it won't let you post links?

Let me try this again:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
uk_news/magazine/7457287.stm

eclipse said...

you need to use html to post clickable links in blogger.

off topic giggle- the captcha word for my post right now is "maxdik".
Haha sounds like a male enhancement pill!

KreatedbyKarina said...

I think Maria's already drinking the kool-aid, but that's just me...

The Righteous One said...

"sitting side-by-side with Etsy customer support representatives"

and who exactly would this be???