Handmade rules: Etsy’s $27million, aka People are doing it for themselves

It’s exciting to hear that Etsy raised a $27 million dollar investment round this past January. There’s no question but that we’ve moved into an era where small, independent businesses are flourishing via the web, and Etsy’s a leader in the platform/tools/community category, creating an ecosystem of crafters, artisans and purchasers around the globe.
Apparently, the money is going to be used to build out more hardware and hosting services, staff up, localize for international expansion, improve and streamline checkout, upgrade search and (one imagines) build out community and brand positioning further. I’d also suggest they think about creating more developer and affinity communities, streamlining APIs, and adding some craftman/seller support areas.
I was moved by founder Rob Kalin’s post on Esty, where he says “We want Etsy to exist for hundreds of years. Our goal is for Etsy to be an independent, publicly traded company, focused on all things handmade.Throughout Etsy’s growth, we have been very careful when raising money. We run the company as a democracy, meaning no one party has the power to act unilaterally.”
Susan sez: Whether it’s manufactured goods, conferences, media interviews, or content, there’s been a relentlessly accelerating move toward shared, distributed services that mirrors the move toward user generated content. Short version: People are doing it for themselves…and we have the tools for the good stuff to gain traction and float to the top.