Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Sooooo…it’s that time of the year again. SXSW (a.k.a. Spring Break for Geeks) is right around the corner, running March 8 to 12 in Austin, Texas. And you know what that means: Parties, parties ‘n more parties!! So, once again, we’re putting together what we hope will be THE definitive guide to all this year’s SXSW Interactive parties. We’ll be updating this list regularly, so check back often. And email me if you’re organizing an event or a party.
Worst nightmare for workday Skype gossipers: It appears until very recently there was a vulnerability that made it possible for anyone who knows your email to hijack your account. UPDATED: Skype says it’s been resolved. [TNW]
Do you fret about the amount of info you’ve shared with Facebook? Think for a minute about your Google Search history taken as a whole, and you’ll have a panic attack. [Buzzfeed]
As we head into the holidays, an update from Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson reveals that the community is now 20 million users strong and did more than $700 million in sales in 2012. By the end of the year, total all-time marketplace sales will surpass 100 million products. The company is also doing a holiday popup shop in Soho this year–right next to Dior. Fancy! [Etsy]
Are startups funded in the early-stage investing boom starting to run out of money? [Business Insider]
Judging from this video about the Jawbone UP, wearable computing requires a whole lot of trial and error in the design process. [Fuse Project]
It appears New York’s tech scene will finally have its own calling card–a glossy, cinematic affair shot by Annie Leibovitz. The celebrated photographer cordoned off the cobblestone streets of Soho yesterday to direct a photo shoot for an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.
Let Silicon Valley have its tacky tiger-monkeyblowouts, we’ll take the Conde Nast’s version of Social Register, thank you very much.
Etsy founder Rob Kalin used to be fond of referencing Etsy’s future IPO. But lately, the crafty Dumbo-based marketplace, which says it has been in the black since 2009, has eased up on the rhetoric. After the latest raise, CEO Chad Dickerson intimated that funding from any new sources was not on the immediate horizon. “The funding also ensures that the company has the operating funds to last for many years so that the Etsy community is in a position to succeed for a very long time,” he wrote.
DIY-ers, you may now begin crocheting celebratory pillows and other yarn finery: E-commerce site Etsy, also known as Amazon for Twee People, announced today that it has raised a $40 million Series F round from investors, including Union Square Ventures and Accel Partners.
In a lengthy blog post, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson strayed from the typical tech funding announcement, instead choosing to first focus on Etsy’s growth and continued commitment to making the world a better place through business. The DUMBO-based startup has scored a B Corporation certification, which “gives [them] a framework to measure Etsy’s success against rigorous values and responsible practices as [they] scale as a company.”
The Third Degree
After years of reading Ryan Tate’s piercing coverage on the free time and foibles of Silicon Valley’s demigods at Gawker, Betabeat finally had the pleasure of making his acquaintance the other night. Spoiler alert: He might be the nicest dude in tech blogging, despite what the press releases regurgitation factories would have you think. Mr. Tate’s former pen pal Steve Jobs probably put it best: “He’s no dummy.”
We also had a chance to peruse his new book “The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business,” which takes its title and subject matter from Google’s much-admired practice of letting employees spent a fifth of their work week building whatever they want to. Like, say, multi-billion dollar revenue streams like AdSense or lifelines like Gmail.
The Perks of Being a Developer
Avi Bryant, a well-known developer who most recently worked at Twitter, just announced he’s joining Etsy to head up a mysterious new project that will help Etsy’s shops become “more economically viable despite being tiny.”
But while Mr. Bryant will be moving out of San Francisco, he won’t be settling down in Fort Greene or Astoria. Instead, he’s moving to the gorgeous Galiano Island in British Columbia. The freedom to work remotely was a major factor in his decision to join Etsy, he said.
“My wife and I have the incredible luck to have the right to live and work in any of the US, Canada, and the EU; it would be a shame not to take advantage of that,” Mr. Bryant wrote on his personal blog. “That Etsy is letting me do this, not just as an individual contributor, but as a manager, and not just for myself, but for my entire team, is exceptional and, in my opinion, far-sighted.”
New York tech scene’s favorite ginger announced that he’ll be stepping down as CEO. This marks the second time since Rob Kalin started the company in 2005 that he’s given up his role, reports Venture Beat. CTO Chad Dickerson will be taking his place. On the company blog, Mr. Dickerson wrote:
“With engineering well in hand and a strong partner in Adam Freed (our COO), it’s time for me to focus my attention on other aspects of the business. I’m stepping into the role of CEO at Etsy, and I’m looking forward to working with all of the teams at Etsy to move faster as we scale while staying true to our values.”