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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Dollar signs on the doilies

Gigi Douban Mar 5, 2015
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Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade products, filed for a $100 million IPO on Wednesday. The Brooklyn-based company reported revenue of $195 million last year, up from $125 million in 2013.
 
High-profile online retailers like Zulily and Wayfair had solid debuts with their IPO’s in 2014. The timing is right for Etsy, says Mark Brohan, vice president of research for Internet Retailer Magazine. 
 
William Sahlman, professor at Harvard Business School, says Etsy fulfills customers’ craving for something different. Etsy’s mission has been to change the way things are made and sold, and Sahlman says companies can retain that socially-minded philosophy — just look at Ben & Jerry’s.
 
They were able to go public and still maintain a sense with their customers that they were different,” Sahlman says. 
 
Steve Kaplan, who teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, says there might be some initial rumblings of discontent when the company goes public. But at the end of the day, “If you deliver something that your customers really like, you have created a huge amount of social value,” he says.
 

Inspired by Etsy’s crafty culture, this handmade world cloud shows some of the more unique words from the company’s IPO filing.

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