Chad Dickerson, CEO of Brooklyn- based Etsy, discussed the trends in innovation and entrepreneurship at the Senate Steering and Outreach Committee meeting in Washington DC earlier this week. Mr. Dickerson talked about his company’s involvement in the rising NY tech industry during the committee meeting, which was focused on successful job creation, business policy and fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and tech community leaders such as Dickerson.
Dickerson, invited by NY Senator Charles E. Schumer, explained that Etsy’s community of entrepreneurs should represent a model for small business policy for Washington lawmakers. Etsy users think of an idea, manufacture it, and publicize it through social networks like Facebook to a global market nearly instantaneously. Dickerson told the committee that Etsy sellers are taking advantage of the fact that they can bring a product to market without any difficult barriers online. This also means that consumers are using Etsy to find creative businesses without jumping through hoops. 40 million unique visitors come to Etsy’s site each month and sellers who use the platform have grossed more $525 million in sales.
Although he did not offer specific recommendations, Dickerson urged the committee to re-frame how they view small business and policy as lawmakers. The people who use Etsy, Mr. Dickerson explained, “don’t open up shop intending to grow to a payroll of 50 employees or hoping to patent a new technology they develop, yet they create work, traditional jobs, and overall value in the economy. Platforms like Etsy are injecting income directly into households, through the empowering opportunity to create a business with a few clicks of a mouse.”
A representative for Sen. Schumer said Dickerson was invited to the committee meeting because Etsy has played an integral role in NY’s rapidly expanding Silicon Alley. A recent study by the Center for an Urban Future estimated that over 1,000 startups were created in New York since 2007. Schumer told the Senate in his opening remarks, “Chad and Etsy get entrepreneurship and innovation because that’s what they do and that’s who they work for.”