Tag Archive | "Opening"

Etsy CEO: Machine Learning is Opening Up a Whole New Opportunity

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman says that “machine learning is opening up a whole new opportunity” for the company to organize 50 million items into a discovery platform that makes buying an enjoyable experience and also is profitable for sellers.

Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy, recently talked about their much-improved business and why it is working so well with Jim Cramer on CNBC:

Our Mission is Keeping Commerce Human

Our mission is keeping commerce human. It’s really about in a world where automation is changing the nature of work and we’re all buying more and more commoditized things from the same few fulfillment centers. Allowing someone to harness their creative energy and turn that creativity into a business and then connect with someone in the other part of the country or in another part of the world, that’s really special. We think there’s an ever-increasing need for that in this world.

It’s about value. We’ve been really focused on delivering more value for our makers. Etsy really is a platform that brings buyers to sellers and that’s very valuable. We raised our commission from 3.5 to 5 percent commission which was I think is fair value for our sellers, particularly because we’re reinvesting 80 percent of that into the growth of the platform.

Free shipping is pretty much table stakes today. Yet only about 20 percent of items have free shipping. About half of all the items on Etsy buyers say have shipping prices that are too high and yet we grew GMS at 20 percent last quarter.

Machine Learning is Opening Up a Whole New Opportunity

Machine learning is opening up a whole new opportunity for us to take 50 million items from two million makers and make sense of that for people. We have 37 million active buyers now and many of them come just for discovery, just to see what they can find, and that is exactly the right thing for someone out there. Our job is to create that love connection. Etsy over the past 14 years, with a large team effort, has I think done a great job.

One thing I want to emphasize is the quality and the craftsmanship with so many of the products on Etsy. That’s something that has been such a delight for me. People like Kringle Workshops that make these incredible products. What we have been doing a better job and need to continue to do a better job of really surfacing the beautiful artisanally crafted products that are available at a really fair price. You’re not having to pay for warehousing, you’re not having to pay for all the other things that mass-produce things have to pay for, you’re buying directly from the person who made it. So it can be both beautiful, handcrafted, and well priced.

There are 2 million sellers, 87 percent of them are women, over 90 percent are working from home or are businesses of one, who can create a global business from their garage or their living room. Etsy does provide a real sense of community for them and that’s really powerful.

Amazon May Open New HQ in Queens Near Etsy

We feel great about our employee value proposition and come what may. Here’s what we have going for us. We think we’ve got the best team, certainly in tech companies on the eastern seaboard. We think ours is the best and we continue to attract great talent. The reason is, first and foremost, our mission is really a meaningful important mission and that matters. Great people want to work in a place with a great mission.

Second, our technology challenges are interesting. For example, search and using machine learning to make sense of 50 million items that don’t map to a catalog. Third, our culture is really special. We have been a company that’s authentically cared about diversity from the beginning. Over 50 percent of our executive staff are women, we have a balanced board, 50 percent male and female, and 32 percent of our engineers are female, which is twice the industry average. People who care about diversity and inclusion really want to come to work at Etsy. All of that is going for us and we’re happy to compete with whoever we need to.

Earnings Call Comments by Etsy CEO:

Active Buyers Grew 17 Percent

Etsy’s growth accelerated again in the third quarter to nearly 21% on a constant-currency basis. Revenue growth exceeded 41%, fueled by the launch of our new pricing structure, and our adjusted EBITDA margins grew to nearly 23%, while we also increased our investments in the business.

Active buyers grew 17% to 37 million worldwide. This is the fourth consecutive quarter that GMS has grown faster than active buyers, evidence that we are seeing increased buyer activity on the platform, which is a key proxy for improvement in frequency. We grew the number of active sellers by 8% and GMS per active seller is also increasing.

Two principal levers contributed to our progress this past quarter. The first is our continued product investment, focused on improving the shopping experience on Etsy. By making it easier to find and buy the great products available for sale on Etsy, we’re doing a better job converting visits into purchases. The second lever was our new pricing structure, which enabled us to ramp up investments in marketing, shipping improvements and customer support.

Successful Cloud Migration

We achieved a significant milestone in our cloud migration this quarter, successfully migrating our marketplace, Etsy.com, and our mobile applications to the Google Cloud with minimal disruption to buyers and sellers. This increases our confidence that the migration will be complete by the end of 2019.

Once fully migrated, we expect to dramatically increase the velocity of experiments and product development to iterate faster and leverage more complex search and machine learning models with the goal of rapidly innovating, improving search and ultimately driving GMS growth.

In fact, we’re beginning to see some of those benefits today based on the systems we’ve already migrated. I’d like to thank our engineering team for their incredible work to get this – get us to this point.


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Canada’s Supreme Court orders Google to de-index site globally, opening door to censorship

Decision is dangerous to free speech and the free flow of online information.

The post Canada’s Supreme Court orders Google to de-index site globally, opening door to censorship appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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How to Nail the Opening of Your Blog Post

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The opening four notes to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony are the most popular notes in Western music.

Dun dun dun dum

They are stormy. Heroic. Disorienting. Short enough to be remembered. Portentous enough to be memorable.

Today you’ll find those notes everywhere. In movies, commercials, and songs when the dramatic and foreboding are needed … And we hardly bat an eye.

We recognize them, we know them, and we love those first four notes. Not so for Beethoven’s opening night at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in 1808.

One contemporary composer of Beethoven — one who represented the consensus — said, “That sort of music should not be written.”

But it was, and Beethoven has been well rewarded for his courage to create the remarkable.

In fact, when it comes to creating a blog post that opens with a bang, that’s exactly what you need … the remarkable.

Brian has already told you how to get there by using these five methods:

  1. Ask a question.
  2. Share an anecdote or quote.
  3. Invoke the mind’s eye.
  4. Use an analogy, metaphor or simile
  5. Cite a shocking statistic.

Now I’d like to give you ten examples of those five methods in practice … and why they work.

10 examples of blog posts that nailed their openings …

A Real Simple Solution to the Death of Google Reader

What makes this post work so well is that Jerod Morris hijacks the Pope’s resignation to talk about the impending death of Google Reader … tying both together with a plume of smoke. It’s a dramatic, vivid opening.

What’s Your Excuse for Not Achieving Your Goals?

Robert Bruce opens up with a headline that hits you in the gut. After you’ve taken a breath, you are then hit with the definition of the word “excuse” … complete with the pronunciation. After that he rolls out, staccato-style, a litany of typical excuses we’ve all been guilty of saying. It’s hard to pull yourself away. He completes it with the one-word question that makes us all keep reading.

How Three Drag Queens in a Bus Lead to Better Blogging

The headline is irresistible (and one of the best examples I can find of the fascination hook), and the first sentence is an enticing question. Then James Chartrand introduces the benefit  to keep reading. Furthermore, this headline and opening is equally delicious for the inside joke … what we didn’t know about James when this post was published. And you can read that story here.

The #1 Conversion Killer in Your Copy (And How to Beat It)

Sonia Simone opens with the benefit first, asks a series of questions meant to identify a problem you can relate to, and then amplifies that problem with the next two sentences. Next, she anchors the problem with a vivid metaphor (the troll under the bridge), and finally proceeds to tell a story about her life … which  is really about the jaded consumer.

8 Bad Habits that Crush Your Creativity And Stifle Your Success

That’s a great headline to begin with: creativity and success … and what you can do to enhance either … are bona fide attention getters for a mass audience. The 2,500 plus tweets and nearly 3,000 Facebook likes prove this. Dean Rieck then keeps the momentum going with a comical quote from Robert Frost … and launches into the science of intelligence and creativity.

The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words

You can’t go wrong with a reference to one of the world’s best-loved movies: The Princess Bride. Talk about finding a cultural hook that will resonate! Brian Clark then hits our insecurities of looking dumb when it comes to misspelling words, making this opening irresistible, so we keep reading.

The Glass Ceiling, the Inner Circle, and the Key to Building a Popular Blog

Read any of Jon Morrow’s blog posts and you’ll encounter a killer opening. But this one is his best because he tells a story about himself that we ultimately all see ourselves in. And the cool part is you don’t even know it’s happening. You are just with Jon … his story … and falling down the page in a dream-like state.

The Eminem Guide to Becoming a Writing and Marketing Machine

This is another example of a personal story that works. And here’s why it works. Sean Platt, in less than ten paragraphs, makes an about turn on a topic he was utterly convinced about. And that he chose a controversial figure … one whom everyone in the world snubbed at one time. But, as Sean explains, you’ll change your mind as you discover the true quality of Eminem’s content.

8 Strange Rituals of Productive Writers

Writers love learning about other writers. Even the boring stuff like what they do when they wake up. But mention that these routines are strange, we strain our necks like were passing twisted wreckage on the side of the road. That’s what this headline accomplishes. In six plain words. But Kelton Reid doesn’t stop there. He then unfolds a yarn about baseball player Ichiro Suzuki’s odd care of his baseball bat … and it’s equally odd how Kelton even got that story.

How to Become an Exceptional Writer

Leave it to me to include my own article on a post about best openings, but I think this opening does one thing very well … it slowly leaks out a story that pulls the reader along … enhancing the story with concrete details, an international rock star, and concluding the opening with a short dialog that  encourages the reader to keep reading.

Over to you …

Granted, while these blog posts are great, none of them will ever achieve the status of Beethoven’s dun dun dun dum … but that’s okay, because with a blog post all you need to do is get the attention of your reader, and keep it. And that’s why these blog  post openings are truly remarkable.

Can you share other articles that open with a bang? On Copyblogger or elsewhere? Post in the comments below …

About the Author: Demian Farnworth is Chief Copywriter for Copyblogger Media. Follow him on Twitter or Google+. Then visit his blog to read his Education of a Writer series.

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