A lot of tech companies are starting emphasise community and the greater good.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has pledged 1% of his company’s equity, profits, and employees’ time to non-profits. Apple CEO Tim Cook told an investor last year to “get out of the stock” if he didn’t like the way Apple invested money in environmental projects like solar energy.
Now, add online craft marketplace Etsy to the list.
In its IPO filing today, CEO Chad Dickerson wrote a lot about its culture.
Twice a week, employees take meals at communal picnic tables in an event called “Eatsy.” The company gets its food from local businesses “with an emphasis on our health and ecological impact.”
And they’re really into composting:
We eat on compostable plates, and employees sign up to deliver our compost by bike to a local farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where it is turned back into the soil that produces the food we enjoy together. In this way, Eatsy goes into the very soil we live and work on.
This may seem like something out of the TV show “Portlandia,” as one journalist joked on Twitter, but having this kind of approach helps with recruiting — tech employees in particular have a lot of choices about where they can work, and they often want to feel like they’re contributing more to society than just pulling a paycheck.
Plus, small tech companies become big tech companies, and people look up to them for an example. If tech companies can’t change the world, who can? As Dickerson puts it:
I believe that Etsy can be a public company that holistically integrates the concerns of people and the planet, the present and the future, profitability and accountability. If we succeed, then other companies might replicate our model. We think the world will be a better place for it.
As part of its approach, Etsy won’t be giving earnings guidance, as it might encourage Etsy to favour short-term numeric goals and “diminish our ability to fulfil our larger mission over the long-term.”