About ADW

Andrea's a fan of reading fiction, discovering music and getting stuff done. When she's not doing that stuff, she'll be writing here.


I’m passionate about words. I salivate over wordplay, grammar, uniquely structured sentences and expertly expressed ideas. Even though I regularly improvise the phonetic alphabet and occasionally let spellcheck take the lead in my composition box, my love for words is real.

In fact, my “word nerdism” transcends typical conventions. The kind of love I have for words doesn’t come without a few quirks. Maybe you can relate. Does the scent of an old book intoxicate you like a 20 year old Glenlivet? Do you get a little rush of adrenaline when you receive a box of books you ordered online? Feel some sadness when you turn the last page?

How about this: have you ever had an uncontrollable, visceral repulsion to a word? Like cringing, or shivering… gagging… all symptoms of a word-gone-wrong.

Hate is a strong word. But here’s a few words I hate with a capital “H”:
Doily… also spelled as doiley, doilie, doyly, doyley. Ewww.
Curdle… Yuck.
Pantie, panty… awkward.

Alternatively, here are some words I love-love-love:
Candid, as in “being candid” or “candidly” doing something.
Fallible. Yes, human fallibility, the world’s best excuse for when things don’t quite go your way.
Conversely, the most elegant word that signals a comparison.

So what’s your favorite/most hated word, bird?

Etsy is hitting the stock market, yarn a-blazin’

Etsy’s intended entry on the NASDAQ has a lot of brokers chuckling over another so-called “hipster IPO”… with good reason. Their millions of sellers are small-scale entrepreneurs who make and sell goods out of their homes. They’re pioneers of the online craft fair. If you’re looking for a cat toy made of recycled materials or hand-woven clothing, you’re going to find it there.

Does buying ETSY stock make me a hipster? 

That sounds way too ironic.

Etsy’s been strolling through their sustainably-farmed rooftop garden and collecting private equity for almost a decade. Why the sudden move to Wall Street? Did earning $195 million in revenue last year cause them to spiral into an identity crisis?

If you strip away the stitching of their thrifty, hand-made heart, Etsy is an e-commerce company. In the true spirit of a start-up, the company grew rapidly with a winning user fee/premium based profit model and healthy doses of private funding. Naturally, they’ve gotten too hot (or should I say, too cool) for venture capital.

Ironically, Etsy needs to “sell out” to institutional and retail investors in order to offer its brand and products broader reach. They’re hoping to raise $100 million in capital during the IPO. Given that almost 80% of Etsy’s sales come from repeat buyers, their loyal user base has already brought them far and it’s time to attract new buyers. Their latest spending was focused on increasing their traditional and digital marketing presence by 122% in the last year. They’re probably not done investing in large-scale, global marketing efforts.

Etsy’s NASDAQ listing positions them among the tech and e-commerce giants of the world. Sure, Etsy’s IPO won’t be an epic event like Alibaba, EBay or Amazon, but their unique position in e-commerce might pull on the heartstrings or closet crafters of the financial world.

How have other hipster companies fared out on financial markets?

In the age of the internet, there’s nothing more ironic than using a notebook. Moleskin listed on the Borso Italiana in 2013 and raised just about $314 million in capital. The company’s CEO explained the desire to explore new markets and expand distribution network.

When Apple went public in 1980, they raised over $100 million within minutes. A second offering a year later raised over $57 million just as quickly. They used the funding to develop the Lisa personal computer (sadly, a flop). A couple years later, the mysterious MacIntosh computer, whose latest version is an absolute hipster must-have, was featured in their legendary 1984 Super Bowl commercial.

In 1993, Urban Outfitters IPO’d and raised over $13 million in capital. They expanded by opening more stores. A decade later, they’ve become the most controversial clothing company in North America… besides American Apparel of course. There’s no need to fund a huge marketing budget from shareholder dollars when publicity (good or bad) is free.

Will the market love Etsy? Depends how bullish it is on hand-made bowties.

Charlie buckets! What a great ad.

I think Elon Musk fell in love with this ad the first time he saw it. It’s been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, and he didn’t even have to pay for it. In fact, he never asked for it.

Modern Spaceship was spontaneously created by two recent college grads and their fledgling ad agency, Everdream. They just liked the company and its zero-emissions mission.

Imagine that! Fresh talent making fresh stuff, just because.

Elon’s positive acknowledgement and social media boost must have done wonders for them. The fact that they hit so many great points in the ad makes me think that success wasn’t that far ahead of them to begin with. Everdream was right in two critical ways:

1. The ad feels like the Tesla brand and the man who’s inextricably tied to it. The wondrous feeling you get from watching it really channels Elon Musk’s (excuse the word) aura. If you hear him talk, you can tell that there’s a child-like wonder that’s still going strong inside him. How else do you pursue your dream of building space cars and spaceships? Curiosity, exploration, dreaming. It’s Elon Musk, it’s Tesla, and it’s all in the ad.

2. Hooray for original thought! We’ve seen cars revving their engines on countless highways and sand dunes. Bringing us into an alternate universe was the right move, for us and for Elon. Sure, Elon loves space and stuff like that. Even beyond this, he’s the guy that’s been dubbed the “Willy Wonka of modern transportation”. This ad reconstructed Elon’s vision of a product that changes the world and brings us to a whole new petrol-free paradise. Maybe not a world of pure imagination, but as close as it gets.

Here’s the ad for the Model S that Elon commissioned himself. What do you think?

What does a great account manager look like?

How about: being a great communicator, or having the ability to maintain the client’s vision? Juggling multiple priorities is a must. Luke Sullivan’s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This! that explains a great account manager perfectly:

“The good ones have the soul of a creative person and will share your excitement over an idea. They’re articulate, honest, and inspiring, and… have a better batting average at selling your work”.

Adaptable, engaged, curious and inspired. Nice!