Etsy Gift Finder

I wandered over to the home page of our portfolio company Etsy today and found this at the top:

Etsy gift finder

So I clicked on that "get gift recommendations" button and it asked me to connect to Facebook, which I did and lo and behold, I got a list of all my Facebook friends and gift suggestions for them:

Fb etsy friends

This is particularly useful for friends like Brad Feld who fall under the category "what the hell can I get for Brad that he doesn't already have?". Well here are some ideas:

Brad feld etsy

That clay Farmville sheep thingy is on its way to Brad's office in Boulder right now.

It's that easy.

I am going to use this gift finder for all my holiday gift giving this season. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Bill Clark

    Christmas shopping just got a lot easier!

    1. fredwilson

      yup. so pleased about this. and the cool thing about Etsy is that most of the items are one of a kind things that it is likely people won’t have/don’t have

      1. Bill Clark

        Now I just need to get my parents to start liking more things on Facebook!

        1. Rohan


          1. ShanaC

            this is why I found it wasn’t working well for some of my friends – the stuffed they liked did not make for good gifts

          2. Rohan

            Aha.¬†More Etsy – I hope you guys are watching then! ūüôā

      2. matthughes

        Like the ‘clay Farmville sheep thingy’Next level would be to track the gift recipient’s reaction to the gift.Did it match their taste? Like?¬†A little personal perhaps but potentially very interesting.¬†

        1. Tom Labus

          No question.  Especially if answers were honest!!

    2. ShanaC

      it is beginning to look a lot like christmas *hums*

  2. Frank Denbow

    Nice! Worked on something like this for a hackathon a while back. Etsy API was good to work with and there are many ways to mash it up with twitter/facebook/hunch data

  3. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    Sorry to be that guy, but I think you mean “lo and behold.”Happy Sunday!

    1. fredwilson

      please be that guy. i need all the help i can get. thanks. will fix.

      1. testtest

        i just learned that as well. ^2 to you @pegobry:disqus 

  4. awaldstein

    A Gift Serendipity Engine that actually works. Very cool.Companies that figure out these implicit connections and can mine data to make commerce more personal are moving in the right direction.

    1. Rohan

      “Gift serendipity engine”. Folks at Etsy. I hope you are reading this. ¬†ūüôā



    3. Tom Labus

      AMZN will do this at some point.

      1. awaldstein

        True. Never write Amazon off.They started the whole ball rolling. Like this/try that. And even more important, their platform for citizen reviews disintermediated the role of experts and critics and recommendations for everything from books to refrigerators.But…their world is transactional data. Works in some categories better than others.My social data holds the implicit clues to map my purchasing and interest footprints for the near term. From what I want to read to the new geographies I’m exploring for natural wines to restaurants. It’s all there.They need to tap into that to play in this game.

  5. Wells Baum

    On my iPhone, no recommendation option unfortunately.Nonetheless, still buying my friends motivational art…

  6. testtest

    there’s always going to be a need to filter on platforms like this; that¬†incorporate¬†long tail. great feature.

  7. RichardF

    Feature Sunday just doesn’t have the same ring to it….

    1. fredwilson

      shopping sunday

      1. RichardF

        Ha! Certainly is for my wife!

  8. Rohan

    Haha. This is brilliant.¬†I guess the odds on Brad being surprised are rather low though.. given the very private nature of this blog. ;)Happy Sunday indeed¬†@pegobry:disqus¬† and everyone.. ūüėÄ

  9. Jonathan Whistman

    A great idea.  But not super intelligent.  Black Crow, Poison all returned actual crows & poison instead of music items, and it lists items that someone merely looked at like scrabble.  I think with some improvement I would be a big user of this feature.

    1. Rohan

      but not super intelligent ..yet.I’m sure they’ll get better, Jon – what with your suggestion etc. Nice job lighting a fire.. ūüôā

    2. Ashwin, Founder - ContractIQ

      The gift discovery engine need not necessarily process the most relevant and the most recent craving of the gift recipient. If it gives the gift giver a set of reasonable choices, it’s an improvement over a plain guessing game.The gift coming out of a Etsy recommendation may not be the best gift, but won’t go irrelevant.But, out of context recommendations like the one you’ve mentioned above, makes me hope that this is not a ‘holiday season revenue improvement’ program.

  10. aminTorres

    wow! one soul saved here. I hold te record in my family for the worst gifter eva… will see now..muahaha!I love how robust this this, and how fast it processed 650+ friends.I am sure the developers at etsy had a blast given all the rich data the site has already + all of the rich data facebook holds about users.

    1. Rohan

      I’m wondering if this will be the start of a new #occupyprivacy movement..

      1. aminTorres

        Really doubt it! Etsy is using data that is available to you as a friend of a friend already.  In other words, all etsy is doing is matching the interest your friend have shared with you with their database of gifts and matching based upon those interests.It is the same as me calling all of my friends up, asking them what their interest are, and searching for gifts on my own which as you can see etsy has done all the work for me.

        1. Rohan


        2. markslater

          its not the same – you are calling up ¬†you friends and they can decide not to give you anything. Its completely not the same.¬†FB is aggregating data and using it many times over without your knowledge. you give FB data – you¬†don’t¬†own it – they are using this to sell on to etsy.the FB mantra: When the service is free, you are the product being sold.go read forresters paper on Personal Identity management

          1. aminTorres

            a¬†distinction¬†without a¬†difference.If a friend doesn’t want a gift from you, you are likely not to want to give them a gift in the first place.¬†

      2. Blsavini

        @Rohan,@rrohan189:disqus¬†It might.I am among the extremely “tech challenged”, and also have a shop on Etsy. Between the rollouts of the new welcome/marketing/won’t you visit us again emails and this feature, the Etsy sellers are in meltdown again.I have also managed to earn a “perma-mute” status within the Etsy forums due to past meltdown moments.I attempted to join Facebook about a year ago, and wound up deleting myself, within days. I found it impossible to understand the instructions, the advise given within their forums, the lack of true customer service,¬† and it was more than what I was willing to risk.There is an almost palpable “language divide” between techies and the rest of us. I’m not sure what the answer is, … YET, but more needs to be done to explain tech advantages and their conveniances, into “laymen’s terms” AND, somehow manage to do so without sounding condescending.( I also don’t know if there’s going to be ‘2 copies’ of this post, because I hit a button, stuff got zapped, and I rewrote it.)(Fred, I am still working on my Etsy ideas email. The site rollouts and my uphill battle with “How do I ‘blankety blank’ get a computer to do what I need it to do?!”, is slowing me down.) I’m currently thinking that a traditional, written on paper letter, is the way for me to go.

        1. Rohan

          I don’t fully understand the issue yet. (sorry!)What I think I got was that you are a seller on Etsy and the terms for selling on Facebook are rather difficult.Is that right?(PS: Sometimes, when I type a very long comment, I end up copying it .. just to make sure.. it happens less on Disqus but a lot on blogger and the like :))

          1. Blsavini

            Hi,I was probably very unclear with what I was trying to say.I do have a shop within Etsy and had seen a reference about some of the newer features being “tweeted”. I wandered into Twitter and the link to here was what I found. So I clicked it.I do wander into here, occasionally, and look upon Fred’s blog as a learning opportunity, and partly because he IS involved with Etsy. This blog offers a different perspective than what I might be seeing as a seller.I am among the ranks of the tech feeble, and actually have begone to wonder if it’s possible to be “dyslexic” with it.When I saw your comment about occupyprivacymovement, and some of the other concerns regarding Facebook, I felt that it kind of addressed some of what I face while attempting to navigate cyberland.I joined Twitter and attempted to join Facebook, essentially because “the powers that be” recommend doing so, as a means of keeping up with technology, potential marketing opportunities, etc, etc, etc.I found Facebook to be very confusing. I wasn’t able to navigate the site with any level of comfort, and when my fears got the better of me, I deleted myself. Part of this is because there has been bad press and that aspect, when paired with me just NOT understanding a good portion of the instructions, as to how to go about things.With both Twitter and Facebook, and some of the other sites that I have joined, It has been more of a matter of me trying to keep up with the technologies. As far as making sales, … I have never been comfortable with what I “define” as an in your face, pushy approach, of “Look at me! Buy my sh*t!” I wander into Twitter, and just can’t bring myself to drop links to my items.I know that I ignore things like that, so do not want to be guilty of something that I find offensive.Maybe, I misunderstood your comment. When I did read your comment, it wasn’t that long after reading commentary from a portion of other sellers.¬† There are¬†sellers currently in “meltdown” over these changes. One of the root causes of some of the meltdown emoting, is the fears about privacy.[ I’ve been “there”. I’ve said things within the Etsy forums that SHOULD HAVE been dealt with much differently. My posting priviledges wound up being revoked. AND this is something that I did to myself. ūüôā But of the flip side, my loss is forcing ME to HAVE TO think, and to work a little bit harder, if I want to be heard]Reading today’s blog entry did offer a different spin on the feature and more for me to ponder as I try to learn how to navigate cyberland.As one of Etsy’s sellers, and as one who has managed to disgrace themselves, and as someone who is financially DEFINITELY on the 99% side of the $$$$ fence, and tech handicapped, and as one of the sellers who doesn’t always agree with what’s being done, or possibly doesn’t understand the hows and the whys, …THIS SITE¬†DOES HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL TO TRULY IMPROVE HOW BUSINESS DOES GET ACCOMPLISHED FROM THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL AND TO HELP DIG¬†OUT FROM THE ECONOMIC MESS, CURRENTLY FACING THE PLANET!!!!!It just needs a little tweaking.¬†

          2. Rohan

            work in progress ūüôā

  11. ShanaC

    Some make total sense, some makes me want to go, wtf? ¬†that wouldn’t work for this person at all.

    1. fredwilson


      1. leigh

        I’m all about discovery engines this week – i think recommendation engine gives a false impression after all, there is only so much you can know by looking in a rear view mirror – if they considered in the UX the notion of discovery, it would allow for more learned intelligence and personal input (which they started with the what else do they like). ¬†Nice start though…. ¬†ps. although i’m sure my mom would really really love this david bowie/barack obama t-shirt…

        1. William Mougayar

          Leigh- You have to take these recommendations with a grain of salt. I think even if the hit rate is 50/50, take the good 50.¬†I know…it suggested I buy myself a Washington Huskies T-shirt just because I went to the University of Washington in 1980.¬†I think we had a discussion on this back then around the Etsy Taste Test, and it had some hits and misses as well¬†…But this current rendition holds a promise. I know it will get better over time as the input signals get better. (the old garbage in / garbage out applies)

          1. awaldstein

            @leigh:disqus as well.It ain’t easy for certain to create an engine for spitting out implicit suggestions that work. Super hard but I think that this sifting of data from social inputs is the key to commerce of tomorrow.But…for gifts like these William, 50% hit rate is really a problem.For a book or a movie recommendation where there is a lot of greyness, yes. For a gift, of this sort, much less.The key of course to tolerance is the dynamics of the community. Tolerance comes with a sense of connectedness.

          2. leigh

            I was thinking that having a “hunch” like addition so it learns over time would be the best bet. ¬†When hunch first came out and I kept answering question after question i rolled my eyes in annoyance – but now they send me emails and have about an 85% hit rate.If hutch had an API where you could cross the Etsy info and the FB info? ¬†Much better social commerce engine ūüôā ¬†It’s a first¬†iteration¬†– i’m sure they have plenty of plans for it.

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Rohan


          2. testtest

            disagree.that’s a similar argument to machines can never be more intelligent than humans imho. which i also disagree with.machines can find associations that humans can’t, for example patterns and groups in¬†unlabeled¬†data sets (known as¬†unstructured¬†learning)

          3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


        3. awaldstein

          Re: your comment on ‘hutch’. You mean ‘Hunch’?If so, I’m with you.Hunch shocks often in recommending items to read for me. URLs on community, city planning, design, behavioral marketing that I just devour.I believe in implicit serendipity from algorithmic analysis of social data completely.That being said…recommending broad stroke interests and recommending gifts. A leap in a different direction. It can be done though.

          1. leigh

            lol yes i mean Hunch (i always want to say hutch for some reason – i’ll go and edit that ūüôā

      2. Cam MacRae

        They should contemplate putting a competition on to improve their recommendation engine.

        1. leigh

          kaggle is¬†practically¬†sinister! ¬†i wonder how many people will give them their data …. things that make you go hum …

          1. Cam MacRae

            Sinister? I don’t think so – there are intractable problems that lay around for a decade that were solved through kaggle competitions. They do a decent job of protecting the data, and some competitions require an NDA.¬†It gives you access to some of the best data scientists in the world – people who aren’t exactly falling from trees, even inside academia – and who otherwise are never going to work for you.

          2. Trish Burgess-Curran

            I have just visited for the first time.  Awesome site!

      3. JamesHRH

        Max WtF%!?! = 20?Min Bingo!!! % = 65?These thresholds will key adoption.

  12. rrstevens1

    I found great items for my son, nephew and sister.  No last minute shopping this year.

    1. fredwilson


  13. William Mougayar

    That sounds like a great feature. But I’m curious to know- does Etsy use any graph/interest data about each friend to make these recommendations or does it match gift ideas serendipitously against the friends list?Update: I tried it, and it does pick-up words from the friend’s graph and tries to match gift ideas. Well done.

    1. LIAD

      for sure uses graph data.

    2. fredwilson

      it just pulls like data from FB

      1. William Mougayar

        That makes sense. So, it will get better over time, both from better like data, and from Etsy’s more granular and sophistication in matching.¬†I also noticed you can manually enter additional Likes that were not captured, as it asks “What else does Fred like?” and it does a search for new recommendations. (that was Fred my brother, not Fred Wilson)

  14. LIAD

    With Facebook’s new open graph api, which will make the full gamut of verbs (want, need, recommend etc etc) available to devs, this kind of thing is going to hit a whole crazy new level.frictionless sharing and what i like to think of as ‘curation by consumption’ is going to allow us to know what users what before they even do themselves.

  15. Luke Chamberlin

    I wonder how many of those FarmVille items are properly licensed from Zynga?

    1. Charlie

      Brad Feld would have as much reason to care about that as anyone…

    2. Rohan

      Good point, Luke. Not sure. You’d think they would have taken care of that though..

    3. Rohan

      Almost felt like saying – Great question from young Skywalker there.;)

  16. jer979

    Instead of ‘etsy gift finder,” the post is really…’you want to understand what the social commerce future looks like?’This is really huge.Love the integration btw personal and recommendations. This is a marketer’s dream.

    1. fredwilson

      you are right. i should have used a different title

      1. jer979

        Call it hubris…I took a whack at writing a post on the big idea behind what Etsy is doing. You know I love you, man ūüėČ

  17. Steve Hallock

    Very cool – certainly the future (and why Google is scared to death).I wish the implementation had one more layer of complexity. ¬†As it is, it seems to pull each “Like” and then search for related items, very A-B. I’d rather see it go A-C and cross-check “people who Like this, this and this might like this”. ¬†Just because I like the Baltimore Ravens doesn’t mean I want a Ravens pillow, but perhaps if I like the Ravens, Radiohead, Marcel Duchamp, and Friedrich Hayek – well who knows what the heck I like…

    1. Trish Burgess-Curran

      Well, as it has been said before…¬† It doesn’t yet have the additional layer of complexity that you are looking for but just give it time!

  18. Brandon Burns

    the biggest problems with using facebook like data in a discovery engine are 1) what you put in a profile years ago doesn’t give you stuff based on what you’re thinking/feeling currently, and 2) the results list is never as intelligent as you want it to be.but when it comes to gift giving, it makes perfect sense. historical likes are good for gifts, and the imperfection with the intelligence leads to off-beat stuff which is great for gift giving. i’ll be using this tool this holiday season for sure. and i wasn’t previously an etsy user. consider me an convert.

    1. fredwilson

      Totally agree. This will also get better over time. Think about adding twitter data to this

      1. William Mougayar

        Hmm. I’m not sure that Twitter data is ready for this yet. As is, it will have a lot of noise and need lots of processing. Twitter itself probably has that data and is using it to Recommend friends to follow (and soon, news to read).¬†My Twitter usage says little about my materialistic needs for gifts, but I can see taking “some” Twitter data. The devil will be in the slices each App takes. The firehose will be useless.¬†We’re hitting on the very important topic of social networks interchanging data with each other to improve and add value to our user experiences. I think this is a next area of opportunity where we will see aggregate apps do that in certain vertical spaces. I’ll say no more, and will say- stay tuned.

        1. Brandon Burns

          i’m not sure twitter’s noise is an issue in this case because you’re dealing with individuals, not an aggregate. you can isolate a user’s feed and trend map what s/he has talked about over a designated period of time… everyone else’s noise is irrelevant. ¬†and relevance within that person’s feed shouldn’t be an issue, either. gift giving isn’t about “needs”. anyone can appreciate an off-beat gift that’s tangentially related to something you like (case in point: brad feld’s new farmville sheep). the imperfection in the ability to get a perfect match is actually a plus for etsy, in my opinion.however, you do have a sample size problem. the average joe doesn’t have a lot of friends with a twitter feed lengthy enough to get good stuff. you could theoretically tap into someone’s facebook status updates, but the API isn’t exactly friendly when it comes to that (and many other things). :-/

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. falicon

            this has been at the core of what I’ve been working on for awhile now…def. a challenge, but also very fun…we go beyond just Twitter though and think of it as social data as a whole and what can we learn from it and actually do with it…starting with managing content, but that’s just the starting point…

        3. Tom Labus

          I’d rather someone read my last 10 tweets than any “profile”. ¬†It’s not a complete picture but certainly a better start in that direction.

          1. falicon

            This is the core behind the approach we take…

        4. David Petersen

          “My Twitter usage says little about my materialistic needs for gifts”I’m sure with proper analysis your twitter usage would say a ton about many types of needs, materialistic included.

      2. Charlie

        If I’ve recently posted a message linking to something and declaring “I want this!”, does that get special consideration?

        1. fredwilson

          It sure ought to



        1. William Mougayar

          I’m with you Grimlock on that thinking. I’d rather get that basic data straight from Twitter, and not via the data pipes they are providing to like DataSift or Gnip.

        2. falicon

          a few third party services *ahem* *ahem* do have this type of thing already though… ūüėČ

      4. Rohan

        While they are working on getting recommendations right, it would probably do them good to do an Amazon.And by that, I mean something like ‘one click ordering’..(I don’t know if that can be bettered. ‘one blink ordering’?)¬†

  19. howardlindzon

    excited to see what you and gotham get me 

    1. fredwilson

      I dont think we are friends on FB. Happy to fix that

      1. howardlindzon

        hilarious. i have no idea either.

  20. howardlindzon

    In the financial world of course at stocktwits we have been working on trending tickers and what stocks are related to this one and what stocks and products might interest you now as well.This layer for shopping works well with facebook for sure, but obviously will be of use for twitter and other big networks mighty soon.

    1. Rohan

      Yeah. Would be interesting what happens when they integrate data across all these services.

  21. Robert Thuston

    I like this…and will be trying¬†it for my next 5 gifts.

  22. Robert Thuston

    Passing through Atlanta last week, and a friend put me up, as well as took me to a Beirut¬†show at the Variety Playhouse.¬† The day I returned home, I jumped on Amazon to find him a gift.¬† I shot for a bottle wine, but Amazon doesn’t do bottles of wine.¬† I then sent¬†him and his roommate¬†a vinyl record of “Alexander”, because they have a record player… not knowing truely whether it’d be something of interest to them.all the while thinking… there has got to be a better way to do this!lo and behold…

    1. fredwilson

      Beirut and Akexander – we have similar taste in music

      1. William Mougayar

        I like Beirut too…the city.

      2. Robert Thuston

        found Beirut thru my friend in Atlanta… Alexander through you on tumblr…

  23. kirklove

    Note to self: Remember to friend Fred on Facebook and update my address. ūüėČ

    1. fredwilson


      1. Rohan

        Aha. so that’s what it takes.Send friend request, I did.

  24. Neal7799

    next steps that need to be done not in order:1. clear the clutter – matching n-grams is only the beginning, need to add some more stops word and remove (automatically?) some terms, keywords.2. Adding remember button with event for friend (when his birthday/event/holiday is arriving send a reminder email)3. Categories – arrange some of the possibilities- according to user interest in categories and easy browsing in the category4. Use the groups or whatever name Facebook has used for ability to slice and dice my friends (don’t remember if FB added that API yet)5. When clicking on the gift – move the user to the gift – I probably want to see the gift, I clicked on6. Ability to drag and drop or rather attach to different friend the gift that I see7. Fix male/female issue – some people that I see got female stuff – (ex: steven) – don’t know if it is FB issue/bad user setting or the tagging of the item was incorrect¬†Cool…

    1. fredwilson

      Just forwarded to the teamDo you do product work?

      1. Neal7799

        I do tech and product

        1. fredwilson

          I really like your roadmap for this product. I would add connect to twitter and make available on the mobile apps and mobile web

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. Neal7799

            — twitter – is an important step – but from tech POV – might need to add more contextual not only keywords as it seems right now. (“I really hate McD” – shouldn’t bring a McD gifts)– Replicate “The Gift Project” – especially when you buy a gift, and it might be expensive – I would like to invite my friends to join the buying – and this is a wonderful place to add it– Mobile – I like to think of mobile not only from UI point of view (mainly because of the screen size, and touch), but also from need:1. Just browsing around – so probably “people like you” ¬†(according to the details in FB) and your past usage- bought the following / new stuff – the order in mobile is critical (the size of the screen/ connectivity speed, etc.)2. Spur of moment (as was mention) – I like to think this as a background process that will come alive:¬†a. once you set an alert on a friend event¬†b. User can leave some tags on which new item he would like to get an alert (something like: I would like to see new “Dexter” stuff)¬†3. Third party – Use event driven app ¬†(maybe connect with “Any Do”) and whenever event is mentioning gift/birthday – link to the site¬†

    2. William Mougayar

      I think another way to improve this is to reveal in an interim but optional step what Etsy is basing their recommendations on, BEFORE giving me these recommendations. Then you can tinker with these assumptions, and ask for recommendations.

    3. ShanaC

      To me that screams feature-itis. I liked the layout. I don’t want birthday reminders. I would add the ability to add/remove categories though. Sent from a phone, forwarned

  25. Guest

    Ahh, damn! I was gonna send that sheep thingy to Brad. :^/ Guess I’ll keep looking for that perfect something.

  26. Koslow

    I’m sure it’s elsewhere, but I’m using this recommendation feature and I can’t put my own name in!¬†Even without an official Etsy profile & username/pass.. What do you recommend for me?

  27. Tom Maxwell

    Woah, this is pretty disruptive. 

  28. mahemoff

    As mentioned in a recent talk by Facebook’s Paul Adams, “How Our Social Circles Influence What We Do, Where We Go, and How We Decide”

  29. Mark Zohar

    I’m a big fan of frictionless experiences (especially shopping) and, for the most part, this does a decent job. Clearly there are some significant refinements that need to be made over time, including semantic understanding. For example, I “liked” the music website Pitchfork. When my wife looked me up in her Gift Recommendations she was surprised that Etsy had recommended she buy me an assortment of “Devil Horns” gifts. How did Etsy know I was naughty this year?Btw: not surprisingly, this blog post is currently the top trending Etsy story on TrendSpottr:

    1. JamesHRH

      Scanning is the future. Searching is not.

  30. vanessa fried

    The best gift for you: a chocolate Ipad

    1. fredwilson

      Thats pretty good. I would like some apps for it though ūüėČ

  31. Frantzdyromain

    Thats a neat feature. Social E-commerce is a budding market and there are quite a few holes or gaps one can take advantage of. Me and a friend of mine who are both programmers intend to fill in some of the gaps ūüôā thanks for the article anf the inspiration.

  32. Irving Fain

    Great to see social commerce moving from “what specific products did my friends recommend / buy” to learning from their data and behavior to create a better experience for all in their circle.There are too many great things on Etsy – scary!

  33. LE

    I’ve been thinking for some time now that it would be good to have this feature within linkedin or offered by a third party like etsy by way of the api.In other words enable the sending of gifts to groups of linkedin contacts choosing spending level, type of gift etc. Somebody other than me takes care of getting the gift to the person (so I don’t have to send an email get an address etc which you don’t have for everyone who is a contact) and input shipping info.¬† handle logistics.Taking it one step further I’d like to use it also to deliver premium and incentives to potential sales leads. In other words I want to pitch someone and don’t mind spending, say, $25 total to get my message across.

  34. Mike Kijewski

    Even Etsy agrees – my wife is impossible to shop for.”No recommendations available.”

    1. Rohan

      Hahaha. Proof of concept.. ūüėČ

    2. Tereza

      While funny, that exposes the flaw in the approach. ¬†It relies on data that many people don’t input into FB. ¬†I’ve no doubt there are plenty of things on Etsy your wife would love. ¬†It’s Etsy’s job to help you find them.

    3. Study Online Doctorate Degrees

      Mike that was really a hilarious one. Good Going!

  35. Alexander Close

    A lot of the inaccurate gift predictions that popped up for me came from data on Facebook that was meant as humour. ¬†A large part of the info in a Facebook stream, mine at least, is friends having fun / poking fun on Facebook.Could you filter out phrases or likes that are tagged as humour?My friend Brett lists “running with scissors” and “more cowbell” as two of his activities.¬† Funnily enough, sending him the recommended cowbell for x-mas could work.

    1. William Mougayar

      Oh there were funny ones for sure. It recommended that I get my brother serene gifts because his ex-gf’s name is Serene and he used to “like” her.¬†Pass the salt please….

      1. Rohan

        Haha. This is turning out to be quite a hilarious thread..

  36. Dale Allyn

    This is a great start, but I’d like to see independence from FB (the reason for starting with FB is obvious though). For example I’d love to see a completely neutral project for which the “like button” on sites curates stuff one really does like or have interest in (similar to online bridal registry). And where users wouldn’t be exploited as the “naive product” because it would be done with helping users as the foundation, not the opposite. Accuracy would improve, as well as being a true opt-in solution. I’d prefer that merchants and vendor sites subscribe to information to support the project, but some contextual ads could be tastefully served as well. Plus there would be other data available to monetize, yet still as opt-in.Most of my friends and contacts either have never had FB accounts or are moving away from FB now. Establishing a new way to manage a more deliberate graph would be of great interest to me.Kudos to the Etsy team for doing this. I hope it grows into an even better process.

  37. Miljenko Hatlak

    I would like to see integration with other services like Twitter or Skype since some people simply don’t use FB, and recommendation system based on keywords (or some other algorithm) since data in user profiles is mostly irrelevant or misleading.

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. Totally agree

    2. laurie kalmanson


  38. lauraglu

    I wish it showed recommendations for me as a gauge! Agree to those who suggest broadening it. I have a 6 year old nephew and 2 year old niece; trying to find products for them on Etsy is a mess.That being said, got a couple of great recommendations for a tough woman to shop for, who loves DIY goods. Success there!

    1. laurie kalmanson

      ooooh, with feedback/stars so it gets smarter

    2. ShanaC

      Personal advice:Kids grow out of toys, so eitherA) buy a heirloom type piece (classic wood blocks) so that they can be handed down in the family.OrB) something to keep until they are older, like bondsOrC) a toy relating to an interest, like trains.Seems to go over well with parents, too.Sent from a phone, forwarned

  39. laurie kalmanson

    stray thought/suggestion — open threads once in a while for the community to shamelessly selfpromote, ask advice?i have a secret project that’s getting closer to being ready for beta, as i am sure many of the barflies do …it happens already anyway, of course

    1. Dale Allyn

      Laurie, I’ve had a similar thought…. Kind of an “open mike night” concept. It could get a bit spammy, but if done in the right spirit the A VC community would be a great source of feedback and distribution (i.e. some would blog if they liked a new product or service).

      1. laurie kalmanson

        i fear sometimes taking things ot, but if ot is ok, then no worriesbut, yes

    2. fredwilson

      Why not just do it in a regular thread?

      1. laurie kalmanson

        if that’s ok with you that’s ok with meone of the best blogs i follow has the occasional open thread, and it’s a way of letting commenters have a free for all without fear of being otbut if ot is ok with you, it’s ok with meps so awesome

      2. LE

        I would just worry that it would lead to to much forkiness?Of course I like all the threads at the current level. One of the things that makes this blog *very interesting*, and one of the reasons I read, is the eventual forks that even a topic that I am not interested in manage to take that end up being really engaging.¬† And the cast of characters like a sitcom where you can reliably predict what a particular regular will say or how they will say it. All that adds to the color.¬†But remember that many successful restaurants go down when they expand into the empty space next door. I’m not sure this can scale and keep the current coziness.

        1. laurie kalmanson

          sitcom, movie … pretty much any day’s comments could be the script



    4. Tereza

      Ask for forgiveness, not permission.Whip it out, please.

      1. laurie kalmanson

        secret projet is still secret, but not for too much longer … will do! and thank you.

  40. Aijahall

    I love Etsy, lots of talented people on there.

  41. muratcannoyan

    I checked about a dozen or so friends that I know well enough to get a sense if the recommendations were useful. The results were very interesting and made me think more creatively about a gift, and frankly the “need” for help with gift finding is so great that this should be a very popular feature.¬†Gifts tend to be from the view point of the giver to a fault, so this engine could go a long way in helping with some real perspective. Very cool!!

  42. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    Honestly, its a cute function and I would love to have Etsy send me reminders when someone I am friends with on FB has a birthday and to automatically generate the gift recommendations. ¬†All in one email, then I can automatically click on a gift and order it, spur of the moment, and have it sent…..It beats going to their profile and typing “Happy Birthday!”I am trying to configure something like this based on what our consumers look at on our website and then when someone wants gift ideas for one of our consumers we can provide them with ideas based upon the onsite browsing history.I know it will work for males because males do look at things, think about it, and then say, “…naw, thats too indulgent…..”

  43. Ben Apple

    Wow, thats great. ¬†I consider myself a horrible gift giver and I’m always searching gift guides when Christmas rolls around, which always proves fruitless. ¬†Etsy is an awesome way to find cool, unique gifts, so offering a service like this is a great touch. ¬†Well done!

  44. Ciaran

    Is this not available outside of the US?

  45. JL Shane

    The recommendations worked well for people who are artsy/into lots of music, less well for those who had more political or intellectual “likes” on FB. ¬†I agree with Brandon, and think this data could get better over time, especially if people can “like” gifts they get through Etsy in their Etsy accounts. ¬†It’s possible, too, that a gift giver could choose to notify the recipient they’re getting a gift, and the recipient could have the option of privately re-gifting, (without letting the gift giver know), which would also improve the algorithm.

  46. jason wright

    I sometimes think that sending a gift is the wrong approach. Better to send suggestions for a gift and wait for the recipient to choose the one they would like. The world is full of unwanted gift junk already. 

  47. Alison Sigmon

    This post couldn’t help but be funny – you had ready made content. Nice idea, but they need to spend more time working out the algorithm. Look, even Facebook hasn’t broken the code for ad matching. Although I’m a distance runner who has never smoked, I’m still getting weight loss and stop smoking ads because I probably have some “friends” who do have those concerns.Hope Brad enjoys that sheep. I’m sure it will take a prominent spot on his desk for all to see. ;-)Etsy, you jumped the track too soon if you want a serious app. On the flip side, you’ve got a good opportunity to make this work to your advantage by turning it into a funny campaign.

  48. Tereza

    Hi. ¬†OK, so, Tereza = not happy. ¬†Sorry to say it.Here’s my use case. My husband is an Olympic-calibre gift-giver, meaning he always comes up with the sweetest most thoughtful things. ¬†It really stresses me out because I frankly cannot keep up. ¬†To add insult to injury, his birthday is in mid-November, our anniversary (11th) is Dec. 16th and then there’s Christmas. ¬†Add to that my MIL’s bday is early December and BIL’s is late December, and of course I have to buy Xmas for the whole family. ¬†It is a train wreck.So — I try out the Gift Giver. ¬†My husband’s search yields zero suggestions (he has a sparse FB profile). ¬†Same with my MIL and BIL. ¬†And of course, my young kids are not on Facebook. ¬†So I can buy *zero* of my gifts that matter via the Gift Giver.Next step, I went to Curated Lists and typed in “Mother-In-Law”. ¬†Fine if you have time to meander but I don’t so I dropped it for her. ¬†She’s getting a gift cert from her local masseuse instead. ¬†Still hopeful for a quick solution to my wedding anniversary gift I typed in “11th Anniversary” into Curated Lists. ¬†This generated a list of 9/11 remembrance items. ¬†Really not what I’m looking for.Since I’ve commented on this stuff before, I did a test to see if they’ve gotten more into the heads of their buyers. ¬†So I did NOT look up separately to see what material is the “11th wedding anniversary”. ¬†I expect Etsy to tell me. (In fact what I really want is very simple — for them to push to me, based on my wedding date, a reminder email each year around now with gift suggestions for this year’s anniversary. ¬†No algorithm required.). ¬†But — no personal-events-based suggestions such as anniversaries in the Gift Giver.In the absence , I opened up a new page and googled 11th Anniversary. ¬†Learned I should be searching for gifts made of¬†Steel (traditional), or¬†Fashion Jewelry (modern), the flower is the Morning Glory, and the¬†Gemstones are¬†Hematite and Turquoise. ¬†Now to port this back into Etsy. ¬†Grrrr.I’m telling you — massive value can be added with a lightweight layer or wizard. ¬†It’s my 3rd at bat on this and it just really bums me out.¬†I’m really sorry to be Debbie Downer here. ¬†Truly. ¬†I’m simply not a discovery-based shopper. ¬†I am mission-based, trying to check off a list, and spend money, solve a problem, fast, based on total common sense. ¬†None of the folks on my gift list have rich enough Facebook profile for this function to work. ¬†So Etsy fails me. ¬†It’s just totally missing the “common sense” layer. ¬†How can this be?? ¬†And I’m bummed, because I WANT the convenience and have the money to spend (in bulk) and am dying to support small businesses.Or maybe the point is that someone needs to build an add-on to the Etsy API that does what I need? ¬†Someone? ¬†Anyone? ¬†Pretty please?

  49. Andrew K Kirk

    Using¬†@Etsy:twitter¬†and¬†@Evernote:twitter¬†web clipper, I had been using my own hack version of this same idea for all upcoming holiday shopping. I’m excited to try out this new feature (currently, I don’t see it at¬†

  50. the jump manual

    I found so much good stuffs in etsy!! thanks for that!!

  51. Julia Wilson

    Wow, I’ve been saying for years how I have always wanted a caricature Obama necklace…but this was fun to play with. Even if it doesn’t give perfect results its still amusing and helps you brain storm your own gift ideas.

    1. fredwilson

      when it can start pulling in facebook like data from around the web, twitter data, foursquare data, etc, etc, then i think it can get super smart and make even better suggestions

  52. Neha

    Loving the feature, even at its beginning stages. Recommendations are definitely gamechangers in e-commerce and I’m not surprised that Etsy is leading the way. One concern – I feel like my Tumblr and Pinterest pages are both more representative than Facebook of a person’s likes, interests, and, most importantly, personality. While I understand that more people are on Facebook in an average customer’s social circle, I’m just not sure how much data a Facebook profile page really gives when “likes” are often haphazard. It pales in comparison to the incredible data you can get from a Tumblr or Pinterest page – both of which delve into the personality of a user.¬†

  53. marissa evans

    It’s interesting that Etsy can suggests products yourfriends might like rather than showing what they have bought before. Past behavior around shopping feels to private, to personalto share w/o asking permission…even though in theory it would be a strongpredictor of what a friend might want, need or not need. How my friends are shopping now matters much less to me thanwhen I am shopping and looking for something…at that moment (in the time windowrelevant to me) I want to see past shopping behaviors of friends. Itsinteresting when you think about how the trail of purchase behavior of friendsactually becomes the most valuable data rather than the real time announcementof that purchase.

  54. sria

    This is awesome, but I could see how many people don’t input enough info, likes, interests on FB to make this accurate or successful. FB, I’m sure probably has a wishlist app. I’d love if all my friends and family used such an app. So much money is wasted buying ppl things they don’t need. If there was an add to FB Wish List button under online items for sale, it’d make giving and receiving so much better ūüôā

  55. Charlie

    I think it would be awesome if a link showed up to a shopping cart page (could there be such a page?) for a new 787. Under the “over $100” tab, of course.

  56. ShanaC

    I’m a lady in the modern world, saving up polite points for the family event I had today.Besides, I only used initials.Sent from a phone, forwarned

  57. markslater

    was not planning on it. why?