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To some etsy.com (the arts and crafts marketplace for home-based artists) is simply a $40 billion e-commerce platform that’s overvalued and a harbinger of the impending dotcom bust.

Not to Etsy’s lucky investors.

Etsy is a perfect example of how a company can create a market for its customers and sideswipe its traditional competition. Thanks to Etsy, now your crazy uncle can not just make lamps out of beer cans, he can sell these online without traveling to a flea market to set up shop. Anyone with a creative flair, can in the privacy of his own home, sell such a remarkable item on Etsy to anyone wanting one. And, Etsy is better than Craigslist because it has created owns a niche rather than fights for the mass marketplace. Wisely, it leaves the latter to Amazon and other Goliaths.

Instead of fighting over a declining marketplace, how can you help your vendors and customers connect with each other, through you, and, in turn, increase the size of your sandbox?

As a privately held business what can you do with 21st Century business tools to attract your vendors and customers in such a disruptive, compelling and invaluable way.

Copyright 2015 Andy Birol All Rights Reserved

Photo credit: Denise Carbonell Flickr (CC BY 2.0) no alterations