Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Day in San Jose

It was a pleasure for me to be invited to eBay's campus this past Tuesday, for a briefing on the changes coming to eBay -- I did leave bread crumbs just in case I was "disappeared".

I'd like to thank Melissa for shepherding me and Skip McGrath around from meeting to meeting and it was good to meet up with the PR team for coffee. Usher Lieberman moved around alot that day, but he was present during the key briefing with Dinesh Lathi, VP of Seller Experience. He even provided cookies.

When I arrived at the campus, I was expecting maybe an hour meeting about the changes and then a "see you later, but don't write anything until 9pm", instead we received very in-depth briefings from Jeff King who heads the Finding team and Max Mancini, who heads up the developer team as well as some time with Griff and Todd Lutwak.

All-in-all much more than I expected and everybody was very nice.

I'm going to spend a little time over the next couple of days, discussing what Finding 2.0 really means for eBay and the huge bet they are making on this search as the way out of the wilderness, so check back tomorrow for more.

I've had quite a week really. Last Thursday and Friday, I visited Amazon and met with several groups on the merchant side of the business and then Tuesday I spent the day at eBay, quite an eye-opening experience comparing and contrasting both companies.

We are in for a wild ride this 4th Quarter.

Just my 15%


Anonymous said...

Got some good deprogramming tapes if you need them.

The bad news is, afterward you will be a Scientologist-- but that is actually easier to cure than 'Sanjosology'.

"Don't get sucked in"

-the jet mechanic's creed

Randy Smythe said...


I was only there a day, so I think I will be fine.

Johnny Doom said...

why doesnt ebay just fire those people who obviously have no "real world" experience and obviously way to much time on their hand because their jobs have absolutely no meaning. its going to take a board of directors action to free us of these so called exec's who dont actually do anything. the only reason I am holding on to my ebay shares (substantial) is on the hopes that someone from the board of directors stops this downward spiral before it's to late but if i dont see a change by thanksgiving that's it, i'm setting my shares free. its going to be interesting to see what the p/e is next quarter. just my 12.5%

nadine said...

We are in for a wild ride this 4th Quarter.

That's the purpose of the entire plan, don't you see, Randy? They have just deliberately created a roller-coaster ride for every seller, so whatever the numbers turn out to be for Q4, they can tell the analysts, Never mind - it was just one-time transition costs! Brilliant!

Telling stories to The Street - the REAL job of eBay management.

Randy Smythe said...

Nadine, it was funny that we didn't get any details about the fee changes until after the markets had closed.

Anonymous said...

Randy, where were they when you actively sold on eBay? Has the dystopia hit bottom yet?

Stefan said...

It's also funny Wall St. didn't really react to the news at all.. I would have thought this would be a huge negative I know personally my listing fees, along with sales, and thus the amount that I pay eBay is going to go way down.

But I guess there has been so much eBay news this year that investors are really only going to react after eBay reports earnings, plain and simple. Numbers speak louder than actions and words combined.

nadine said...

Stefan, not so funny if you recall that most analysts have not a clue how the site is used. They just look at the numbers and listen to the story they are told. Only the few analysts who look into the business model and talk to sellers can do fundamental analysis. The rest are chart-readers.

Rich said...

Did you get a free eBay propeller beanie?