Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Auctionbytes Interviews the Father of eBay's Best Match!

Ina Steiner has a great interview of Raghav Gupta, the creator of the algorithm that would become eBay's Best Match. Very interesting reading. 

Click on the title of this post or click here.

Just my 15%


ms.pat said...

Maybe its just me and maybe this man's work destroyed it for a lot of us small sellers - even if it wasn't his intent...but I don't find this man very believable. The interview and his blog all seem to me to be publicity for his new company (shrug)

Randy Smythe said...


I'm sure that is part of the motivation for speaking out. I just think you need to read his comments, Adam Nash's comment about Express and Alan Lewis's comments about eBay 3.0 to get an accurate look behind the walls of eBay.

Anonymous said...

It's a great interview, it will
be very interesting to many serious entrepreneurs who actually do ecommerce for a living. Go Ina!

nadine said...

It was a pretty cagey interview. Did you notice that his answer to "what is eBay doing right?" amounted to saying, "eBay has a lot of smart people working for it, and so they must be doing something right, but I couldn't tell you what." Nor did he want to discuss what eBay was doing wrong. His advice to small sellers amounted to "leave eBay, and roll your own" which is of limited practicality.

There is still a need for a service provider to offer the auction house/mall/bazaar that eBay used to provide. It's a service worth paying for. But eBay is still hogging the space, though it doesn't care about the business anymore and doesn't know how to competently manage any business, as far as I can tell.

permacrisis said...

I disagree with most. To lump this guy in with Nash is just... no. No.

To me it seems that Raghav is saying as much as he dares without eBay putting a Stop Payment on his severance check. I honestly believe that he did not intend his life's work would be perverted.

I mean who, in their right mind would want to bury an auction as it nears its end? Certainly no one that wants to pocket a Final Value Fee. You have to trust that your boss is going to take your work and use it to best effect. I believe that was his intent.

It's like the Manhattan Project. Gupta is Oppenheimer, JD is Groves, and Nash is Edward Teller.

Gupta: "I believe my invention will be used for good."

JD: "Hahaha, now I can play God, tampering with forces beyond my control!"

Nash: "Guys. Can we please just blow something up?"

ms.pat said...

"I mean who, in their right mind would want to bury an auction as it nears its end? Certainly no one that wants to pocket a Final Value Fee."

Nobody has ever been able to explain that to me so that I can possibly understand. As a seller I say "I never know where my next sale is coming from" that said - anybody who has the money can buy my wares. Why put me on the last page when someone out there buys my wares? It makes absolutely NO sense.

Anonymous said...


Really good post. I think you hit the nail on the head.

He came across as passive aggressive to Ebay. His comment "...The entire wealth generated by eBay actually has all come from your pockets over the years! The salary of all the customer support people, the engineers, the ad-campaigns, the government lobbyists, the CEO's corporate jet, the server hardware, the cost of running the data centers, it all comes out of your pockets."

Then he goes on to say: take back your power. Well, that's easier said than done when Ebay still has the majority of traffic going their way.

Little by little, as Ebay stabs the knife deeper into the small seller's back, I'm confident new leaders will emerge and gratefully own what Ebay has so callously and blindly thrown away. But it will take time to get there.

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