Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do You Want to Work with eBay?

I found this video clip of an interview with eBay's Director of Corporate Strategy, Eric Stuart and thought you might enjoy it. You can also read about it at Vator News.

Just my 15%


Anonymous said...

eBay has done maybe 1 investment deal every 4 years in a start-up? They did one in ChannelAdvisor in like 1999. They then did one in December with some search company? Maybe there was another one I don't know about?

Otherwise the companies they bought have all been established players with pretty decent revenue streams. They bought two software/listing tools (for autos and blackthorne). The StumbleUpon and Skype acquisitions had meager revenue but were very large in installed user base. You could hardly call those 'start-ups'.

The well at eBay has run dry.

This is a major problem with eBay.

It has failed to give developers and investors a clear path to profitability or buy-out for applications on the platform.

No one will ever develop for a platform that fails to produce profits or buy-out options.

Compare investments on eBay to Apple's Iphone platform investments.

Holy smokes!

How many people are investing in development for Apple? How many tens-of-thousands of apps are being developed there? You want to talk about robust? You want to see a thriving community of developers?

Now, flip the channel back to eBay. Nothing in the pipeline (or incredibly low volumes). No one investing. Existing developers are dying, going out of business or laying off employees.

I'm sure the director of strategy in this video IS getting pitched, as he says he is.

But that does not mean eBay ever does anything with the pitches. If they are, and I'm wrong, it is certainly the best kept secret on the internet!

What I heard was "people pitch me, I listen, I tell them we aren't interested, and that's it."

I think the guy is being honest.

What would be refreshing would be to hear which companies they have invested in and why; how much; how they want to re-stimulate investment.

"chirp, chirp, chirp"

Randy Smythe said...


Not much to add to that comment, you certainly sound "in the know"

Thanks for the comment.

ms.pat said...

It always amazes me how Ebay people talk like they really know what its all about. With such mental giants on staff...why aren't they doing a lot better? It's all just more "ebay-speak".

nadine said...

Anonymous, you summed it up well.

This was certainly an embarrassingly low-wattage interview from somebody who is supposed to be one of eBay's best and brightest.

Anonymous said...

I tried listening to this, but after the guy started his sentence with "Sooo...." I had to stop the video. I just can't take this drivel anymore.

Anonymous said...

What an insular, protected bubble. Does gravity even work in there? Or are the laws of physics suspended just as the laws of common sense are?

"Don't be so wedded to your idea that you won't allow us to steal it."

Sounds like another 3M.

Anonymous said...

What does "OFF-TEN" mean?

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