And just to round out our “exBayer” day, here’s a post from Dan “Henry” Wilson, one-time eBay UK community manager, who’s been selling off some bits on the site. Dan asks:
Why does using eBay and PayPal feel a bit like going back in time? I’m no tech snob, I’m not an early adopter. I’ll always value substance over style. But selling on eBay feels unpolished and unexciting.
Turbo Lister is “crap” and “arduous”. PayPal “needs a massive shakeup”. It’s hard to argue.
There’s a comment on Dan’s post from Marnie de Vanssay, who recruited for eBay from 2002 to 2006. Marnie calls eBay a “tired, heavy machine”, and comments:
the first two years were exciting, all the people hired were highly creative on top of having a substantial university and business background. Then, the profiles requested moved towards the standardized powerpoint/excel diskjockey and the entrepreneurial spirit was gone, like a balloon without enough helium.
Marnie’s right that this happens to all companies, as they move from the start up phase to being an established business. In the start-up I work for, we know we prefer creating a business to running one: every other day there is a conversation that goes, “we’ll need a stationery cupboard/office manager/dress code”…”the day we get that is the day I quit”.
But I wonder if that changeover has to happen quite so badly as it’s happened at eBay. It’s still possible to run a company with vibrancy, imagination and style. And that’s what eBay lacks right now.