eBay Continues to Lose Focus

Poor eBay, it looks like they’re following the Red Queen’s advice “When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” They’ve decide to form their own social network. Here’s the story:

MSNBC: EBay rolls out social-networking features

SAN FRANCISCO - Hoping to woo shoppers who say eBay Inc. has lost its folksy appeal, the world’s largest online auction plans to launch its own version of a social networking service Wednesday and is promising other customer-friendly features by year’s end.

Here’s a hint guys and gals of eBay, people primarily come to your site to buy stuff and sell stuff. You’ve been ignoring this part of your business for far too long with your adventures in China and crazy ideas like Skype. That’s why your earnings have suffered. It’s not too hard to figure out where the problem is. In old fashioned business school terms, “stick to the knitting”

“We knew we had to change things internally because we couldn’t innovate with the effectiveness or speed we needed,” spokesman Hani Durzy said Tuesday.

You think? It took you exactly how long to figure that one out?

Marketplaces President John Donahoe spearheaded a “philosophical shift” this year in which engineers, product managers, quality assurance representatives and other employees were regrouped from traditional function-based “silos” into two teams — a buyer experience team and a seller experience team.

I’ll bet the dotted line bosses and TPS reports increased 10 fold.

They are making an effort in some areas that are core business related, which the article mentions. Unfortunately, being in the San Francisco technology zone clouds their thinking as they pursue one hot trend after another that folks out in “fly-over country” could care less about.

What do you think? Can eBay get back to its core or will it remain distracted?


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1 Comment »

2008-08-14 21:41:52

I would love for ebay to get back to what it was good at doing - reasonably priced online auctions. I was very disappointed with the increases in the listing fees, and charging for enhanced listings. All the burden is going to the seller. If they keep that up, there won’t be enough sellers to keep the business afloat, as sellers will find another venue.

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