Is it 6 months already? (Life at eBay)

Wow.  Last night I got to attend a panel session and dinner with the eBay board.  Everyone in the room had to get up and say who they were and how long at eBay.  It struck me then it was 6 months already!  Doesn’t time fly.

The eBay board by the way I found to be a very impressive bunch of people.  During dinner we had two board members on our table and one made a comment in passing “I used to have similar sorts of conversations with Steve”.  Err, Steve?  I was not sure who that was at the time.  Yes, it did turn out to be Steve Jobs.  Two others work at Facebook.  Just a huge depth and breadth of experience that I must embarrassingly admit to never have dug into before.

What I found fascinating was the real passion and hunger to chase after innovation in the room. Sure, there was lots of room for improvement, but the drive and intent was clear.

For me, my main involvement is on the Cassini project.  Full focus on getting it out the door at the moment.  There have been a few posts around talking about it such as here and here.  Its not only getting the code done, its doing our best to make sure sellers are not adversly negatively affected.  It has struck me how big a responsibility this is.  So many people now depend on eBay.  This is everyone from large companies to grandmothers selling some old unwanted stuff to help meet the next mortgage payment.

Moving to Silicon Valley was also interesting.  Would the streets be paved with silicon?  Would there be uber geeks at the checkouts of shopping centers?  No, its suburbia like back home.  There is Safeway, Westfield has some shopping centers, and so on.  Sure, many of the brands are different, and there seems to be a smaller choice of chocolate here (sigh!), but its been more similar than different.  Oh, yes, I do still get into the wrong side of the car occasionally wondering where the steering wheel went – but don’t tell the DMV!  Everyone said it would be more expensive here, but it did not feel *that* different to Melbourne.  Maybe Melbourne just got expensive so its not so much of a shock.

There is an interesting mix of people here too.  Yes, there are the uber geeks around.  But there is also a lot of good solid engineers you would find anywhere.  Yes, there is always a challenge to keep them (harder than in Melbourne) because there are more opportunities around not very far away.  I certainly know I spend a lot of my time looking for people to fit into my own team.  And I certainly know from my experience of the guys back in Melbourne I worked with, they should not consider themselves any lesser than the people here.

Anyway, I thought it appropriate to say “yes, I am still alive and well” after 6 months.  Its still exciting.  Actually, I think its getting more exciting as I learn more about what eBay is aiming to achieve.  Its really great to be a part and able to contribute to this goal.  And one where ultimately all the customers benefit too.

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