Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pierre Speaks

Today Richard Brewer-Hays posted three clips from an employee video of Pierre Omidyar being 'interviewed' by eBay CEO John Donohoe on his eBayINK Blog.

I am personally extremely appreciative of this. You could not pay me enough to do his job. RBH is clearly trying to shine a light on the internal workings of eBay. In doing so he illuminates yet more instances of the curious disconnect between eBay upper management and the rest of the eBay world.

I would like to ask my fellow commentators to eBayINK why in the world they think Pierre would offer his new CEO disrespect? Not his way back then, why should it be his way now? You don't keep a dog and bark yourself. John Donohoe is the dog and he has been hired to bark so Pierre doesn't have to. The portion of the argument Pierre visited in the first clip is not unreasonable. Bad sellers should be penalized.

It would be nice to think Mr Donohoe will follow Pierre's advice in the third clip to be respectful. I like to think about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy too.

I do wonder just how much of this latest drama Pierre has followed because the GMC deal would appear to be diametrically at odds with his statement about special privileges. Of course the way small sellers are currently discounted, or dismissed as meaningless, does not fit with the man we knew either. People change, maybe he has changed too?

Regardless, many of us have made the choice to move on, regretfully for the most part. Those of you who are remaining will need to adapt to the new realities, risks and uncertainties that come with riding on the back of a tiger. Caveat Vendor!

For myself, from a strictly numbers point of view, eBay has priced itself out of my business. I can't ask my buyers to pay that kind of overhead and I will not work for nothing. From an emotional standpoint, of course I am sad. So far as my online trading reputation is concerned it will sit, intact, because I will not risk nine years of effort in the negative bloodbath to come. If that sounds like hyperbole go read in the answer center, the trolls are gathering.

I will continue to visit eBay, for price research and to join in the educational opportunities eBay has always offered, but beyond that, its all over bar the shouting. If you have put as many years into a community ethos as I have it is hard to turn passively into a mushroom overnight; so expect to hear from me on the subject often.

Next post . . . Censored! Y'all come back and be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting links in the sidebar!

1 comment:

city pretties said...

Here is what I left on RBH's comment section:

"In Pierre's little world of billionaires, everything is black and white.

DSR's keep people honest he believes somehow, but the manipulation of those ratings is simple and have and will be devastating to many sellers.

Focusing on the "buyer's experience" is all well and good. But if there are cancers in the community, excise them, don't "level the playing field." Stop pandering to Power Sellers who rip off buyers. Start rewarding sellers who are actually a credit to the eBay community. Use real identification so that bad buyers can't re-register once they've been NARU'd.

The ivory tower concept may be hackneyed, but Pierre and John shot a video from there, complete with zombies in the audience."

I could have said much, much more, but anyone watching the three clips can see that Pierre is out of touch with the reality of eBay. It was like watching George W. Bush talk about how amazing it is that they don't ring up your groceries any more - they got 'em some new-fangled cipherin' scanner machines. Welcome to the 20th century, Mr. President.

It made me think that, as you said, JD is the mouthpiece for PO. But even more, the video looks like it was made to show everyone that JD isn't some rogue nobleman handing down edicts without the backing of the king. Pierre is there to tell everyone that John has his blessing, and he does just that at the end of the third clip.

Pierre can now go back to being the Howard Hughes of the 21st century. Or something. His work here is done.