Aug. 8, 2007 SDF eBay Disruptive Tech

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On August 8, 2007 at Pillsbury Winthrop in Palo Alto SDForum’s Emerging Tech SIG hosted eBay’s Adam Trachtenberg talk on Disruptive Technologies.

Adam Trachtenberg started out earning his degrees at Columbia before starting Student.com and TVGrid.com. He is considered by many to be the world’s expert on PHP. Today he is the senior manager of Platform Evangelism at eBay.

For more than a decade eBay has made the right moves to stay ahead of the game. They moved way beyond selling Pez dispensers and into all sorts of social commerce. They changed the way small and then large businesses sell merchandise. PayPal has become a gold standard for financial transactions. Skype changed the telecommunications game. Other ventures like Shopping.com, Renting.com and Stubhub.com redefined their markets.

The challenge is to stay innovative as the company grows. Big companies do not reward risk taking. Fortunately eBay is based in Silicon Valley and surrounded by a culture of venture capitalists who don’t expect all of their projects to succeed but will be happy if one in ten does. The challenge is to encourage that attitude in a corporate setting.

Trachtenberg is looking at disruptive technologies in commerce. The buyer experience of moving from web page to web page and ultimately to a Buy button is changing. The page is starting to remain in place with graphics or windows flying in and out if it. They have been working with beta versions Adobe’s Air (Apollo) platform and developing a new desktop application called San Dimas.

In case web-based applications don’t go away, eBay is also looking at Facebook. Now that Facebook has opened up its product to developers, it provides a real world test on disruptive social commerce ideas. They will continue to look for new ways to build their business.

It is only disruptive technology if you do not understand it.

Copyright 2007 DJ Cline All rights reserved.