donderdag, oktober 27, 2005

Is Google a technology company or a media company?

Business 2.0 heeft een interview gehad met Omid Kordestani, Senior Vive President Google Global sales and Business Development. Hij was nummer 12 op de lijst werknemers bij Google, en is een internet veteraan die zijn sporen verdiend heeft bij o.a. Netscape. Hieronder een deel van het interview:

Is Google a technology company or a media company? We're absolutely deep in advertising, but let me clarify. The difference between us and our competition is that we innovate through applying technology. The angle of a media company is you're packaging content or advertising inventory. We look at ads as commercial information, and that goes back to our core mission of organizing the world's information. When people in the media world hear this, they say, "What are these guys talking about?" Google has introduced a lot of products lately, but the engine of your revenue and profit is clearly your text-based AdWords. How did they start?

When I joined Google in 1999, we still hadn't suffered the dotcom collapse, and a lot of money was still being spent on classic portal sponsorship deals, the kind I did at Netscape -- multimillion-dollar deals. And at Google, I called those same clients and asked them to do a $1,000 or $5,000 AdWords test with me.

Once we proved that the text ads on Google could be successful and not interfere with the search experience, then it really turned into a science. We applied auction theory to maximize value -- it was the best way to reach the right pricing, both for advertisers and for Google. And then we innovated by introducing the rate at which users actually click on the ads as a factor in placement on the page, and that was very, very useful in relevance. Sergey Brin once told me that if AdWords didn't work, he figured that Google could always run to DoubleClick as a life preserver. How close did you get to doing that deal?

Initially we debated whether to build our own ad product. Larry and Sergey believed we could develop a better product than the existing online advertising offerings, but we knew that they could be a fallback if Google's ad program did not work.

Right after the collapse, people were cynical about online advertising. But we monitored our traffic and the click-through rate of the ads. It quickly became apparent that AdWords was working. The model was perfect because people were willing to try something out for $1,000 and see if they could get enough leads to justify additional spending. And as we gradually built a customer base, it had this nice trend line, up and to the right.

Did you ever realize how big this was going to get? I didn't. This is a difference between Larry and me. Larry said, "Are you crazy? I always thought it was going to be this big." What was amazing about these founders was that during the hardest times, they had confidence that we could get through things. I'm very optimistic, but I've been through two unsuccessful startups, and I was at Netscape, where we had incredible challenges after competition heated up. So I wanted to be more paranoid about things.

Do you feel the pressure of being a public company now? I certainly do, yeah. This level of growth is just unprecedented. But our business is different from traditional businesses. I've been in the enterprise software business, where the customer is trained to maximize discounts by waiting until the last day of the quarter to buy. You end up having the sales force trying to save the quarter on the last day.

The beauty of our business is we can't do that. The way the auctions and the pricing models are working together involves lots of math -- that's the beauty of it. When it's more predictable, when it's more math-based, then in some ways you have more control. It's not about doing a diving catch at the end of the quarter to make your numbers, but making sure all the dials on the dashboard are where you expect them to be.

What do you see as the future of advertising? The measurability of online advertising will extend broadly to all areas of media. You have companies spending billions of dollars on television. As more and more consumers adopt technologies like TiVo, I think you'll be able to have much more useful forms of advertising -- more targeted, more measurable, and with new pricing models. Just imagine if we made it possible for our advertisers to quickly publish relevant ads that could range from the local plumber on one end to Super Bowl commercials on the other.

You're now selling ads for a vast network of third-party websites. Is Google turning into an ad agency? No. As a matter of practice, Google will work with advertisers in any way they want to work with us, whether directly, through a traditional agency, or through a specialty search-engine marketing firm. Google sees agencies as crucial. Agencies create and execute marketing strategies for their customers, and Google helps them execute those objectives.

You've taken some knocks from advertisers who feel frustrated because, they say, they can't get anybody at Google on the phone. What are you doing about that perception? People call us a black box because we make things too simple. I have a huge organization focused on this. And I apologize if people are not having the best experience. I take that seriously.

I've heard horror stories about click fraud. What's your take? We watch it very carefully. Whenever we find it, we are very good at refunding the advertisers. We've got some of our best researchers working on this. It becomes a little bit of a cat-and-mouse game where people become more sophisticated and try to beat the system, but ultimately we find it.

Google is the big target now. Microsoft is clearly gunning for you. Any feeling of déjà vu from your days at Netscape?

Netscape ran into a bad mix of competition and "gold rush" mentality in short order. Google, being a generation later, was able to learn from what Netscape did well and build on it. The best déjà vu is working with the distinguished Netscape alumni at Google.

Find this article at,17863,1104033,00.html

©2005 Business 2.0 Media Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

maandag, oktober 24, 2005

Quote of the Day

The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated. - Oscar Wilde

dinsdag, oktober 18, 2005

What is it

Dat is de vraag die beantwoord zal worden op Oct 20. Ga kijken op de site: Graag suggesties in the comments

Win een kasteel voor 6 personen via Marktplaats

Marktplaats is pas echt begonnen met online adverteren begin dit jaar. Vandaag is er een spel van Marktplaats van start gegaan waarbij je van Suikeroom Frank een kasteel erft. Om zo veel mogelijk van de spullen van Oom Frank voor de neus van je familie leden weg te kapen, moet je uit vier kamers en de tuin objecten van Oom Frank kiezen die zo hoog mogelijk worden getaxeerd door de virtuele marktmeester. Wat zouden deze objecten opbrengen op Je kan er leuke prijzen mee winnen, waaronder de hoofdprijs, een weekend voor 6 personen in een kasteel in Frankrijk. Ook worden er elke dag dagprijzen weggegeven. Dus daag nu je vrienden uit, en misschien ga jij wel naar Chateau Frank, in Frankrijk. Spelers die vrienden en familie hebben uitgenodigd of uitgedaagd aan het eind van het spel, en deze vrienden en familie gaan ook daadwerkelijk spelen, verhogen hun kans op de hoofdprijs. Klik hier om het spel te spelen!

maandag, oktober 17, 2005

Skype op Kijiji

Via Lunchpauze kwam ik te weten dat Skype nu ook geintegreerd is op Na Marktplaats heeft ook Kijiji Skype geïntegreerd op haar website. Adverteerders kunnen een "Skype Me" knop toevoegen aan hun advertenties zodat zij door potentiële kopers via het Internet gebeld kunnen worden. Klik hier voor een voorbeeld.

donderdag, oktober 13, 2005

Marktplaats start met extra service veilig handelen op afstand

Het originele persbericht: biedt extra service voor veilig handelen op afstand

Marktplaats kondigt samenwerking aan met Triple Deal Escrow

EMMELOORD, 12 oktober 2005 – biedt voortaan haar gebruikers een extra optie tot meer veiligheid bij de afhandeling van een transactie op afstand. Dit wordt mogelijk gemaakt door de vandaag aangekondigde samenwerking met Triple Deal, een dienstverlener op het gebied van betalings- en borgservices voor de on- en offline markt. Door gebruik te maken van de Escrow service van Triple Deal zijn zowel de koper als de verkoper beschermd en biedt het beide partijen zekerheid over de transactie. streeft ernaar haar gebruikers een zo veilig mogelijke handelsplaats te bieden. Om die reden wordt er voortdurend actief gewerkt aan het bevorderen van een veilige handelsomgeving. Zo biedt de site uitgebreide informatie & tips over veilig handelen. Voor de bescherming van intellectueel eigendom bestaat er op Marktplaats het Melding van Inbreuk programma. Met de vandaag aangekondigde samenwerking biedt haar gebruikers nu ook de mogelijkheid om transacties op afstand - via Triple Deal als derde partij - veilig af te handelen.


De kracht van de door Triple Deal geleverde borgservice, Escrow service genaamd, zit in het ‘gelijk oversteken’. Zodra een koper en verkoper een prijs hebben afgesproken op voor het product, kunnen zij zich, via de link op, gratis inschrijven bij Triple Deal. Zodra beide partijen akkoord zijn met de voorwaarden van de transactie betaalt de koper het bedrag aan Triple Deal. Triple Deal informeert beide partijen dat de betaling is ontvangen en houdt dit bedrag als onafhankelijke ‘derde partij’ in beheer. Dan stuurt de verkoper het product naar de koper, die dan zeven dagen heeft om het product te inspecteren. De koper bericht Triple Deal dat het product goed is ontvangen waarna Triple Deal de betaling op rekening van de verkoper stort. De verkoper heeft zo de garantie dat de verstuurde spullen daadwerkelijk worden betaald. De koper heeft de zekerheid dat zijn betaling veilig wordt gesteld totdat de goederen in zijn bezit zijn.

Ter introductie is de service voor kopers en verkopers op vanaf vandaag drie maanden gratis. Voor bankbetalingen wordt wel een bedrag in rekening gebracht van €0,75 voor de koper en €1,25 voor de verkoper. en Triple Deal bekijken hoe in de toekomst de service zo voordelig mogelijk aangeboden kan worden.

Zie voor meer informatie:

Over Triple Deal

Triple Deal is een Nederlandse toonaangevende dienstverlener op het gebied van betalings- en borgservices voor de on- en offline markt, opgericht in 1998. Tot de klantenkring van Triple Deal behoren onder andere,, Wegener multimedia,, KPN Internet en SCHOOLbank. Kijk voor meer informatie over de diensten van Triple Deal op en voor de Escrow diensten in het bijzonder op

Over, opgericht in 1999, was in Nederland een van de eerste websites die zich volledig richtte op rubrieksadvertenties. Sinds de oprichting is uitgegroeid tot de populairste website op dit gebied in Nederland met een nog altijd groeiende klantenbasis van particulieren en kleine bedrijven. Per dag komen er meer dan 70.000 nieuwe advertenties op de site bij van kleding en verzamelobjecten tot auto’s en huisraad. De onderneming maakt sinds november 2004 onderdeel uit van eBay. Marktplaats is gevestigd in Emmeloord. Kijk voor meer informatie op:


eBay 10 Years - 2005

The Year that Was: 2005
"Our incredible journey has only just begun!" - Meg Whitman

On Sept. 6, 2005 President and CEO Meg Whitman sent a video message to her troops. "Hi, everyone," she began. "Today we've reached an amazing milestone."

The milestone was obvious to the more than 10,000 employees she addressed. Exactly 10 years ago, Pierre Omidyar sparked a revolution with the launch of AuctionWeb.

Now, 10 years later, that site—which had long ago changed its name to eBay—was universally acknowledged as one of the greatest success stories in the history of commerce. The milestone was certainly something to celebrate. And in true eBay style, employees did it in an unassuming fashion, with local cake and ice cream parties in September and early October.

Earlier in the year, the company began another year of major growth and global expansion. In March, eBay launched Kijiji, a start-up that builds and nurtures local classified sites in nations around the world. Kijiji completed some acquisitions of its own during the spring and summer, including GumTree (UK), opusforum (Germany) and LoQuo and Intoko (both in Spain).

A new site launched in Poland, and sites were localized in Sweden and Ireland. PayPal rolled out local service in Australia, Italy, Spain and China.

The company also added new technologies, capabilities and businesses.

In January, eBay acquired Kurant's advanced software for online stores. This technology was upgraded, re-branded and launched as ProStores in June. ProStores allows eBay sellers and other small- to medium-sized businesses to create a customized Web storefront, independent of the eBay marketplace.

Also of interest to small and medium-size merchants was the launch of PayPal's Website Payments Pro, which allows merchants to offer shoppers more choice in how they pay for items.

Through the summer and fall, the acquisition train continued to roll…

In August, eBay completed its acquisition of, a global leader in comparison shopping with sites in the U.S., the U.K., and France. With approximately 50 million unique visitors a month, is the third largest shopping destination on the Web.

In September, eBay announced the acquisition of Skype, a global Internet communications company. Through its innovative peer-to-peer software, Skype offers high-quality voice communications to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world.

In October, the company announced the acquisition of VeriSign's payment gateway business with the intent of combining it with PayPal's merchant services platform. The two companies also announced a strategic alliance to collaborate on payment services and security initiatives for e-commerce.

During 2005, the ever-growing eBay Community was also on a roll. A survey conducted for eBay by AC Nielsen International Research in July revealed that more than 724,000 Americans use eBay as their primary or secondary source of income. Not only had AuctionWeb served as the foundation for one hugely successful company, it had literally helped launch hundreds of thousands of other successful businesses in the U.S. alone.

As she concluded her anniversary comments to employees on Sept. 6, Meg singled out this positive impact the company has had on society. "We've enabled a global community of millions to share their passions, achieve their financial goals, and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams," she said. "And at 10 years, our incredible journey has only just begun!"

dinsdag, oktober 11, 2005

Online-oplichting plaatst rectificatie

Afgelopen vrijdag plaatste Online-oplichting een artikel dat Marktplaats gebruik zou maken van Adware/Spyware middels Cydoor. Ook werd er hierover een persbericht gestuurd naar het ANP. Marktplaats heeft hierop volgend zelf een persverklaring opgesteld, om feitelijke onwaarheden in deze zaak te weerleggen, zie ook artikel op Deze middag heeft Online-oplichting middels een artikel op de eigen site duidelijkheid verschaft waar de verwarring door ontstaan is. Relevant artikel: Marktplaats maakt gebruik van spyware??

PayPal to Acquire VeriSign's Payment Gateway Business

Originele persbericht:

PayPal to Acquire VeriSign’s Payment Gateway Business;

eBay and VeriSign Form Strategic Alliance for Online Commerce and Security

San Jose, Calif. and Mountain View, Calif, Oct. 10, 2005 – eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) today announced a strategic alliance that calls for the two companies to collaborate on payment services and security initiatives for e-commerce. Under the terms of the agreements, PayPal, an eBay company, will acquire VeriSign’s payment gateway business and combine it with PayPal’s leading merchant services platform. VeriSign will also provide eBay and PayPal with a suite of security services that includes the deployment of two-factor authentication, a security system that gives customers a one-time password or digital certificate to help protect against online identity theft.

With the acquisition of VeriSign’s payment gateway, which processed more than $40 billion in total payment volume in 2004, PayPal plans to accelerate its merchant services business by expanding its customer base to tens of thousands of new small and medium-sized business customers online. The payment gateway is a real-time, scalable Internet payment platform that allows merchants to authorize, process and manage online payments. The combination of VeriSign’s payments gateway with PayPal’s existing services will provide merchants with multiple processing choices from a single provider, including VeriSign’s gateway, PayPal’s Website Payments Standard, Express Checkout or Website Payments Pro.

Additionally, eBay and VeriSign have signed a multi-year security technology agreement that calls for eBay to invest in the deployment of VeriSign technologies that enable and protect online transactions, including the purchase of up to one million two-factor authentication tokens. eBay and PayPal plan to begin the rollout of two-factor authentication to customers in 2006, including marketing and security programs designed to promote customer adoption.

VeriSign’s payment gateway is a popular and market-proven product that perfectly complements PayPal’s existing payment services,” said Jeff Jordan, president of PayPal. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to extend the benefits of PayPal’s services to the VeriSign customer base. This acquisition allows PayPal to give our customers more choice in payment services and grow our merchant services business even more quickly.”

“At eBay, we’re always looking for additional tools and technologies to improve the security of our community’s accounts and ensure the privacy of information. Two-factor authentication will be another important way customers can shop safely on eBay and pay with PayPal,” said Rob Chesnut, senior vice president of trust and safety for eBay. “We’re thrilled to be working with VeriSign, and are proud to be one of the first e-commerce companies to give our customers access to two-factor authentication.”

“The alliance between VeriSign and eBay brings together two leaders in online commerce. eBay’s deployment of two-factor authentication will represent one of the largest consumer authentication deployments in the industry,” said Stratton Sclavos, chairman and chief executive officer, VeriSign. “After the asset sale of our payment gateway business, VeriSign will continue to focus on our core mission of enabling and protecting all forms of digital interactions. In addition, the acquisition provides our worldwide merchant base with the benefits of PayPal’s already robust payment capabilities.”

PayPal will pay approximately $370 million to purchase VeriSign’s payment gateway business, payable in cash and/or eBay stock. Including synergies with PayPal’s merchant services business, the payment gateway business is expected to generate an incremental $100 million of revenue at a 20 percent pro forma operating margin in 2006.

VeriSign will provide financial guidance regarding the transaction and its impact to future guidance upon closing.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory and other approvals, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2005.

About VeriSign

VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), operates intelligent infrastructure services that enable and protect billions of interactions every day across the world’s voice and data networks. Additional news and information about the company is available at

About PayPal

Founded in 1998, PayPal, an eBay company, enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online securely, easily and quickly. PayPal’s service builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and uses one of the world’s most advanced proprietary fraud prevention systems to create a safe, global, real-time payment solution. PayPal has nearly 79 million accounts and is available to users in 56 markets around the world. More information about the company can be found at

About eBay

Founded in 1995, eBay pioneers communities built on commerce, sustained by trust, and inspired by opportunity. eBay enables ecommerce on a local, national and international basis with an array of websites – including the eBay Marketplace, PayPal, Kijiji, and – that bring together millions of buyers and sellers every day.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements regarding the expected impact of the acquisition of VeriSign Payment Services on eBay’s financial results. Those statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from those discussed. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: the receipt and timing of regulatory approvals for the transaction; the possibility that the transaction will not close; the reaction of the users of PayPal and the acquired payment gateway business to the transaction; the reaction of competitors to the transaction; the future growth of the acquired payment gateway business; and the possibility that integration following closing will prove more difficult than expected. More information about potential factors which could affect eBay’s business and financial results is included in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other periodic filings and prospectuses. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to eBay on the date hereof, and eBay assumes no obligation to update such statements.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of VeriSign’s future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as; eBay and PayPal’s customer acceptance of VeriSign’s services; the risk that eBay and PayPal’s deployment of VeriSign’s services doesn’t result in the expected use of two-factor authentication by eBay and PayPal’s customers; and the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statement after the date of this press release.

vrijdag, oktober 07, 2005

Gebruik van eBay i.p.v. een makelaar

Dan heb je pas lef... Je huis te koop aanbieden vanaf $0.99. op ging het huis weg voor $1.2 miljoen! Talk about home buyers bidding over the asking price. The winning bid for a San Mateo home with an initial asking price of 99 cents was $1.2 million.

That's because the waterfront home was auctioned off on eBay by Dan Whaley, a Web enthusiast who founded the first Web-based travel agency. During the 10-day bidding period — the maximum allowed on eBay — which ended Wednesday, the 1,650-square-foot home received

152 bids, according to eBay.

"I think this was an experiment," said Whaley, whose 1994 online experiment, the TravelNetworkstartup, earned him hundreds of millions of dollars.

"I wanted to see if I could get a sale done in a short amount of time and use the online approach. I like to do creative things, and I'm a bit of a control freak," Whaley said.

The three-bedroom house sits on a lagoon and includes a koi pond, tiled pool, dock with hydraulic boat lift and Moroccan-style architecture.

"It's no ordinary house in the suburbs," Whaley said.

More trusting of the open nature of online auctions than the traditional real estate sales approach, Whaley decided to sell the house himself.

"I didn't think the agents I talked to were really going to go to bat for me."

In retrospect, Whaley said, the $1.2 million

eBay 10 Years - 2004

The Year that Was: 2004
"We thought getting married here would be a fun thing to do." - Brad, eBay seller

As the third annual eBay Live! was winding down on Saturday afternoon June 26, 2004, hundreds of eBay community members and employees were gearing up to witness yet another uniquely eBay moment. Brad and Maggy—two long-time PowerSellers who first communicated on the bidding discussion board in 2001—were married in a gazebo built especially for them inside the New Orleans Convention Center where the community gathering was being held. "I had no idea there would be so many people here," remarked Linda Van Davis, the judge who presided.

Originally, Brad and Maggy had planned a small wedding, but, since they shared close ties with so many other people in the eBay Community, they felt it was only fitting to tie the knot at eBay Live! "We thought getting married here would be a fun thing to do," said Brad.

The couple's courtship and marriage was yet another vivid illustration of the strength of the eBay Community during another year of rapid expansion and phenomenal growth.

In 2004, eBay continued to acquire other companies that offered exciting new business opportunities. Among these were, one of the leading classified Web sites for vehicles in Germany;, the leading classified Web site in the Netherlands;, the largest online marketplace in India; and, a leading Internet listing site in the apartment and rental housing industry. In addition, eBay acquired a minority ownership interest—about 25 percent—in craigslist, the amazingly successful online meeting place for people looking to share ideas, meet a friend, find romance, get a job, or locate an apartment. In every case, the common element was reaching out to new online communities and bringing more people together in more ways.

As well as expanding through acquisitions, eBay continued to grow internally. In May, the company's Dublin site—announced in 2003 to serve the dual role as eBay's second European customer support center and PayPal's international headquarters—was opened. In July, the eBay China Development Center, a research and development facility in Shanghai, became operational. And in December, local sites in both Malaysia and the Philippines were launched.

In addition to building the size of its community during 2004, the company also kept enhancing the value of the eBay brand and improving the quality of its services. In October, for example, the North America brand campaign, The Power of All of Us, was launched. And, in November, the Want It Now feature—which allows buyers to tell sellers what they are looking for—was introduced.

And for yet another year, the astounding growth numbers spoke for themselves. By the end of 2004, more than 8,000 eBay employees were serving 135 million registered users who traded more than $34 billion in gross merchandise volume in more than 50,000 categories. Among the items sold, incidentally, were gum once chewed by Britney Spears, dryer lint balls wrapped in yarn, and a skeleton of a 50,000-year-old mammoth. The skeleton, considered to be one of the most complete and best preserved mammoth skeletons in the world, sold for 61,000 British pounds.

donderdag, oktober 06, 2005

Groeiende werkgelegenheid in ICT. Moeilijk te vervullen vacatures

Gister een artikel op Webwereld, dat de omzet en werkgelegenheid in de ICT sector groeit. Bij Marktplaats & eBay staan er nog een 8-tal vacatures open, die maar moeilijk te vervullen blijken te zijn. De CV's die er binnen komen zijn niet altijd wat er gezocht wordt, plus het zijn er niet zo veel. Er zijn nog de volgende banen ter beschiklking: Wie zoekt er nog een leuke baan met doorgroei mogelijkheden, zowel nationaal als internationaal. Tal van mogelijkheden binnen eBay, Marktplaats of Kijiji, maar ook binnen Paypal of Skype of Je kan natuurlijk direct je cv sturen naar het email adres wat in de vacature vermeld staat. Maar wil je meer info, reageer dan op dit blog, dan kan ik je van alles vertellen.

eBay 10 Years - 2003

The Year that Was: 2003
Tell me why I need another pet rock. Tell me why I got that Alf alarm clock. Tell me why I bid on Shatner's old toupee. They had it on eBay. - "Weird Al" Yankovic
Pop culture icon Weird Al sings "eBay" for the crowd. More

Building on the success of the first eBay Live! in 2002, the company hosted its second in Orlando, Florida, June 26-28. The session in question was the keynote speech by Meg Whitman on Day 2 of the conference. After welcoming more than 10,000 registered users—roughly twice the number that attended the first eBay Live!—and sharing some "shop talk," Meg turned the stage over to a surprise attendee, satirical singer "Weird Al" Yankovik. In his own inimitable way, Al delighted the audience with the world premiere of his new song "eBay." The song, which went on to be a major popular hit, was further testimony to the eBay's unique status in the popular culture. The glint in Pierre Omidyar's eye just eight years before, had become a true global phenomenon.

Once again, the two constants for eBay during 2003 were expansion and astounding growth. By the end of 2003, the company had more than 5,700 employees, three times the number it had just three years before. Together, those employees now served 95 million registered users, twice the number of eBay registered users just two years before. And together, those users accounted for $23.8 billion in GMV (including $200+ for the world's longest French fry)—four times the volume reported in the year 2000. Clearly, millions and millions of other people found eBay as irresistible as Weird Al did.

To support this demand, the company announced that it would add two new customer support centers and more office space in San Jose. One customer support site located in Burnaby, British Columbia, near Vancouver, would provide support to eBay members from the company's U.S., Canadian, and Australian Web sites. The other site—in Dublin, Ireland—would serve as both eBay's second European customer support center and as PayPal's European headquarters. In April, the company also announced the purchase of an additional 511,000 square feet of office space in North San Jose, Commenting on the development, San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales called the company "one of San Jose's true success stories."

Good things continued to occur for the company on all fronts that year. In January, eBay Business was launched a separate site in recognition of the enormous number of business items—at the time, 500,000 per week—bought and sold on eBay. In October, the PayPal Buyer Protection policy was instituted to help buyers recover funds from eBay sellers who do not deliver the promised goods or who deliver goods that are different from what is promised.

In October, eBay announced that during the Holiday Season it would now offer eBay and PayPal gift certificates—providing gift givers a convenient and novel shopping option. In December, the company launched still another international site—this time in Hong Kong.

eBay 10 Years - 2002

The Year that Was: 2002
"It's so important to be connected to one another." - Joe Cortese, eBay seller

Although political tensions and talk of terrorism grabbed many of the headlines in 2002, people throughout the world also spent the year forging stronger bonds of community. During this time, the once-oppressed region of East Timor joined the community of nations; the U.S. and Russia agreed to cut their respective nuclear arsenals by two-thirds over the next 10 years; the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government signed a cease-fire agreement, ending 19 years of civil war; and—to help ensure that the global community has the natural resources it needs to thrive—the United Nations established World Environment Day.

Throughout 2002, eBay, too, was working to forge and strengthen human communities around the world.

One major company focus was to strengthen the eBay community in Asia, where two-thirds of the world's 6+ billion people live. In February, eBay acquired NeoCom Technology Company, the leading operator of auction-style web sites in Taiwan. And, just three weeks later, eBay announced a major strategic business relationship with EachNet, the leading online trading community in China. Founded in 1999 by two United States-educated Chinese entrepreneurs, Bo Shao and Haiyin Tan, EachNet had—at the time of the agreement—more than 3.5 million users who traded items from clothing to computers to antique calligraphy.

Another major community-building event during 2002 was the acquisition of PayPal, a global payments system. Announced in July and completed in October, the deal allowed eBay to integrate PayPal's functionality into the eBay platform, enabling buyers and sellers to trade with greater ease, speed, and safety. "The beauty of the deal is that it will allow us to offer our communities new tools and added flexibility to do more business, PayPal's founder Peter Thiel said at the time. And few could dispute this. In 2002, 60 percent of PayPal's business was already occurring over eBay. And, since then, PayPal has become an integral component of eBay's continuing success.

In 2002, eBay also strengthened the ties that bind its community members in a way it had never done before—between June 21 and 23 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, the company hosted the first ever eBay Live! community conference. During the three days, more than 5000 eBay community members converged on the center to talk to eBay executives and employees, swap ideas with each other, and attend workshops offering tips on how to become more successful buyers and sellers. One of these sellers, Joe Cortese of Meridian, Mississippi, was overwhelmed by the spirit of community and support he saw at the gathering. "It's so important to be connected to one another," he said.

As eBay's first employees had proven several years before, a strong sense of community and economic growth go hand and hand. And, in 2002, the company's results again spoke for themselves. By year end, 4,000 employees served 61.7 million registered users who transacted $14.9 billion in gross merchandise volume in more than 18,000 categories.