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Showing posts from June 6, 2010

Meg Whitman: Scale or fail

Sure, Meg Whitman has just won the Republican party's nomination for California Governor. But, that's not why I'm writing. This event simply reminded me of one aspect of her leadership as eBay's CEO.
Back then, eBay's infrastructure could not keep pace with the exponential growth in the number of users. A huge 22-hour outage sliced $5 billion off the company's market capitalization.
PC-maker Gateway's CIO Maynard Webb was considered just the talent to get eBay out of the mess. And here's what Meg promised while wooing him: All resources required to set things rightMore than double her salaryPlus a bonus of $108,000An extra $300,000 if all went wellAnd options to buy half a million shares of eBay stock. Maynard took the offer and by the end of the year, outage was in mere seconds a month.

PS: Interestingly, another former high-tech business leader Carly Fiorina has also won nomination (for Senate seat). And you knew this too :-)

Does the shareware concept work in India?

Pierre Omidyar came up with the idea of auction on the Web and founded the hugely successful eBay.com.
Back during the company's early days, Pierre was aware of the shareware concept, in which engineers posted software on the Web and suggested that users send whatever they thought it worth.
Soon after he made his own such suggestion, envelopes stuffed with cash and checks arrived at his California home. And the amount kept getting bigger all the time!
Do you know of such business stories in India?