1. Whitman’s decision about guns was a very difficult one for her to make. However, it was undoubtedly the correct one. As a well-respected, multinational company, eBay cannot be seen to support firearms which are likely to get into the wrong hands if cold via auction on an online marketplace. There have been plenty of examples in the media of individuals owning, and using, guns who are not licenced or qualified to do so. EBay is a family-friendly site, and therefore Whitman had no choice but to ban the sale of guns.
2. Whitman quickly found that the staff at eBay wasn’t like the staff at many big companies she had worked for. Therefore, she chose to lead them gently in order to get the best out of them. She conducted interviews to ask the staff members for their opinion on the company and on how things were going. She welcomed meetings and appointments with each and every member of staff in order to build personal working relationships.
3. The authors claim that it wasn’t only the chance to buy and sell that was attracting people to the site. Moreover, people were interested it as a place to meet people with the same interests, to use the chat, bulletin and email facilities and to network socially. Whitman says that eBay was a site “of the people, by the people, for the people.” EBay is a community if trust which is based on trust, empowerment, respect and autonomy.
4. Whitman identified the emotional attachment between users and the website, and wanted to enhance this. Through a series of focus groups she honed what exactly was the pull for the people using eBay. She encouraged the broad team of staff to be actively involved in the development of the company, therefore securing their trust and their cooperation.
Hill, L. & Farkas, M. (2005). Meg Whitman at ebay Inc. (A).