September 26, 2010

OH, AND BILL, ONE MORE THING: MEG WHITMAN DID NOT CREATE EBAY...


... Meg Whitman has created fuck-all in her entire career, okay?

Which is something you should know, since one of your staff writers, Chris Kelly, has been writing about her on the Huffington Post for quite a while now, so don't do that bullshit bit in your "new rules" that perpetuates a mythology.
Americans think rich people must be brilliant; no -- just ruthless. Meg Whitman is running for Governor out here, and her claim to fame is, she started e-Bay. Yes, Meg tapped into the Zeitgeist, the zeitgeist being the desperate need of millions of Americans to scrape a few dollars together by selling the useless crap in their garage. What is e-Bay but a big cyber lawn sale that you can visit without putting your clothes on?
Now, who created eBay? Come on, it's three clicks away.  Pierre Omidyar.
In 1997, the company received $6.7 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.

Meg Whitman was hired as eBay President and CEO in March 1998. At the time, the company had 30 employees half a million users and revenues of $4.7 million in the United States. eBay went public on September 21, 1998, and both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires. eBay's target share price of $18 was all but ignored as the price went to $53.50 on the first day of trading.
The reason eBay made so much money? Is right in this paragraph.

They went public.

And it met a demand that was there as the internet grew.  Meg Whitman was hired to oversee that process, as can be evidenced by the fact that she was with the company for only six months prior to the IPO. That means she was put there very likely as a front and figurehead by Benchmark Capital. And anybody who has researched the time frame it takes to get tio an IPO knows that the process is longer than six months. So the process was already underway when she was taking her position.

Venture capital firms often do that, put a CEO with a resume in a place, especially in and during the dot.com bubble, when IPOs were a-plenty and CEOs woefully short in numbers.

It's to calm nervous analysts. Whaaaa! We don't know this person who has invented this shit! And we want a familiar face! Somebody with pedigree! 

In Hollywood, they call these people "showrunners", even if they are dumb as fuck and more often than not have created shit and jack in their entire lives.

Bullshit.

Considering that eBay in the following ten years built itself, almost like a community, the decisions by Whitman were utterly unimportant to the growth of the company. I'm sorry. You think that nobody else could have come up with the decision of "we need more servers, a better back-bone connection and make shit faster? Oh, and let's buy up our competition in different countries, will you?"

Really? Don't insult my intelligence.

And that leaves the acquisition of Skype as the only decision Whitman herself made. In typical CEO hubris fashion, she decided that eBay's core business was no longer good enough, no, we needed to branch out to something – internet communications – that had absolutely no bearing on eBay at all, well, unless you count the fact that she blew roughly 4.1 billion into a venture that she knew nothing about ... and then forgot to actually buy the source code as well!

Yeah, that is Meg Whitman! Really smart CEO, that one is!

Yes, we can all now say that, hey, this was just a skit in the show, and it was funny enough, right? No. No, it wasn't, because that bit still gave Meg Whitman way too much credit, especially considering that she is running for the Governor of California position.

And Bill?

If you want to be taken seriously next time, do your fucking research, will you?