February 22nd, 2007
Someone once told me that if a CEO of a major corporation wanted to get his people focused on something, all he had to do was to buy 3 books on the subject and leave them in a pile on his desk, where all his subordinates can see them.
I guess that’s what interested me when I read this in yesterday’s New York Times article, Stirring Up the Cubicles at eBay (Registration may be required, the story may hide behind their pay-wall in a few weeks.):
[John Donahue, deputy to eBay's CEO and president of eBay Marketplaces, one of eBay's most important divisions] accompanied two members of eBay’s research group to the San Jose apartment of Kanvasi Tejasen, a 30-year-old Lockheed Martin engineer who had agreed to have her online buying habits studied by the company in exchange for $200.
With Mr. Donahoe (who makes $800,000 a year and has received around $10 million worth of eBay stock) sitting on her sofa taking notes, Ms. Tejasen shopped for a TV tuner and visited rival sites like Amazon and Google. In one crucial moment, she plugged the term “4G iPod Nano” into the eBay search engine and received 1,700 results, which she said she found confusing. That set Mr. Donahoe scribbling furiously.
“We have to do a better job getting her what she wants,” he said afterward. “If we improve search efficiency even 1 percent, it’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”
What would happen if your CEO went on a few site visits?Tweet