Is eBay a market place for successful start-ups?

Various people asked me whether eBay is an interesting starting ground for start-ups. I have been thinking about this question for quite some time now. On the one hand, eBay is clearly a huge market place. eBay has recently opened its APIs to third-party developers in order to spur innovation in terms of sw and services. Clearly, eBay has recognized that it needs help from the IT industry to keep innovation levels high at eBay. From this perspective, start-ups seem to be welcome by eBay these days.

On the other hand, I have some doubts. First, is eBay a large enough market place yet to sustain a large 3rd party business on its own? Yes, starting ideas out of the eBay environment and then growing into other market places or the general eCommerce arena is a good approach, but relying entirly on eBay might not result in a large company per se. Secondly, would eBay tolerate a large company side-by-side? Well there are examples such as Auctionmaster etc., but these are rare examples and I doubt if these companies can grow very big. eBay will clearly keep a close eye on these companies, that they don’t take too much of the eBay pie.

Takeaway: Yes, it’s a valid idea to expect emering, interesting start-ups in the eBay environment. I doubt it, that these companies can only “survive” with eBay as their only market.

Recommendations: A good ground to start looking for “eBay related spin-offs” is eBay Live coming up soon here in Germany. Hopefully, see you there!

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2 Comments on “Is eBay a market place for successful start-ups?”

  1. Michael Puetz Says:

    I recently found an interesting Article about “Mashup Business Models”.
    check out at http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/mashup_business.php

    – Michael

  2. ute Says:

    ich bin auf jeden fall da ;.)
    da sprechen wir vorher nochmals, damit ich mich ein bisschen “organisieren” kann u zeit fuer einen netten talk mit dir habe!
    greetz u


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