Highlights from Donahoe talk at WSJ’s AllThingsDigital D8 conference

June 2, 2010

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Today, eBay’s CEO, John Donahoe (JD for short), spoke briefly at the D8 conference.  I found that there wasn’t a good central place that covered the talk, so I skimmed twitter and some blogs for you and pieced together this list of bullets from his conversation and attendee’s perceptions.  I’m sure some video and other items will come out that I will update to reflect in this post, so check back in a couple of days.

Here’s what I’ve found so far – the talk was in little soundbytes around different topics so I’ve written it that way.


  • JD is tall (funny how many folks found this something to tweet about)
  • He started off by saying he has no plans to run for a political office, but hopes Meg wins.
  • They are 30% auctions now, have a lot more ‘new’ items and broader selection than people realise.
  • At the same time eBay has a lot of returned/refurb items so people have choices

What is eBay/Skype?

  • Mossberg set the stage by calling eBay a Web 1.0 company
  • 90m users in last year
  • Lots of talk about Skype – JD defended and said that companies have to experiment and take risks – Skype was one that didn’t fit, but a great co.


  • Mossberg asks “What’s the point of paypal, does it have a future?” (ouch, he’s coming off very attack-ish in the twitter stream)
  • Paypal will be the digital wallet of the future
  • Talked about bump money
  • Physical wallets will go away, replaced by paypal on mobile devices like the iphone
  • Many tweeters thought that JD sounded defensive in the Skype and some of the Paypal convo
  • There have been 10m downloads of the eBay iPhone app

Phishing, competition, iPad

  • Mossberg asking him about all of eBay’s Phishing problems.
  • JD replies that they have a handle on it.
  • Mossberg: “Who is your main competitor”?
  • JD -> Amazon, Etsy, Wal-mart
  • amazon is only 5% of e-commerce so lots of room for other options, uses the wal-mart/target/etc. offline analogy – both eBay and Amazon can be successful, like Wal-mart and Costco.
  • (Back on mobile)
  • They see $2B in GMV (This is up from last $1.5B) from mobile in 2010

JD gives eBay a 4/10

  • JD notes that the best eBay experience is the iPad (I should do blog post on this – hmmm)
  • JD gave the company’s website a 4 out of 10, said it was a 2/10 18 months ago.
  • Mossberg challenges this – you’ve been a website for 10 years, why isn’t that the best experience?
  • JD -> new devices allow you to start over and make new apps that serve users better (I didn’t catch this point)

Fashion – why?

  • Mossberg – eBay seems very focused on fashion – why?
  • JD – We are the largest seller of fashion in the World. Driving more vertical shopping experiences on eBay for better customer experiences.
  • They chatted about stubhub

Back to Paypal

  • Moss – What role will Paypal play in content?
  • JD – Digital is a big opp for PP, just like social gaming, you will have the ability to pay for digital content with paypal.


  • Audience gave JD a hard time about the usability of PayPal
  • Sellers feel like they are nickel and dimed – JD – yes, for years we did this, one of the first things we’ve fixed.



SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.