Web 2.0 Summit 2006 - Day 3 / From the eBay Labs

Here are the day 3 notes for the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco:

[My notes and analysis are in these square brackets.]

From the Labs: eBay Research Labs, Eric Billingsley:

    • we now have 800,000 people making part or all of their living on that marketplace.
    • labs employees are doing a 3 way split:
      • 1/3 consulting; identify new research opportunities; facilitate rapid iteration  of ideas with the business
      • 1/3 pure research; moonitor and expermient with emerging technologoies; create new technologies to aid the business; re-examine existing systems to find new problems
      • 1/3 technology transfer Market technology solutions to the business.
    • 50% of their technologies actually make it into production (!)
    • Key Focus Areas:
      • Core Technology: adaptive learning; information retrieval (finding);
      • Operational excellence: systems management (grids); hew hardware platforms and deployments
      • New Opportunities: Social commerce; Power of Three (?)
    • They are building new measurement tools that can understand what is happening, how the users are using it, and what they’re getting out of it.
    • Their search system evolves. If you search for iPod Nanom, you get 25,000 accessories. We watch to see what people actually end up clicking on in the results and then those end up getting floated up to the top of the lists as “best match”
    • Question: how do you decide which projects to work on?
      • Answer: Typically during our consulting phase. We’re known as smart guys. When people ask us to help them with projects, we identify new ideas at that time. We don’t have a waterfall approach. The team is allowed to come up with their own projects. And they have added a ton of value. With a 50% hit ratio of converting ideas to actual projects, we think this has been successful.