There was an interesting article in the NY Times Business Section over the weekend about Amazon and eBay. It suggested Amazon is winning because they do better long-term planning and are willing to fail for a while so they can win.
Both companies have made some missteps, but both should thrive. Even with its problems, eBay is still the leader in online auction. Amazon is the 800 lb. gorilla in online retailing, and since ecommerce is only 7% of all commerce, there’s certainly room for both.
Some advice for eBay: Keep the auction business discrete. Any playing around with fixed price, VOIP, online payment, etc. should be either spun off or handled by unique management. Smart decisions are harder to make when considering the impact on other “family” businesses. As for Amazon: Stop with all the “trust” value prop talk. Make your business about “price.” Trust is earned and requisite, it’s not a branding idea. Peace!