He talked a lot about community and in the beginning it was. But then he brought on Meg, sat back, and went IPO.
Since then fees have gone sky high and the sense of community seems mostly gone.
He had a great idea but I'm not so sure it was all about the community. There are many interviews where that's what he talks about when he started the company. But when the time came he handed it off and let the money roll in. He'd still be incredibly wealthy even if eBay had taken a different path. Probably not as nearly so much so.
Don't get me wrong, he's been incredibly generous with the money he's made. eBay's a gerat success, a lot of sellers have done well, and maybe that is the best thing for sellers. Perhaps had he not handed it over it woulda festered under his leadership leaving sellers worse off. eBay wouldnt be nearly as successful internationally for example without intervention. And arguably as much as it is in the US. Perhaps eBay being the giant it is draws more buyers and is good for sellers and the higher fees are just the price you pay for that.
It just seems weird to me that he built things up always talking about community then when the time came he sold it out as fast as he could for a boat load of cash seemingly not really thinking at all about that community. Since then he's mainly been a figure head. He basically started it in 95, saw it was going to be successufl, found a replacement near the end of 97, and handed it soon after that. 2 years in, 18 billion out, and the community that built it, that he so often talks about footing the bill. Wish it was me. :P