Notes from the road: Richmond office - Day 1

Richard Brewer-Hay

Whenever I travel to England on business I always love the first day of arrival. When I come back for personal reasons, I usually have my family with me so I find myself annoyingly (to my wife; not to me) repeating myself; “oh, I haven’t had this in years…” or “this is where Daddy went to school”, etc. Thankfully my wife has a lot of patience – and my daughter is only two – so they both put up with it. However, when I come back on business I am usually traveling alone and, on the first day back, I always plop my headphones on and go for a long walk; listening to songs that remind me of growing up in England and catching up on old familiar sights and smells. Yesterday was no exception.

Welcome to eBay UK

I arrived in Richmond-upon-Thames around 3:45pm yesterday and managed to stay awake by walking around the town and by the river. When my head hit the pillow at 8:30pm I was asleep immediately. I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle my first day at the UK office – unfortunately, it was only midnight and I’d been asleep for only three and a half hours. After alternating between reading my new book (excellent read by the way: “Hooked” by Matt Richtel – I was fortunate to meet the author on Saturday before heading to the airport and I have to say that the title is perfect… I found it very difficult to put down) and watching the Olympics on the BBC, I finally drifted off at 4:30am.

UK Weekly Team Brief
After getting settled in here at the Richmond offices of eBay this morning, and meeting a number of fine folks I’ve only previously interacted with via email, I attended the “Team Brief”. Occurring every Monday, the Team Brief is an all-hands meeting that everyone in the Richmond office attends. Similar to weekly “Stand-Up” meetings I’ve been a part of at start-up companies, the UK office has the luxury of getting everyone into the same room on a weekly basis to digest the latest information from different groups. In the US, given the sheer size and physical scope of the organization (7 buildings alone at the Whitman campus), weekly in-person meetings simply aren’t possible. True, we have regularly scheduled webcasts that serve the same purpose but there is something about getting up from your desk, walking to a conference room and giving 100% of your attention to a presentation.

Immediately following the Team Brief, I presented an overview of the eBay Ink blog and discussed ways in which I was hoping to better integrate the different office cultures and news from around the world into my regular posts. I think I jumped around a little more than normal given the jet lag but all-in-all the presentation seemed relatively well received and I had a number of follow-up 1:1 discussions with various folks.

eBay Partner Network Blog
I met with Julia Nisted on the Affiliate Marketing team later in the afternoon and she gave me an overview of the eBay Partner Network Blog. The blog is relatively new and Julia and the team are hoping to update it more regularly moving forward. It’s pretty straightforward in terms of content and I recommended adding a personal touch to the posts (right now there is no indication of who is authoring individual posts) so a more personal connection can be made between author and audience. We also talked about adding some additional features to the page such as related blog roll, etc. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the blog, please email and I’ll be sure to forward them on to the appropriate folks. For more information on the Partner Network in general, please check out the FAQ blog post from earlier in the year.

The San Jose office is now well into its Monday morning bustle so I need to sign off for now and check in with folks “back at the ranch”. More to come…