One of the great things about working for eBay has been all of the great people that you meet and work with. Leonard Speiser was one of the great product managers I had a chance to learn from at eBay, and now his company, Bix.com, has been acquired by Yahoo.
Here is the note on the Bix website from Michael Speiser, who I think does a nice job explaining why they are excited about the deal.
If you haven’t tried Bix.com, it’s a fun site where anyone can set up contests that people vote on. It makes it fairly easy for people to create profiles, and then upload video or pictures related to the contest. It’s like American Idol for everyone. A relatively simple idea, but executed well, and no doubt a very addictive application to add to the Yahoo family. Contests are a great excitement driver, and there is no doubt that Yahoo will try to leverage Bix with large clients who are looking to generate buzz.
One of the most interesting things about working in Silicon Valley is how quickly people can move around and do new and wonderful things. It’s part of the culture – the assumption that everything and everyone will keep moving and changing.
It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I joined eBay, and that I stopped by for some advice and help from Leonard, one of the Senior Product Managers. It doesn’t feel like that long ago that after five years, Leonard decided to go off an pursue a startup.
As a funny anecdote, we had a roast for Leonard at his going away party. Everyone had these masks made of Leonard’s face, propped up on rulers. I actually auctioned one off on eBay.com, got it to be the “Most Watched” item on all of eBay, and ended up making $400 from Golden Palace Casino to fund a going away present for Leonard (an engraved iPod).
It’s also a great feeling to see friends go off and be successful like this. There is no better way to start the day than to open the newspaper and see good news like this.
So, congratulations to Leonard and the Bix.com team.