search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

100 People and a Great Idea: Culture and Architecture for Corporate Startups

May 2012 Presentation
Jeromy Carriere

A presentation from the Certification and Culture track at SATURN 2012, May 7-11, 2012, in St. Petersburg, FL.


Software Engineering Institute



This presentation was created for the SATURN conference series and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.

An extraordinary effort is underway at eBay, Inc.: the development of a platform to extend the reach of eBay's capabilities—the marketplace, PayPal, Milo,—to more merchants, while simultaneously delivering a truly open, standards-based platform to allow third-party developers to bring new capabilities into a "commerce ecosystem." This effort, known as X.commerce, is being executed as a startup-like business unit within the eBay, Inc. organization. However, characteristics typical of startups, such as a dynamic business strategy and volatile product requirements, are not easily accepted by a culture accustomed to rigorous and regular project and product-release cycles.

In this presentation, I discuss the unique challenges and opportunities presented by incubating a startup-like culture and largely greenfield development effort within an established public company.