It's The People, Stupid

Some founders forget that flesh and blood are what will make or break a B2B site

An Internet software executive once told me he couldn't believe all the fuss about the auction site eBay Inc. (EBAY) "They're not doing anything," he said. "They just get people to show up together." Gee, is that all? eBay may have had a lot of luck on its side, but it understood one thing early on: It's the people, stupid. More than any other e-commerce site, eBay has created a community of people who can do business with each other on their own terms. In fact, it has amassed more than 16 million members solely from word of mouth.

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