Updated from April 30 to reflect Moskowitz's new title.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Two years ago, eBay (EBAY) acquired an e-commerce startup known as Bureau of Trade, bringing in its founder Michael Moskowitz to be its chief curator and editorial director. Today eBay is adding some new words to his title making him global chief curator and director of eBay futures, signifying a broader, more encompassing content strategy at the company.
San Jose-based eBay recently surprised analysts with a nice earnings beat, but the company faces a number of challenges as its nears the spinoff of PayPal. And while Moskowitz may not be making the financial decisions for the company, he is spearheading a directional shift that he believes will position eBay as a winner in e-commerce.
Moskowitz sat down with TheStreet to discuss eBay's past, present, and future, envisioning a future where online shopping values experiences and narrative as much as merchandise. He touched on the importance of creating a unique voice, competing against nimble startups, and the challenges ahead. Here is the lightly edited interview.
TheStreet: Since joining eBay two years ago, how have you been working to shift the focus at eBay.com?
Michael Moskowitz: I don't know that I'm so much refocusing what eBay's trying to do as much as revealing what lies uniquely from within. There's only one site on planet Earth where you can find material from outside our own solar system; there's only one site on Earth where you can find treasures from the bottom-most recesses of the ocean, and luxury cars, and the stuffed animal that sadly you lost after your last visit to the Grand Canyon. It's just such an extraordinary place to redevelop or redefine your relationship with and to the material world, it's beyond compare.
TheStreet: How do you make sure eBay stands out from its rivals in e-commerce?
Moskowitz: The fact that we have 800 million unique listings is one of the things that will always undeniably set eBay uniquely apart, but what we haven't had to date is a voice, a recognizable tone, timbre, narrative. So when Devin Wenig, the current president, CEO-to-be, acquired my company, Bureau of Trade, the first task was to figure out what we sound like, and to speak to a broader audience with a recognizable tone for the first time. The next series of asks included: What should the site look like? How should we begin to steward and strengthen an evolution from a site of old to a something that really is a beacon that can rise above the din of distraction that largely characterizes life online today?