Last week, I had the privilege of listening to Malcolm Gladwell address 2,000 attendees at Magento’s 4th annual Imagine eCommerce Conference. Malcolm used the conference theme – TRANSFORM – as a platform to share his insights on what it takes to bring about real transformation. He wrapped up his talk with this statement:
If you combine a sense of urgency with the imagination to reimagine the problem that’s in front of you and the disagreeableness to withstand the criticism of all the naysayers out there who say that you’re crazy, you have the ingredients of a revolution.
Malcolm’s talk was one of the greatest moments of my career: one of the world’s leading writers speaking to an audience of innovators about the very qualities that had enabled Magento to transform an industry. I could not have scripted a more fitting conclusion to this chapter of my career.
Friday, May 16 was my last day at Magento and eBay. While many of you have seen the blog post on Magento.com, I want to use this space to share some additional thoughts about the journey we’ve taken together.
The journey started in 2001, when – as a college student – I started a web services business in my apartment. Over the next 13 years, through a rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs, that business evolved into Magento, changed the eCommerce platform landscape, and became part of eBay Inc.
The pivotal moment in this journey came in 2008, when Yoav Kutner and I launched the Magento platform. We saw a fundamental problem in the market: merchants’ hands were tied by the limitations of the existing eCommerce platforms. We envisioned a flexible, scalable platform that would transform eCommerce by unleashing the creativity of merchants and developers. And we committed to an open source model, so we could tap into the talents of a remarkable ecosystem that shared our passion and sense of urgency.
Over the past 6 years, this vision has become a remarkable reality. Almost a quarter million business use the Magento platform, transacting ~$26B annually. We are the most popular platform amongst commerce sites in the Alexa 100K with a 30% market share. Magento is also the mid-market leader in the Internet Retailer 500. We support an ecosystem of commerce services estimated to be in excess of $1 billion per year. Our Imagine eCommerce conference is one of the largest and most respected events in the industry. And we are helping to drive growth for many of the world’s largest, most prestigious, and most innovative brands. I could not be prouder of what we have achieved together.
We set out to transform eCommerce – and we did.
I have had the pleasure of working with world-class people throughout this journey. From the small team that built and launched the Magento platform, to the many eBay Inc. and Magento employees that I am proud to have worked with, I thank you for making these past several years so productive. While there are too many of you to thank by name, I need to mention a few of the leaders who were particularly instrumental in our success. These include my co-founder Yoav Kutner, who is now building his next eCommerce success story with OroCRM; Bob Schwartz (now with 47B Street), whose partnership and passion will never be forgotten; Keren Aminia, a relentless operator who has dedicated her heart and soul to the Magento business; John Donahoe and Bob Swan, who believed in Magento and were instrumental in our acquisition and subsequent growth; as well as Mark Carges and Mark Lavelle, two leaders who are passionate advocates for Magento, and from whom I learned a tremendous amount.
I’d also like to thank the thousands of customers, partners, developers, community members and Magento enthusiasts who put their faith in our platform and used Magento to build their own businesses and careers. Magento’s growth has always depended on your commitment and your success. I never tire of hearing about how our platform has helped other businesses succeed, and I hope you’ll continue to share your stories with me (and with the world) in the years ahead.
Above all, I want to thank my wife, Adi. For many years, when the success of this business was anything but a given, Adi believed in what we were trying to do. She went “all in” from the beginning, and her contributions to the business were instrumental in our success. I can never adequately thank my wife for her faith and support, but I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life trying!
I believe the future holds limitless opportunity for Magento. While our efforts have made Magento the market leader, we are still in the early stages of this journey. We face aggressive competition and significant challenges, but I’m confident that eBay and the Magento ecosystem will deliver the investment, innovation and relentless execution needed to realize an even brighter future. I’ll be pulling for you every step of the way.
As for my plans, priority number one is taking some time off to travel and reconnect with my family. But I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m actively involved in commerce technology again. Not a day goes by that I don’t discover a new company or idea that catches my interest. Part of me can’t wait to dive into the next transformative opportunity in the $15T retail market. In fact, I’ve already dipped my toe into these waters by investing in a number of companies, including Loop Commerce, AnyRoad and TaxJar, young companies that I believe are well-positioned for explosive growth.
It’s difficult to leave a business that has meant so much to me. But I take comfort knowing that many of our paths will cross again, as we continue on this journey of commerce transformation, innovation and opportunity.
Looking forward to seeing you down the road!