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Medium 9780596100681

8. The eBay API

David A. Karp O'Reilly Media ePub

eBay is more than just a web site. It's a platform upon which you can build your own applications and with which you can extend your business.

The eBay Application Programming Interfacer (API) is a set of functions you can integrate with your applications to communicate directly with eBay. Use the API to retrieve details about an auction, perform searches, list a seller's current items, and even create new auction listings. Think of the API as a back door of sorts, a way for developers to interact with the eBay engine and auction database without using the standard web interface.

The possibilities of such a system are limitless. Businesses can use the eBay API to link their inventory and sales databases with listings, cutting out most of the labor that would otherwise be involved in selling large numbers of items. Developers can use the API to construct auction management applications for themselves, their companies, or even for commercial sale. And, of course, individual buyers and sellers on eBay can use the API to do a little friendly hacking, as described throughout the rest of this chapter.

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Medium 9781576751633

1. What is a Macroshift?

Ervin Laszlo Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

5

OUR FUTURE—THE FUTURE OF HUMANKIND—will be decided by the outcome of today’s macroshift. But what is a macroshift? If our future depends on its outcome, and especially if we can do something about influencing this outcome, understanding today’s macroshift is important. Indeed, it is uniquely and decisively important.

Let us begin at the beginning. The most basic question we can ask about our future is whether we can know it. Very different answers can be given to this simple question. We may shrug and say, “I don’t know and don’t really care—I just take one thing at a time and the future will take care of itself.” Or we may say that there are no answers to this question, or at least none that we could give with any measure of confidence. Prediction, after all, is a difficult business—especially, as the saying goes, when it is about the future. But we can also say that there are reasonable and credible ways to answer questions about our future by looking at the present. Just as the present has emerged out of the past, the future is likely to follow from conditions in the present. After all, where we are going has much to do with where we have been.

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Medium 9781449330323

5. System Preferences

Chris Seibold O'Reilly Media ePub

Out of the box, the Mac is a fantastic machine. Its graphical interface is clean and uncluttered, you can use it to accomplish tasks with a minimum of frustration, and everything performs exactly how you expect it to. That honeymoon lasts for somewhere between 10 seconds and a week. While everything is great at first, youll soon find yourself saying, Man, it sure would be better if.... When this happens, your first stop should be System Preferences.

Apple knows that different people want different behaviors from their Macs. While Mountain Lion cant possibly accommodate everything that everyone might want to do, most of the changes youre likely to want to make are built right into Mountain Lion.

System Preferences, which you can get to by clicking the silver-framed gears icon in the Dock (unless youve removed it from the Dock, in which case you can find it in the Applications folder or the menu), is the place to make your Mac uniquely yours. But as youll see later in this chapter, you can also make some tweaks by going beyond System Preferences.

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Medium 9781617140501

Chapter 6: Sustained Success

Bissen, Joe ABDO PDF

7

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Medium 9781609945534

7 Innovative Cultures

Tony Davila Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

SINCE THE STARTUP CORPORATION lives within an established organization, the management of that organization has important implications for the success of strategic discoveries. The following chapters examine the aspects of established organizations that influence the Startup Corporation. We refer to them as the foundations, which encompass the soft aspects of culture and leadership as well as the hard aspects—strategy, incentives, and management systems. In this chapter, we focus on culture (table 7.1).

Culture can be the fertile soil that nurtures developing ideas, or it can be the hard ground that thwarts them before they have a chance to grow. Take, for example, a large Silicon Valley– based company in the software industry with a top-down, execution-focused culture. Every quarter, targets were set for each employee and closely tracked. One employee spotted an opportunity in Asia, but it required an upfront investment. At her quarterly meeting with her boss, he came with his usual list of goals for her. During their discussion, the employee told her boss about the opportunity. He did not dismiss the idea; instead, he added it to her list of goals with a 5 percent weight on her bonus (basically making it clear that she should not spend time on it). The employee who went into her meeting with an idea to potentially help the company came out of it with more work and no additional resources to pursue it. The message was: “So, you have an idea? Great, but you can explore it only in addition to your regular job, and we’ll provide you with no additional resources. Ideas worth the time and resources of the company come from top management alone.” That idea was her last with the company. A culture in which people who contribute ideas end up accountable for them but have no resources to pursue them will quickly kill bottom-up innovation.

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