eBay is run by its customers It will be a happy world where companies are run by customers. Customers know what they need better than anyone else, and the Net lets companies integrate entirely with their customer base (if they're brave enough). Open Source started this trend, where the consumers of code were also the producers: result--the best software on earth was grown on and distributed through the Net. Amazon has always been a customer centric company also, encouraging lists, negative reviews, and ratings. I also see this happening in the comic book world, an industry with no advertising to speak of except what's online. Since Yahoo!'s bills are not paid by its customers, their service quality has declined with bigger, more obnoxious ads. Here's a good article showing how eBay lets itself be run by its customers.