eBay top management places an emphasis on innovation (it’s a technology company, its CEO Devin Wenig insists). The company held its annual Hack Week the first week in June to “cultivate fresh ideas” among employees, who put their main job responsibilities on pause to focus on innovations that could, in its words, disrupt ecommerce.
About 1,600 inventors participated in Hack Week at 12 locations globally, including San Jose, New York, Berlin, London, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Richmond, Dreilinden, Netanya, and Shanghai. They worked on brainstorming ideas with the help of over 200 mentors and experts.
The program, started in 2015, is a lead-up to eBay’s annual Innovation Expo that will take place in the fall.
eBay allows employees to “take a pause from their regular jobs to focus exclusively on brainstorming concepts and building them out.”
The company says the program has paved the way for numerous ideas and applications that are now live in the eBay marketplace including its AI-powered visual search tool called Image Search.
The head of Innovation Programs Sergio Gonzales was quoted in the eBay corporate blog post about this month’s event:
“Hack Week last year delivered 268 working prototypes in just four days, and is poised to deliver similar results this year. It’s one of my favorite times of the year on our campuses. When you see so many of your colleagues smiling ear to ear, brimming with pride in the work we do, and standing taller because they feel empowered to create change for our customers, you can’t help but feel that same fire and passion for the work that you’re doing.”