|Tue June 24 2008 22:40:10|
Creator of eBay's Pez Fable Starts Site for Telling Tales
By: Ina Steiner
Long-time eBay members will remember the name Mary Lou Song. She was eBay's first full-time employee and inventor of the Pez story, also known as the "eBay creation myth." To recap from Adam Cohen's book, "The Perfect Store: Inside eBay":
In 1997, Mary Lou Song was frustrated that reporters weren't interested in writing about a small online auction site. So she began telling reporters that Pierre Omidyar had created eBay to help his fiancee trade Pez. It worked - reporters loved the story, so she kept telling it.
eBay users were miffed when Cohen's book came out and they discovered the deception. "And a small irony," Cohen wrote, "that a company built on a philosophy of openness and honesty toward its community was finally noticed with the help of a well-crafted lie."
Chalk up another irony: Song is behind a site called Tokoni, whose tagline is, "Life is full of stories. Tell yours." Interestingly, Song started the company with her husband Eskander (Alex) Kazim, the high-level executive who launched eBay's Kijiji classifieds site.