October 4, 2007

Hannah Montana is my new best friend!

Two months ago, I had no idea who Hannah Montana was. My daughter is too young, thankfully, to care about Hannah and my nieces had not yet introduced me to the phenom. Now, she is my best friend. I love her! she rocks!

I should probably admit that I still really don’t have any idea who she is, and have never heard her music. The reason for my new found respect for Hannah is that two months ago, I changed my day job. I am now running technical operations for www.stubhub.com, a subsidiary of eBay.

If you’ve never heard of StubHub, click the banner on the left. StubHub is the leading secondary marketplace for concerts, sports events, and theater. If you want tickets to the World Series, the Super Bowl, or a sold-out concert, there is no better place than StubHub. And right now, Hannah Montana and Baseball Playoffs are the hot tickets.

People are going nuts for Hannah. As I write this, floor seats in Oakland, right in front of the stage are going for $1,500. There is also a luxury box with 20 tickets for over $11,000! This is the gotta have, must see, take me PLEEEAAASSSEEE!!!!! concert of the year. I love it!

I joined StubHub because it is truly my kind of company. First, it is a company with a solid foundation in the bricks-and-mortar world. People have been “scalping” tickets for a long time. By creating a neutral online marketplace, and backing it up with solid logistics and world class customer service, StubHub became the dominant player in the secondary ticket market. Second, it is a company that values its technology and its technologists. As such, it is a great place for an IT guy to work. Lastly, it is growing exponentially. The opportunity to design and build a highly-scalable, highly-available technical architecture was one I could not pass up.

Conceptually, I also love the free-market approach to ticket sales. StubHub does not take inventory of the tickets. We offer a secure place where fans can buy and sell tickets, and let the free market, not the ticket promoters set the market price. Hannah is a great example. The news is full of articles this week on parents complaining of being “gouged” by the ticket brokers. The Attorney General of Arkansas is investigating! What the people crying about the price seem to forget is the old laws of supply and demand. If they weren’t so desperate for the tickets, the price would fall.

I’ve neglected the blog lately, trying to get up to speed with the new gig. In the coming months, I have a bunch of articles planned based on the scalability challenges I am now facing. They should be worth the wait. In the mean time, visit StubHub, buy some tickets and go see Hannah. Let me know how you like the show.

PS> If you simply must see Hannah (in other words, you have a daughter), follow the StubHub advice for buying Hannah tickets. It may save you some money.

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