From a keynote speech at Tufts University:
So people often say to me - "when you built the system, you must have known that making it self-sustainable was the only way eBay could grow to serve 40 million users a day." Well... nope. I made the system self-sustaining for one reason: Back when I launched eBay on Labor Day 1995, eBay wasn't my business - it was my hobby. I had to build a system that was self-sustaining... because I had a real job to go to every morning.
I was working as a software engineer from 10 to 7, and I wanted to have a life on the weekends. So I built a system that could keep working - catching complaints and capturing feedback -- even when Pam and I were out mountain-biking, and the only one home was our cat.
More how we work.