Thursday, 21 November 2019 22:02

VIDEO Interview: Petra Hofer, former Director of Technology at eBay to speak on Day 2 at StartCon 2019


StartCon 2019 has arrived, starting on Friday 22 and ending on Saturday 23 November, with former eBay veteran Petra Hofer to offer some exceptional insights on day two that startups, innovators and anyone in business won't want to miss.

StartCon. It's Australia's largest startup and growth conference, running over two days Friday 22 and Saturday 23 of November, and with over 55 speakers of the highest calibre and plenty more, it's a must attend event that is now officially sold out, according to CEO Matt Barrie, in what is another stunning success for this very high profile event. 

One of those world-class speakers is Petra Hofer, who is currently an independent technology leadership advisor with an incredible legacy and in the world of tech, whose keynote is titled "Innovation at scale: What would you do if you weren't afraid?", which will feature between 3.30pm and 4pm at the Main Stage on Day 2 of StartCon.

Her talk is described as follows: "Innovation is the life blood of companies, but often it feels safer to not take risks. How can we take the fear out of innovating? Petra will talk about her experience leading eBay's Innovation Program, the principles behind it, and how you can apply them in your own company".

Petra spent nearly 20 years at eBay, the birthplace of e-commerce, breaking things and learning and scaling as the company grew exponentially - but she already had over a decade of experience as a software engineer in companies ranging in size from 12 to 300,000 before she ever joined eBay.

Petra's team launched eBay’s first international sites, growing them to account for over 50% of eBay’s overall revenue.

Most recently, Petra effectively drove a successful enterprise transformation, a complex, adaptive challenge that required a radical change in thinking and working across eBay's Product and Technology organisation. Continuous innovation led to tangible results in all areas from business agility to engineering excellence - and Petra clearly has deep insights and lessons to impart. I certainly won't be missing her presentation!

So, without further ado, here is our video interview, followed by a summary of the questions we spoke about, which is but a taste of what you'll learn about at StartCon 2019.

Here's a summary of the questions asked which Petra ably answered!

  • I started by introducing Petra Hofer, an independent Technology Leadership advisor and nearly 20 year veteran at eBay, and one of the speakers at StartCon 2019, Australia's largest startup and growth conference, and welcomed her to the interview.
  • We then spoke about Petra's impressive history in the world of tech, from before eBay through to today.
  • Petra then gave us a sneak peek on what to expect from her presentation, and expanded on how she inspires herself and the companies she works with to go beyond and positively rewrite reality - at scale?
  • I asked Petra what she thought today's startups are doing right, and doing wrong, what the similar problems are they solve and more.
  • I cheekily wanted to know if Petra could be in a brand new startup right now, what idea does she think she would be helping to come alive?
  • We talked about the future, great advice Petra has received in life to help her get where she is today, and her final message to iTWire viewers and readers, to her current and future customers and partners, and to startups at StartCon and around the world.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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