It’s ironic that after my post the previous day, Craig Newmark turned out to be our speaker for this week. Here are some of my notes from his presentation:
- 50 million visitors/month;
- 12 billion page views/month;
- Started in 1995
- Began with between 10-12 people based on Pine, but the problem with Pine was that it stopped working after you would CC about 240 email addresses.
- Features are added based on suggestions from users;
- Craig would like to add the ability to search multiple cities at once, but spam is a bigger problem to contend with right now;
- 1998: Tried going the non-profit route, but it didn’t work out;
- 1999: Really became a company, but Craig learned some hard lessons.
As a manager, I kind of suck.
- 1999: Asked communities how they should pay the bills, and the community responded by endorsing advertising (recruiters, employers).
- Realized that charging a nominal fee helped limit scammers;
- No more than 1% of the site is monetized; company has been self funded since the beginning;
- 2000 – Hired Jim Buckmaster as CEO. Craig hasn’t coded himself since 1999;
- Craig’s obsession is customer service. In fact, he said, “I am a community organizer.”
- Site is based on a culture of trust. He cites the success of the list as, “doing well by doing good.”
- In addition to Craigslist, Craig works on several different non-profits, including: Sunlight Foundation, One Web Day, One Voice and more.
- You can email him! craig [at] craigslist [dot] org
Some choice quotes:
On fame -
I realize that this is all flattering and absurd, and then get back to work.
On the pricing model -
Free is a pretty good price point.
He recommended we check out the book, “The Millennial Makeover.”