Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark 

Craig Newmark

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.”
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