When a Competitor Gives Away What You Are Selling
Will Craig Newmark Destroy the Newspaper Business?
Dec 1, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No 52
IN THE NEWS
Entrepreneur taps mistrust of media for new venture
The internet entrepreneur Craig Newmark, whose Craigslist site provided a hugely successful free alternative to classified advertising, has trained his sights on the old-fashioned newspaper industry. Mr. Newmark--whose craigslist.org is the seventh-most visited internet site in America, just after eBay--has diverted millions of dollars of advertising revenue away from newspapers.
-- David Usborne, The Independent, Nov. 23, 2005
Craig Newmark comes off sounding like a benign, lovely guy. The 52-year-old proprietor of craigslist.com (craigslist.org) told interviewer Nathan C. Kaiser in 2004:
We are a very simple site where people can address everyday needs such as finding a place to live, a job, selling their stuff, to find a date. We are not about fancy stuff and instead focus on everyday life.
And in his story for Wired, "Mr. Craigslist, Master of the Nerdiverse," Josh McHugh asked him what was Craiglist's greatest contribution to society. His reply:
Just by being good guys, we've created a culture of trust and fairness. The site makes it easier for people to get everyday stuff done, like selling things and finding an apartment. Then there's another aspect--it has helped people who have a hard time meeting other people. They're using the site and becoming friends, lovers, and every possible twist on those two situations.
Early in 1995, Newmark started craigslist.com in San Francisco as an online bulletin board where people could list cool events, sell things, meet each other, find apartments, get child care, and have discussions about everything from films and fitness to food and pets.
By word of mouth, craigslist.com has grown to be the seventh largest Internet site (after eBay), with 8 million people generating 2 billion page views per month. Five million classified ads and 1 million forums are posted every month.