'Organically Grown' Nerd Values

from the mmm-fresh-and-yummy dept

Mark Glaser has written up an interesting piece on the growth of Craigslist.org and the competition it gives similar but more commercial ventures. According to Craig himself, Craiglist is run as a “non-commercial” site based on “nerd values” — where things are done for the effect on the world, not necessarily the pocketbook. Apparently, Craig has turned down some lucrative offers for ads and buyouts. And after doing so, he’s continured to slowly build up a comfortable (& profitable) business that threatens major newspapers. Depending on how you look at it, classified ads are being “stolen away” from major newspapers by this Bay-Area-grown community. On the other hand, many of the ads that go up on Craigslist might never have been placed in a newspaper for various reasons. Craigslist doesn’t publish its earnings, but even assuming it has none, it has definitely succeeded in its “nerdy” goal of changing some small part of the world.

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Comments on “'Organically Grown' Nerd Values”

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dorpus says:

Now come the wolves

Just wait till all the spammers, scammers, find out about craigslist en masse, and create an unenforceable quagmire of false advertisements. Craigslist will be in the dilemma of doing nothing and letting it go to rot, or creating ever more stringent security measures that turn off most users.

Chat room services have tried the open model, and it didn’t work.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Now come the wolves

Maybe it never will, or will never have to.

There is such a thing in this world as a business that’s doing well enough, people that don’t need a sack of money to do things. There is such a thing as providing a useful service to people with integrity.

I could put 10,000 different banners and ads all over my own site. But the single advertiser we have is relevant, and brings us enough money consistently. Makes the end experience better for our users. We provide real, useful information, and everyone wins.

Doesn’t mean we don’t try to be profitable. It means we don’t have or need to be greedy. I think Craigslist is on a similar track, and totally on the right one.

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