by Mike Masnick

CNN/Money Wants Craigslist To Go Public For No Good Reason

from the where-did-you-learn-about-IPOs? dept

While everyone keeps gearing up for the Google IPO, it looks like plenty of other tech IPOs have been fizzling lately, dropping their prices or dropping IPO plans altogether. Of course, that's no good for the business press who want more IPO hype so they can go back to the glory days of 1999. So, what you end up with are bizarre articles like the latest from CNN/Money wondering if Craigslist will be "the next Google" that will go public at some point. The writer, Eric Hellweg, notes the stunning popularity of Craigslist, and how people in many cities where it's popular practically live off of Craigslist (just tonight, I was talking to someone who just sold her house via Craigslist). He also notes that the site is making buckets of money, despite only charging for job ads in San Francisco (to which they're adding NYC and LA). This is all true, but to jump from that to an IPO seems pretty unlikely. First, the reason to do an IPO is to get a large influx of capital for some sort of project -- or, unfortunately, to allow early investors to cash out. In the case of Craigslist, there are no VCs to cash out. If the site is bringing in so much money, then you can be quite sure that Craig and whoever else may have put any investment into the site have gotten out much more than they put in. So, there's certainly no reason for early investors to cash out. The other question, then, is what big capital-intensive project would require a sudden need for a public offering? The site has done well, growing at a steady pace, opening in new cities and getting plenty of attention. And they've done it all with just 14 employees. Also, while Google won over users with their better mousetrap and general "not so evil" philosophy, what makes Craigslist so successful is the community itself that uses it. That's not very easy to replicate, so there's less fear of having to fight off competitors. The whole article seems like random speculation for no reason other than the press needs a new "good" internet company to obsess about.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Alex Moskalyuk, Aug 6th, 2004 @ 9:34am

    Cold calls

    A friend of mine who owns a successful retail outlet (successful for a one-person business) recently got a cold call from Credit Suisse First Boston inquiring whether he'd be interested in doing IPO with them. Mind you his business falls under *small*, definitely not medium or far from large.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Chris Maresca, Aug 6th, 2004 @ 10:01am


    I talked to Craig a couple of days ago. He doesn't seem to have much interest in going public, he says he's just trying to do good.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Joe Baderderm, Aug 6th, 2004 @ 11:21am

    Hey it's more PR for craigslist!

    Well at least it may get more people onto the boards, which can be good or bad. I heard that the craigslist success reat for job finders is a "gazillion" times higher than Monster or any other job site.

    I know my sister was happy that she could find someone to buy her weekday Giants games at Pac Bell...ooops, I mean SBC Park. Those are notoriously hard to sell for season ticket holders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Mark, Aug 6th, 2004 @ 11:37am

    No Subject Given

    I wish they would charge for their want ads. If businesses had to pay to post, then maybe we wouldn't see nonsense like this. On the other hand, maybe the solution isn't to charge for job postings, but to not allow stupid people to use the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    jeremiah, Aug 6th, 2004 @ 2:52pm

    Film community

    The N. California filmmaking community uses Craigslist like a bible/blue book. The film "American Yearbook" was cast and crewed via Craigslist, including myself, who scored the feature.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2004 @ 3:30pm

    hooker community

    Don't forget the large number of "adult services" that advertise on Craig's list as well. If you need a date and have $100, they're one place to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    rasputinsir, Jan 24th, 2006 @ 12:55pm

    nonsense like,,,???

    YOU????what would you do if they stopped you from using the net??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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