Por @Alvy — 14 de Mayo de 2005

Craig Newmark de Craigslist es mi nuevo héroe.

On the record: Craig Newmark

Q: Your site is one of the few that remains true to some of the earliest ideals of the Internet. It's fairly altruistic and basically non-commercial in nature. How have you been able to keep Craigslist a fairly organic community and why?

A: First, I don't feel like we are altruistic or anything like that. Basically, it's a matter of giving people a break (...) The decision to make it a business was based on values I've been somewhat facetiously calling nerd values. The disease of my people -the nerds- is that we are very literal, which is a real pain in the butt, frankly. But again, nerd values are simple. It's good to make a good living. It's good to do well for your staff.

Q: You provide jobs. You provide salaries. You provide a service. Do you think there's a way that Craigslist could be a model for others to run a successful business while providing a service to society?

A: Well, there's a basic cliche that I guess applies: "Doing well by doing good." We don't think of ourselves as do-gooders or altruists. It's just that somehow we're trying our best to be run with some sense of moral compass even in a business environment that is growing. We're seeing the beginnings of a kind of environment like we saw during the bubble.

Strategic Advocacy as Business Model

There is no talk of monetizing eyeballs, maximizing click-throughs or building a backlog of banner ads (...) a bare-bones site that charges no monthly fees, accepts no advertising and uses virtually no graphics (...) they represent sharp departures from the commercialism on so much of the Web.

Craigslist has an unconventional approach to investing in its "brand": it doesn't do anything. "We never even use that word internally," Mr. Buckmaster said. "We do zero advertising. We don't have a logo. Now we're told we have the strongest brand ever for a company our size."

Above all, Craigslist has a distinctive approach to economics: it keeps finding reasons not to charge customers. It imposes modest fees on companies that post job listings in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, and there is talk of charging real estate agents to list apartments in New York. Other than that, the site is free. Yet the company has generated healthy profits on revenue approaching $10 million a year (...) People involved in several proposed deals said that Craigslist, with just 14 employees, might fetch as much as $100 million if it were put up for sale. "We're definitely oddballs in the Internet industry, and we always have been," Mr. Buckmaster said. "Lots of people made fun of us, especially at the height of the dot-com boom. Most of those people are out of business now."

Más sobre Craiglist: misión e historia y, sobre todo, sobre todo, no te olvides de tus raíces.

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