Craigslist grew and grew. Now, it has 7.6 million users in nearly 100 cities. But early on, Newmark stamped it with his personal code: Don’t be greedy.
Here are three of the conscious decisions that helped make Craigslist what it is today:
- Don’t let money drive your decisions. In 1997, Microsoft approached Newmark to run banner ads on his site. He says that “didn’t really feel right” to him, so he said “No” to banner ads and other “monetization annoyances.”
- Stay down to earth. The Craigslist Web site has “the visual appeal of a pipe wrench,” Newmark says. “We don’t make any big changes on the site without first discussing it with the community. Everyone has a voice on the site, and we listen to them all equally.”
- Exert a little self-control. A few years ago, Newmark demoted himself to customer service representative, which he still is, full time. Craigslist incorporated in 1999, and two other guys now serve as the chief executive and technology officers, but the philosophy hasn’t changed.