Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Craigslist attracts attention for its laid back use of technology and "business model"; is this like mine?


The Sept. 2009 “orange” Wired Magazine issue has a cute story by Gary Wolf on p. 98, “The Tragedy of Craigslist.” The online ver sion’s title is even less flattering, and you can look it up here.

The article describes the technological and even corporate “simplicity” of Craigslist under Craig Newmark and later Jim Buckmaster. You look at the site, and it seems like a series of tabular linked lists, with little of the snazzy technology even available in 1999, no less today. The site gets billions of hits and lots of revenue for charging for only some ads or only in some cities. Actually, the Wikipedia article explains most of this. The site has become controversial given some tragic cases (as in Boston) involving sexual services, which the company has tigh

What’s interesting to me is that I likewise kept my technology “simple” and, as a proprietorship, did not have to worry about ROE or fiduciary responsibility to owners. The long Wired article makes it appear that Newmark would be a difficult business partner for this reason, and I suppose this is a good lesson for me to ponder, in advance, as I have some similarities in this area.

Wikipedia attribution link for p.d. WWII era p icture of San Francisco Bay.

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