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#222447 - 12/11/06 09:32 PM Craigslist Meets the Capitalists  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,669
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Craigslist Meets the Capitalists
December 8, 2006, 12:51 pm

Jim Buckmaster, the chief executive of Craigslist, caused lots of head-scratching Thursday as he tried to explain to a bunch of Wall Street types why his company is not interested in “monetizing” his ridiculously popular Web operation. Appearing at the UBS global media conference in New York, Mr. Buckmaster took questions from the bemused audience, which apparently could not get its collective mind around the notion that Craigslist exists to help Web users find jobs, cars, apartments and dates — and not so much to make money.

Wendy Davis of MediaPost describes the presentation as a “a culture clash of near-epic proportions.” She recounts how UBS analyst Ben Schachter wanted to know how Craigslist plans to maximize revenue. It doesn’t, Mr. Buckmaster replied (perhaps wondering how Mr. Schachter could possibly not already know this). “That definitely is not part of the equation,” he said, according to MediaPost. “It’s not part of the goal.”

“I think a lot of people are catching their breath right now,” Mr. Schachter said in response.

The Tech Trader Daily blog ponders this question: “If YouTube was worth $1.65 billion, who knows what Craigslist would be worth if Jim and [site founder] Craig Newmark ever considred becoming — what’s the word? — capitalists.”

Craigslist charges money for job listings, but only in seven of the cities it serves ($75 in San Francisco; $35 in the others). And it charges for apartment listings in New York ($10 a pop). But that is just to pay expenses.

Mr. Schachter still did not seem to understand. How about running AdSense ads from Google? Craigslist has considered that, Mr. Buckmaster said. They even crunched the numbers, which were “quite staggering.” But users haven’t expressed an interest in seeing ads, so it is not going to happen.

Following the meeting, Mr. Schachter wrote a research note, flagged by Tech Trader Daily, which suggests that he still doesn’t quite get the concept of serving customers first, and worrying about revenues later, if at all (and nevermind profits). Craigslist, the analyst wrote, “does not fully monetize its traffic or services.”

Mr. Buckmaster said the company is doubling in size every year, as measured by page views and listings.

Larry Dignan, writing on Between the Lines blog at ZDNet, called Mr. Buckmaster “delightfully communist,” and described the audience as “confused capitalists wondering how a company can exist without the urge to maximize profits.”

#222463 - 12/11/06 11:10 PM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: Marty]  

What's the point?
If its private, who cares. If its public, different story.

#222495 - 12/12/06 01:15 AM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: ]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 655
LaraTravelBelize Offline
LaraTravelBelize  Offline
i think the point is "kudo's to them"

those that "get it" living here also dont always get the need for MORE MORE MORE...enough money is enough, and its part of the zeit geist.

or not...what the hell do i know? i'm just a crazy kid from phila's main line...

#222500 - 12/12/06 01:34 AM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: LaraTravelBelize]  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 164
ambergrishog Offline
ambergrishog  Offline
Lara for Prez. She has my vote.....

#222505 - 12/12/06 02:08 AM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: ambergrishog]  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 245
DB Offline
DB  Offline
living without "it" is ok. Some people never get it though....

#222513 - 12/12/06 08:17 AM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: DB]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,947
Otteralum Offline
Otteralum  Offline
The irony is that it's all capitalism. Providing a platform for the exchange of goods and services in a free marketplace to maximize utility through underserved markets --- uh, whether or not Craig's List chooses to reap financial beneifts, it thrives because of capitalism. Everything else is just a matter of who gets a paycheck and who doesn't. Bravo to Craig's List if they want to be purely altruistic -- it's their choice. Society needs altruists just as it needs pure capitalists.

I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.
#222514 - 12/12/06 08:21 AM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: Otteralum]  

Seems to me the most beneficial to society are those who are a bit of both. Working hard enough to take care of self and family, but being altruistic with what is beyond personal need.

#222527 - 12/12/06 09:18 AM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: ]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,947
Otteralum Offline
Otteralum  Offline
I agree somewhat law. Society benefits from both to be sure. I think a person is personally fulfilled if they engage in both, but society benefits so long as both exist in good measure -- regardless of whether each individual person chooses both.

Bill Gates can be credited with enriching the lives of tens-of-thousands even before he began his philanthropic work.

I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.
#222575 - 12/12/06 12:27 PM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: Otteralum]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 655
LaraTravelBelize Offline
LaraTravelBelize  Offline
at the end of the day, there is no such thing as a selfless act. even the act of parenting provides so many wonderful feelings, its why you do it! (you all get my point on this)

now having said that, i didnt say the craigs listers were heros. what they are, are a couple dudes who decided to make a website. the amount of "kudos" etc they receive are rewarding to them for sure.

ALSO, lets not assume they make NO money. I dont think its purely altruistic. They quoted THE CEO, which indictes some formal structure, and i assume commensurate salary. Brother is gettin paid. GOOD FOR HIM! AND HE SHOULD GET PAID AS MUCH AS HE DECIDES! thats the capitalism for him i'm certain. so he DOES get to do both...i think?

as for having or not having "it"...the amount of "it" required is different for each person. some people are truly happy with very very little, some need a little more. i do think though, that wanting so much as to turn our little island into the US, is really too much...we chose to move here for what it offered to us, not for what we offered to it.

i have a dear friend who lives in maui, and he says the hawaiians have a saying, "you dont choose the island, the island chooses you. if it does not want you, it ejects you". I think AC is like that. if you dont fit with what it has been for years, then you simply wont be happy here.

#222627 - 12/12/06 02:38 PM Re: Craigslist Meets the Capitalists [Re: LaraTravelBelize]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,947
Otteralum Offline
Otteralum  Offline
great post Lara -- I think we're all egoists (not egotists, different thing). As such, we only do things where we get personally rewarded -- that's why capitalism works! God bless those that, as law alludes, find that giving freely of one's self is personally rewarding in itself -- without a need for excessive amounts of "it."

I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.
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