Craig Doesn’t Care About Money, Or Your Ideas

Everyone I know uses Craig’s List. And almost everyone I know who used to rely on newspaper classified ads has made the switch, much to the chagrin of my friends at the paper. Today as the sultry heat waited to pour down buckets, just before I snoozed, I read a piece in the most recent Wired about Craig’s List.

The site defies all rules of commerce, web design and business in general. They snub any chances to increase revenue, publish haikus when people reach impasses while surfing their site, and refuse all offers to improve, monetize, or make the site more Web 2.0. Newmark just doesn’t care.

They reap nearly $100 million a year by charging just a fraction of their advertisers to use their site. They get approached every day by web designers and people who want to help them develop their website…and uniformly reject any ideas put forth. They don’t want to change, and their 47 million monthly page views assures them they don’t have to.

Newmark frustrated Charlie Rose when the host kept asking him who owns the site, and about how much he’s making. Newmark simply does not answer. He prefers to talk about his new hummingbird feeder, and the fact that he doesn’t care about all the money he could make by adding more features or selling out with an IPO.

It’s refreshing, while frustrating, to read about Newmark. I rely on his website for a variety of reasons from finding employees to tag sales. Sometimes when you find someone who isn’t willing to sell out it’s damn refreshing. And I love their 1999 web design too.