Meet Our Current Heroes – Craig Newmark

Unless you are a complete idiot or a troglodyte, you know who Craig Newmark is.

Assuming for a moment that you are one of those out to prove that the dodo is not extinct, let’s introduce Craig Newmark to you.

Craig Newmark is the Craig of Craigslist and the man single-handedly responsible for destroying the lucrative classifieds business of major newspapers around the world, particularly in America.

Craig is the man who (along with the Internet) has brought the newspaper industry to its knees in America.

Oh, No. Craig is not just a destroyer.

Craig has wrought a revolution by bringing affordable (as in pukkat, OC  a.k.a FREE) online classified advertising to millions of small businesses and mom and pop stores around the world. Like for instance to our auto mechanic with a tiny one-room garage and without a car-lift. Our mechanic would have a hard time affording paid classified ads but advertises relentlessly (for free) on Craigslist. That’s how we discovered him.

When our cell phone broke and we wanted a cheap replacement, where did we turn to? Craigslist, of course. For just $25, we got a nice replacement LG camera cell phone PLUS a car charger.

There are tens of millions for whom Craigslist has been a savior in bringing them affordable products and services without a middleman.

Craig Newmark could have easily made billions by charging a fee or selling the business he founded in 2005. But he has chosen not to.

Instead, Craig works seven days a week as customer service representative for the Craigslist Web site, whose clutter-free design is a lesson in simplicity. Like the old Yahoo (if anyone can still remember that).

There are so many Craigslist clones in the world as well as companies in India that offer software to set up a Craigslist-like classifieds Web site. But none have achieved anywhere near even one millionth the popularity of the elegantly designed, clutter-free Craigslist.

We like to think of Craig Newmark as the quiet revolutionary.

Still not convinced about the might of Craigslist? Here are some pointers:

* Offers mostly free online classifieds and forums in 500 cities in 50 countries including India.
* Currently, Craigslist has classifieds for a dozen Indian cities/states including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune
* 30 million classified ads a month
* 10 billion page views a month
* 40 million people use Craigslist every month
* Two million new job listings every month
* 90 million user postings in 100 topical forums

So, how does Craigslist make money? By charging a modest fee for job ads in some cities.

Craig is also a supporter of Barack Obama, the Democratic party nominee for the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections.

If you don’t check out Craigslist, you’re the loser.

Note: Why do we use the word “Current” in the headline – Sadly, we’ve found too many of our heroes have feet of clay (like that scumbag politician John Edwards, for instance) and who knows what skeletons will come tumbling out of our heroes’ closets any day.

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