How did Craigslist gain its initial traction?

Answer by Craig Newmark – Craiglist Founder:

The thing got traction during its first few years, when it was just my hobby, got substantial traction, as I measure it, in its first few years. A few details:

– from beginning, did something simple and useful
– from beginning, began cycle:
— asked for community feedback
— did something about it
— repeat, forever
— got lucky with simple site design, realizing I have no design skills
(didn’t waste time doing fancy stuff no one wanted)
— end of 1997
— million page views per month (real traction, at that time)
— asked to run banner ads by Microsoft Sidewalk
(turned down: I don’t like banner ads, didn’t need the money, not an altruistic   decision)

Turned it into a business early 1999, after having decent traction.

Jim Buckmaster, CEO, maintains principles cited:

– permanent listening/action cycle
– simplicity
– usefulness
– community driven

How did Craigslist gain its initial traction?


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