Does Free Cost Too Much?

A bunch of bankers got knocked for a loop when they heard from Jim Buckmaster, of Craigslist:


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.”

Whoa! Money isn’t the essence of business? Wow.

I’m just as greedy as the next guy (maybe more so). This is such a foreign concept. Craigslist sounds like a throwback to the days of mainstream socialism.

I’ve never used the site. I have looked. I know lots of people do use it… actually millions use it.

It’s become a vacuum cleaner, sucking money from newspapers. Classified ads were a huge source of income.

I’m all for competitions, but what if removing this revenue makes the newspapers lose their financial viability?

From Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News:

The American newspaper is being assassinated by “a lone nut.”

And we’re going to tell you the name of that lone nut:

Craig Newmark of Craigslist (not pictured above) — a man whose altruistic vision of running a business to NOT maximize profits is now threatening the livelihood of thousands of working men and women across this country, your neighbors who work at and publish your local newspaper, jobs that were once supported by the classified ads that have migrated to the most free (or low-cost) Craigslist.

Will Craigslist inadvertently stop the presses? I don’t want the physical newspaper to disappear from my life. As strange as it seems, it’s totally possible.

I’m all for the Internet and progress through technology… but I’m also all for the newspaper. I have no idea where to stand on this.

One Of The Other Geoff Fox’s

A friend in Madison, WI sent me an article from The Onion. “I Totally Called Yesterday’s Surge in Tech Stocks” is typical for The Onion (irreverent, intelligent and simultaneously filthy) except for the fact that it claims to be written by Geoffrey Fox!

I’m attaching the text (language alert) to the link below. However, the best way to read it is on The Onion’s site.

Continue reading “One Of The Other Geoff Fox’s”