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from Time Magazine, September 27, 1999

I Saw You on Craig's List
By J.S.

 

 

Craig Newmark is making money by accident. While everyone else in the Valley is haunted by the phantom revenues they promised their VCs, Newmark is trying to find charities to fund. A 46-year-old ex-software engineer, he runs the online bulletin board Craigslist.org; and if you're anyone in Silicon Valley, you use Craig's List. While head-hunters and job fairs throw tons of resumes your way, a $45 posting on Craig's List gets you the real talent. And with 180 new listings each day, the site, which gives its profits to charity, has a lot of cash it needs to get rid of.

A self-described "Forrest Gump of the Internet," Newmark started his service in 1995 as an e-mail list of cool events. But now his site is getting 5 million hits a month, and he's relocating his five-person office from his Haight-Ashbury dining room to a nearby church and planning to launch a New York City branch. He could make much more money, but he won't accept advertisements.

Newmark, who likes to mention his old pocket protector and taped glasses, is surrounded by attractive women at the many parties he attends. In fact, Newmark is popular enough that his half-baked bid to be San Francisco's next mayor (his slogan is "Sucks Less") has received an approving nod from such e-media as Salon. But he's not devoting much time to his campaign. "I have the ability to influence people anywhere," he says. "So why bother with mayor?"