The Start Up Story Of Craiglist.org And Its Founder Craig Newmark

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Craigslist.org is the biggest classifieds site in the world today, receiving millions of visits per day and more than 20 billion page views per month. It’s in the group of the top 10 most popular sites in the US and number 35 in the world. Every single month, more than 70 million of new classifieds are published there. The site is used for almost anything, from buying and selling stuff to personal ads and offers. This online empire was started with no money, no experience, by a single guy as his hobby. Here is how all happened…

The History of Craigslist

Craigslist's founder - Craig Newmark

Craigslist’s founder – Craig Newmark. Pic by Sierra Communications (smugmug.com) Attribution

Craig Newmark was an ordinary guy, born in New Jersey. He had a pretty ordinary life, he graduated from college and began working for IBM. After 17 years there, he realized that he had to move on, so he decided to quit this job and find another, more challenging one. In 1995, he moved to San Francisco, where he worked for Charles Schwab and where the idea about Craigslist was actually born. Having only a few friends there, he was feeling lonely, so he decided to start a mailing list for local happenings and eventually meet new people online. Initially he started posting about local events, in the field of web and software development. Soon he built a community of people, who enjoyed the information provided via the mailing list. They told to their friends, and the latter told to their friends… This is how the first version of Craigslist began gaining some pretty good popularity. People were even able to post their own messages, which were published immediately. Many companies started posting job offers, considering the mailing list as a good place, where they could find IT professionals. At some point of time, the number of these post exploded, and here is how the first category “Jobs” was created. This is how the rapid growth of Craigslist started… People began demanding a web interface, where the classifieds could be well organized and structured. So in 1996, Craig registered the domain name craigslist.org and launched the first version of the site the same year. By that time, the portal was still a hobby for Newmark, and this continued for the next couple of years. In 1999, the site was growing so fast, that he finally decided to incorporate it and leave his ambitions to be someone else’s software engineer. By the year 2000, he already had hired several employees, who were working for him, from his apartment in San Francisco.


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