Craigslist Founder Answers A Question He's Always Wanted To Be Asked

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Answers by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, on Quora.

A: Craigslist never raised capital, at least not in the sense you're thinking. I wrote all the code in the first few years, and used an ISP which provided a web programming platform for maybe thirty bucks per month.

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A: Why did I leave a lot of money on the table in 1999, when I made my hobby into a real company? I'm an (old-school) nerd, happy with enough money to live well and to provide for family. If I want to do people good, there's the old industrial philanthropy model, like make $100 and give back maybe a dollar to the community. On the other hand, if I let people keep the $50 or $100 they'd spend on a classified ad, well, they can make better use of it than I can. This is not altruistic, it's part of being a nerd, having no social instincts regarding fancy cars or whatever. I guess that makes me socially dysfunctional. Ironically, I've done okay. It's not altruistic, it's dysfunctional

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A: Ultimately, I'd like to provide ways where people of good will, everywhere, will work together for the common good, using social media. Right now, we see bad actors making effective use of social media, but I also see Millennials starting a whole different trend. Me, I've committed twenty years to this, and I think I'm helping pave the way for people who'll really get the job done. Along these lines, well, I should do more regarding trustworthy journalism and also more for Wikipedia, where news goes to live.

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