07 December

On what you don't need to say ...

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster at the UBS Global Media Conference

Jim Buckmaster gets the analyst asking "How do you plan to maximize revenue?"

His response: “That definitely is not part of the equation. It’s not part of the goal.” They're dumbfounded.

Jim runs Craigslist, which has eroded the newspaper's lock on classified ads. Newspapers are on life support - and he doesn't appear to want the money he's taking away from them. Read more...

Classified ads represent around 40% of a newspaper's ad revenues. And yet, some of these who are hurting the most (ad revenue down 30%!), have been forced to providing free online ads, killing their own profit centers, simply to slow down Craigslist's fantastic popularity. And it isn't working.

Craigslist has gone from being an eclectic pre bubble San Francisco only brand in 1999, to a national brand in 2004, to a place in the common consciousness (30th most popular search term). Ebay bought a 25% share for $15M two years back. Can a global brand be that far away?

The print guys fear that craigslist can get a 100% lock on online classifieds and drive all newspapers out of the market on price point, speed, cost, and effectiveness.

Yet they don’t have to pander a single word to the financial industry, and they are self-sufficient on a modest revenue profile. And with patience uncommon in this “get the money and run” business culture, they build a global brand from nothing at all, and are poised to become immensely powerful, while appearing to be uncaring of success - who would/could take them on? Nobody - they’ve outmaneuvered industry giants 10,000x bigger.

Its all viral. Like Google, its all text. It grows organically, with an expense profile unimaginably low. Subtle marketing. Immense customer loyalty and proven brand value.

Don’t need to monitize fast - simply by occupying the space, they drive the potential value of CL to astronomical heights. Which is why the “ebay money” that went into them years back was so wise. Like Pierre Omidyar did with Ebay, you wait for the correct monetization strategy to present itself, and to happen.

Not only does it meet the Google Test, it may eventually yield much greater than Google multiplier for its founders.

All of this in plain sight, for years. Most still don’t see it even now. Wow!

Posted by william at 23:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
<< Scale and Competition on the Internet | Main | Anger and Schadenfreude at YouTube / Craigslist / Google / ... >>
There are no comments.
There are no trackbacks.