If you’re unfamiliar with the highly popular site “Craigslist” (www.craigslist.com), it’s a classified ads site where you can go and list and purchase things that are for sale.
The site was founded by Craig Newmark (bio and history) in 1995. Since then Craigslist has become wildly popular, now receiving over 12 billion page views per month (if you’re not a tech person, that’s a really, really, really high amount of traffic). Craigslist was recently valued by Sillicon Alley as being worth $5 billion dollars.
Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Craig speak and was struck by something he said. While he founded the company, he now primarily works in customer service. His job is to make sure his customers are happy.
In his discussion, he talked about how the site is plagued by spammers, and those who tend to abuse the system. In response, he’s put in place mechanisms for self-policing, to which he made the following profound comment… “I’ve found that people are generally good”. He explained that if you just give people the ability to police themselves, by in large the system will take care of itself.
For one who has so much contact with such vast amounts of people, I thought his remark was particularly inspiring.
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