Craigslist’s Ongoing Success Story

Craigslist is a great web site focused largely on local connections and local ads (jobs, housing, classifieds…). It is in top 10 sites for the amount of traffic and a total staff of 24 people. eBay bought 25% of the company a few years ago but Craiglist retains a very pure customer focus. Craigslist’s Ongoing Success Story [the broken link was removed]:

We don’t even look at what other companies are doing. We’re not setting out to conquer the world or achieve any particular market share. We’re just following up on what our users want us to do. We’ve got plenty of things to occupy our thoughts about how to do better by our users. That crowds out thoughts of fighting competition.

If we’re so inept that we couldn’t provide a value proposition that users found important, yeah, I’d probably encourage them to go away.

Pretty radical idea that you would encourage customers to go if they find a better value proposition but I good one in my opinion. Your mission should be something about providing value to customers. If you can’t do so, don’t expect customers to stay customers. Maybe if your customers have been delighted you can count on a bit of time to regain your value to them (out of loyalty) but that is the most you can ask for.

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