Jim Buckmaster is the guy who really runs craigslist; I'm merely the pretty boy.
He says a lot in a few words here:
NEW YORK – Jim Buckmaster stands out in a ballroom filled with equity analysts and fund managers: He's really tall. He eschews suits. And he's not interested in making a boatload of money selling ads on the wildly popular Craigslist site he runs.
His stance as chief executive of the online classifieds company stands in contrast with the likes of Google, Yahoo and Time Warner's AOL, all of which are constantly looking for more ways to sell more ads.
"The impetus for everything we do comes from users," Buckmaster said Thursday at the UBS Media & Communications conference.
The privately held Craigslist has been approached about installing text ads on the site, and the potential revenue is "quite staggering," he said. But, Buckmaster deadpanned, "No users are suggesting we run text ads."
IN WHAT TURNED OUT TO be a culture clash of near-epic proportions, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster spoke to the investment community this morning at the UBS global media conference in New York. UBS analyst Ben Schachter asked Buckmaster a standard financial world question: How does the site plan to maximize revenue?
The CEO of the online classifieds site answered as follows: "That definitely is not part of the equation. It's not part of the goal."
"I think a lot of people are catching their breath right now," responded Schachter, as the crowd absorbed Buckmaster's remarks.
Buckmaster, on stage in jeans and a blazer, insisted that the company–which has emerged as a significant threat to newspapers and other companies that sell classified ads–doesn't especially want to make money.
While it charges for job listings in seven cities ($75 in San Francisco, $25 in the other six) and apartment listings by brokers in New York ($10), those charges aren't to make a profit as much as to cover expenses and keep out scammers, Buckmaster said. He added that some users requested the fees, in hopes of keeping the listings legitimate.
How did the site arrive at $10 for real estate listings, Schachter asked.