I’m Craig Newmark. The deal is that the nice folks on our craigconnects team who are helping me with this site tell me I should write something about myself, so here goes…
Here’s the first thing: I’m not as funny as I think I am, but sometimes I can't help myself.
I was born in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1952. Right now I live in SF. There are other places I think about living, but San Francisco and I seem to be a pretty good fit at the moment.
When I went to college I was going to study physics, but instead I got into computers. I had a lot of hair back then. And just like you’d expect I wore a plastic pocket protector and thick black glasses that were taped together. I earned my Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University. I was and will always be a nerd.
I was with IBM for 17 years, and then worked for GM, Bank of America, and Charles Schwab until the late 1990s.
In 1995 I started helping my friends out by putting stuff together online about events in San Francisco. That project became craigslist – but who knew? Now we’re one of the 10 most-visited English language web platforms on the planet. Really not because of me, I’m really bad at business stuff, but because at least I was smart enough to hire Jim Buckmaster to run the biz and I mostly got out of the way.
See, most people assume I run craigslist, but I don’t. It’s run by a small group of very smart people who have stayed loyal to the idea that it should be simple, fast, mostly free, and “bottom-up” oriented. I’ve been involved, of course. I’ve done customer service from the beginning and am committed to it forever. It keeps me anchored to reality. Beyond that, I’ve learned a lot that can be applied to the common good and I’m doing that on this site. You can see a list of orgs I support here.
I don’t expect to be a “leader” with this thing. I’d rather be a builder. I’d like to build a way for people doing good work to connect, to learn from each other, protect each other, and then I want to get out of their way.
I hope you’ll join in and help. Thanks!