craigconnects: Connecting the World for the Common Good

Meet Craig

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!