5–1/2 Questions for Craig Newmark
Craig Newmark — Founder of Craigslist, Philanthropist
Craig Newmark is the founder of Craigslist, the web-based platform that has fundamentally changed classified advertising. Since its founding in 1995, craigslist has become one of the world’s 10 most-visited English language web platforms. Today there are craigslist websites virtually everywhere and serving every continent on earth (except Antarctica).
Born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1952, Craig received his bachelor and master’s degrees in computer science from Case Western Reserve University. In 1976, Craig began his business career with IBM, where he spent nearly 17 years. He subsequently worked in programming for Charles Schwab, Bank of America, and other firms.
In 1995, while working for Charles Schwab, Craig launched craigslist in his flat as a free way for people to share information about events in San Francisco.
In 2016 he created the Craig Newmark Foundation, a private foundation to promote philanthropy and civic engagement through a number of initiatives. The foundation supports charitable and education causes with a focus on consumer protection and education, veterans and military families, government transparency, public diplomacy, voter protection and education, micro-lending to alleviate poverty, and women in technology.
Craig serves on the board of directors of the Poynter Foundation, Center for Public Integrity, Sunlight Foundation, Consumers Union/Consumer Reports, Blue Star Families, VetsInTech, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review and as an advisor to nearly twenty other renowned non-profit organizations (see the full list at craigconnects.org/organizations).
Craig Newmark - Wikipedia
Craig Alexander Newmark (born December 6, 1952) is an American internet entrepreneur and philanthropist best known as…
5–1/2 Questions for Craig Newmark
1- When when you were a child, did you have a dream job?
When I was a child. at different points. First job I wanted was a paleontologist, which is basically the dinosaur kid cliche at around sixth grade.
But not long after that I decided I should go into physics
I went into college intending to go into some field in physics, maybe quantum physics. But then I realized I would never be good enough at the math or physics required. Because if you want to make a living in that field, you have to be in the very top echelon, and I wasn’t that smart. But I was really good with computers, and realize that that would be a good career to get into. And that turned out to be right.
2 — What really motivates you to action?
I guess I have a sense of mission which kind of was instilled in me during Sunday school.
I mean parts of that have to do with the notion that you should treat people like you want to be treated now and then you should be your brother’s keeper, and then in the late eighties I started noticing the music and poetry of Leonard Cohen who’s basically my Rabbi, and he wrote my mission statement for me, which is the last, I guess, stanza in the song Democracy. I never knew him. I met him once, but I was too tongue-tied to say anything, but nevertheless, he did write my mission statement.
3 — When was the last time you complained about something?
Oh these days, I tried to make constructive suggestions, rather than then complaining with … some luck. And let’s say that rather than complaining about customer service in different places, I make suggestions for improvement with a small amount of success. Most places don’t care about customer service. They’re just giving lip service. But now and then you get someone interested.
4 — Tell us the last time you had to convince someone to do something?
I would like to be able to convince people of some things all the time. But I realized that I don’t have that kind of skill, not really not that kind of top down skill. I apparently only have the skill to lead by example. So I try to do good things. And then I have the people who are really carrying out the good things, talk about it a lot.
Specifically, what I do in my philanthropic work is fine people who are good at something, I provide them with the resources do a lot more of it. And then they talk for themselves. For the most part. Sometimes I’ll amplify it.
Sometimes if it’s something which tickles my sense of humor, then I’ll say more. But the idea is that in pretty much every area I’m involved with, I’m funding people who are much better than I am helping them get a lot better to communications. And now and then I’ll say something, but only in specialist areas where I have something to say most of the time something to say is pointing to the people doing good work.
5 — What’s guilty pleasure that you have — that most don’t know about?
Let’s just say I have a problem with food and portion control.
I also like TV a bit too much, and unfortunately, not all of it is Masterpiece Theater. I’m fond of things like Family Guy and South Park, and even the new Beavis and Butthead.
5–1/2- (BONUS Question)
Tell us which movie or TV show might best describe your life, and why.
in terms of movie or TV, hard to say. One of the movies, one of them might just be Seinfeld And while there may be a certain resemblance with George, I might be a hybrid.
For more 5–1/2 Questions Interviews, see:
5-1/2 Questions with CJ Cornell
5 1/2 Questions from The Metapreneurs "5-1/2 Questions" from CJ Cornell is a new series of mini-interviews with leaders…
“5–1/2 Questions” from CJ Cornell is a new series of mini-interviews with leaders in the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem around the world. In less than a half-dozen short questions, we’ll try to learn more about each leader, and what makes them successful and unique.
The questions are designed a little like a “Magic Eight Ball” (my GenX colleagues know what this is): A set of questions, posed at random. Plus, at least one question, or half-question, is designed to find out something about their personality that most people might never suspect (I mean expect).
CJ Cornell is a serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor, mentor, author, speaker, and educator. As an entrepreneur, CJ Cornell was a founder of more than a dozen successful startup ventures that collectively attracted over $250 million in private funding; created nearly a thousand new jobs; and launched dozens of innovative consumer, media, and communications products — that have exceeded $3 billion in revenues.
He is the author of the bestselling “The Age of Metapreneurship — A Journey into the Future of Entrepreneurship.”
And the upcoming “The Startup Brain Trust — A Guidebook for Startups, Entrepreneurs, and the Mentors that Help them Become Great.”