We are by now all familiar with the story of Craig Newmark and his eponymous list. From a list started to keep his friends informed of doing around San Francisco, the list has become a world-wide phenomenon. From real estate rentals to adult companionship, Craigslist has it all, in the near and far reaches of the world.
In the process of becoming a major player, Craigslist almost single handedly decimated the newspaper classified business. As growth continued at an almost exponential rate, founder Craig Newmark stepped aside from day to day operations. Craig started the list arguably as “a force for good,” and he turned down numerous offers that would have made him a millionaire many times over or perhaps even a billionaire, instead of a mere millionaire.
Craigslist’s sterling reputation has stayed as the company has grown and has shielded it from the fallout of pornography and prostitution controversies. However, in today’s Forbes.com column, Jess Collen wonders if Craigslist has gone a step to far. The website, always proprietary about its content, is now using its power and influence to keep other entrepreneurs from building useful and original apps for the site. There’s now a suit brewing against a young entrepreneur who’s started a real estate filtering site called padmapper. Take a look at Jess’ column, follow up and let us know what you think.