The Spawn of craigslist
Like most VCs that focus on investing in the applications layer of the internet, I’m fascinated by craigslist. Most commonly, people reflect on the amazing scale of the site with such efficient operating leverage. A team of thirty-or-so people manages a top 10 ranked English-speaking website in the world.
I find it particularly interesting how craigslist is able to legitamitely compete (if not dominate) in such a broad range of categories. They do so using less features and “worse” interface design than their competition (Sidenote: Craigslist is case-and-point that “more features” is *not* a competitive advantage, so please remove your features chart from your competition slide in your pitch deck, thanks!).
I put together this pic that visualizes how entrepreneurs have tried to carve out niches from craigslist, some more successful than others. This is in no way a comprehensive list (feel free to add to it in the comments below), and in some places, one might argue that craigslist is getting whipped (homeaway? others?). Also, some companies may have been founded early enough that craigslist wasn’t an original competitor. Regardless, it’s amazing how craigslist’s broad, horizontal approach to creating marketplaces is successful overall.