Thoughts on classifieds, Craigslist and local

Posted on July 6, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For no particular reason, I’ve been thinking about a question.  If you wanted to become the next Craigslist, build a better matching mechanism between local supply and demand, and present local sellers, whether they be individuals, or independent service providers, with a better vehicle for finding buyers, what would you do?

1)  You wouldn’t try to take down Craigslist out of the gate.  Craigslist doesn’t topple in 12 months, craigslist slowly dies over 10 years.  As long as they represent a high volume of local consumers, they will attract local suppliers.

2)  You would build your UX under the assumption that your users will touch both your product and Craigslist in the same search for a local supplier or local buyer.  You’d respect the incumbent.

3)  You would focus on amassing an audience of local consumers that is large enough to provide incremental selling opportunities to local suppliers not achieving 100% success through competing channels (read: all local sellers)

4)  You would develop a toe hold in a single vertical, and then start “inviting” that audience down adjacent vertical funnels (Craigslist started w local event listings)

5)  You would buy traffic.  I can’t see anyone becoming liquid fast enough without paying for audience.

6)  You would take that bought traffic, and make sure each purchased user perpetuated your product beyond his own consumption.

7)  You would figure out what socializing listings really means, and what incremental value consumers get from engaging their graph in their own local buying and selling.

8)  You would figure out how to promise local suppliers higher close rates with less work.

9)  You would create a user experience that engages local consumers, not only at the point of buy/sell, but across points where they seek to engage with a local population (whether they seek to communicate, publish, ask, answer, meet, watch, etc…that population).

10)  You would recognize that buy/sell is not just buy/sell, but also search/find, speak/speak, give/take, trade/trade, and any other iteration of match between two complimentary local needs.

11)  You would not require local buyers or sellers to repeatedly return to your destination.  You would capture and categorize whatever they were buying and selling, go out, find the other half of their match where it existed, and deliver their match to them wherever they are engaged online.

12)  You would not try to “own” your users.  You would certainly service your users and build a relationship around that service, but you would allow anyone who is helping local buyers and sellers get together to pull your data into their environments.  You’d be happy when one of your local sellers found their buyer, independent of who delivered it to them.

13)  You would build a brand that focuses on the people behind the listings.  A neighborhood or city is not defined by geography, but by the people that inhabit it.

Not that Jumppost is doing this, we are JUST focused on local real estate.  Seriously.  Jumppost.com is not just a revenue generating local funnel that pays back in 30-45 days and allows us to cost effectively buy a large local audience (see #5)…

If you want to change how people in a local environment find each other based on need, you should come work with us. jordan.cooper@gmail.com

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on classifieds, Craigslist and local”

RSS Feed for Jordan Cooper's Blog: startups, venture capital, etc… Comments RSS Feed

Jordan, great insights. It is interesting to see how Etsy got its start and see so many parallels with your list. There is so much above and beyond just making the “connection” or “sale” that should be present so your service can engage people at many different stages of whatever behavior you are trying to capture. You do that really well at JumpPost by supporting the apartment buyers and sellers, those just generally searching, those looking to refer a place to a friend, etc.

Also, if you are looking to hire, check out a product my company just release call Recruitly (http://recruitly.com). It is a plug-and-play career portal and applicant tracking system that you can snap into your website with 2 lines of code or by adding a URL. Pretty slick. If interested, hit me back, more than happy to discuss further and let a fellow startuper use it for free! Hope you are well up in NYC.

Jordan,

Stumbled upon your site Startuplinkup.com. Funny that you have this post. I just asked this type of question on Quora.com yesterday http://www.quora.com/How-would-you-improve-Craigslist-and-turn-it-into-a-more-profit-focused-company

Good insights here. I like your idea and vision.

Great thoughts Jordan, a lot of these are definitely visible in Jumppost… I think it’s particularly great that you define and explain city areas (west village etc), something I have not seen elsewhere. Engages and informs users which builds relationship.

Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon
but I’m having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m
looking for something completely unique.

P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but
I had to ask!


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    About

    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I think there is one metric that can be used to measure the value of a human life and that’s impact. How did you change things? How many people did you touch? How different is the world because you lived in it and how positive was the change that you affected? (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it) You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com

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