In Tim O'Reilly's Work on Stuff that Matters he elaborated on three criteria that constitute "stuff that matters" for his readers:
- Work on something that matters to you more than money.
- Create more value than you capture.
- Take the long view.
A number of folks where surprised when I announced that I was joining craigslist back in July but it's an organization that I really admire. Having been there about 6 months now, I can definitely say that it's a job that matters based on Tim's thinking and my own.
Every time I meet someone and tell them where I work, their reaction is quite positive. They've had a good experience with craigslist, like the service, love the philosophy, and so on. Craigslist matters ordinary people--not just technology nuts.
Similarly, I know that we create more value than we capture. The majority of our service is free and usage seems to be growing all the time. People I talk to get such good responses with craigslist classifieds (compared to, say, newspapers) that I know we're giving people more than their money's worth.
As for taking the long view, I think being a non-public company helps that a lot. I've rarely thought about what "the next quarter" will bring. It's quite a contrast from my years at Yahoo. When we're discussing technology infrastructure, I'm always trying to think ahead a year or two (or more). But the day to day ups and downs just don't feel as important the way we operate. I like that.
All in all, I've been very happy with the change and am glad that Tim posted something that helped me to explain what I like about it.
Posted by jzawodn at January 11, 2009 08:05 AM