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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Minimalism

Minimalism

Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess

The axioms of this worldview are easy to state. “People are good and trustworthy and generally just concerned with getting through the day,” Newmark says. If most people are good and their needs are simple, all you have to do to serve them well is build a minimal infrastructure allowing them to get together and work things out for themselves. Any additional features are almost certainly superfluous and could even be damaging.

Newmark has been working hard to extend the influence of his worldview. His public pronouncements have the delighted yet apologetic tone of a man who has stumbled on a secret hiding in plain sight and who finds it embarrassingly necessary to point out something that should long have been obvious. He seems to have discovered a new way to run a business. He suspects that it may be the right way to run the world.

It’s a mess that works and people like it. It’s certainly less frustrating than eBay, although it does put quite a bit more responsibility in the user.

Maybe this is a metaphor for the state? Less is more, as they say.

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