I missed this article on Craigslist while I was traveling for the last couple weeks, but it's worth taking some time to read. Highlights:
"Ask Jim," he says.
"How do you get your feedback? Have you ever done a poll or anything like that?"
"The thought makes me tired. But you can suggest that to Jim if you wish."
"What if Jim says no?"
"If you want to ask him again, you can," he says.
And my favorite:
By eliminating marketing, sales, and business development, craigslist's programmers have cut out all the cushioning layers that separate them from the users they serve, and any right they have to teach lessons in public service comes from the odd situation of running a company that is directly subservient only to the public. Here's the lesson: The public is a motherfucker.
. . . craigslist still treats social life as dangerously complex, deserving the most jaded caution. Corporate isolation, user anonymity, refusal of excessive profit, glacial adoption of new features: These all signal Newmark and Buckmaster's wariness about what humans, including themselves, might do if given the chance. There may be a peace sign on every page, but the implicit political philosophy of craigslist has a deeply conservative, even a tragic cast. Every day the choristers of the social web chirp their advice about openness and trust; craigslist follows none of it, and every day it grows.