What is Craigslist’s Business Model? (Vision, Mission, and Objective)

Craigslist is a well-known online classified advertising platform for users to post their advertisements. The company, founded in 1995, is a household name in the USA.

It is also relevant to Canada. Apart from these countries, the platform operates in over 80 other countries, including Australia, Germany, India, Brazil, Japan, etc. While the platform is available in all these countries, the primary source of its popularity and income are the USA and Canada.

Craigslist, founded in 1995, started as an email list by its founder Craig Newmark. In 1996, it became an online classified platform for everyone to use.

Since then, the company has climbed its way up, becoming one of the most, if not the most, famous and well-known online platforms for users to post classified advertisements. One of the main reasons for the success and popularity of the platform is its user-friendliness and ease of use.

Despite its over 20 years of business, the company is still not as significant as other companies of the same level. It is mainly because the company does not focus on profits and revenue generation.

However, that does not mean the company generates no revenue or is not profitable. Similarly, the company only has 50 working employees. That is because the company believes in keeping things simple.

 Even though the company does not mention the vision, mission, objective, etc., there are some shreds of evidence that can help clarify them. These are available below.

What is Craigslist’s Vision?

Vision is a thought for the future of a company. A company’s vision usually gets defined when the company is started or even before that. The vision behind Craigslist is not very clear.

In a podcast, ‘Everything is Miscellaneous,’ backed in 2007, the founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, mentioned that he founded the company with “No vision whatsoever.”

As mentioned above, the company started as an email list by the founder. Initially, the founder only had 10-12 close friends. The email list focused on new events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Soon, the company transitioned into a full-on online classified advertisements platform. According to Craig Newmark, he had no vision behind creating the company. From this, one can conclude that the company has no idea behind it.

Craigslist’s Mission:

A mission describes a company’s function, markets, and competitive advantages. Usually, it is in the form of a short written statement that defines the goals and philosophies of a company. The mission of Craigslist is available on its website.

Among other things, its mission includes giving people an online platform to people, being inclusive, being a collection of communities with similar spirits, providing an alternative to impersonal, big-media sites, etc.

The idea behind what it does is also clear and straightforward. Despite its popularity, it has not transitioned into a prominent technology name or other markets. The reason behind it is intentional, as it believes in keeping things simple.

Craigslist’s Objective:

The objective of a company defines the goal or outcome it wants to achieve. These are usually measurable and compelling descriptions of actions required to achieve its goals. For Craigslist, the objective is to focus on user satisfaction and experience.

It wants to achieve its objectives by providing a service based on trust and simplicity. Its goals have never included maximizing profits or generating revenues. Therefore, its objectives don’t focus on making more money.

The company also stated that its goal is to offer localized services that are free as well as convenient for users. It gives an insight into the beliefs and objectives of the company.

Craigslist provides services free of charge in over 80 countries. However, there are some listings on the website which require users need to pay.

Despite the paid postings, the prices are significantly below what experts believe the company should be charging. Similarly, the simplicity and focus on user experience are also apparent on its website, which is very similar to the classified section of a newspaper and free from any gimmicks and bloatware.

What is Craigslist’s Business Model?

A company’s business refers to its plan for how it wants to make money. It also explains how a company delivers value at a reasonable cost. As mentioned above, Craigslist’s focus has never been on generating profits.

Therefore, the company has a unique business model. The company believes in providing value to its users. For Craigslist, the network and users come first, and the profits come later.

It also doesn’t believe in promotions. It depends on word of mouth to get new users. The platform is now popular enough not to rely on paid advertisements to get new users. The company also focuses on providing free services.

The platform has no special or gimmicky features. It believes in keeping things simple, which is apparent in the website design. It has retained a minimal design to focus more on value generation and less on design elements.


Craigslist is an online classified advertisement platform. Founded in 1995, the company has become a well-known name in the classifieds market.

The company’s vision, mission, objectives, and business model focus on providing value to its users rather than profit generation. It also focuses on keeping things simple and easy.