The craigslist Anomaly 9

The Anomaly #9

craigslist is a fascinating anomaly in the world of large-scale web sites. Take a look at these numbers, as published by Craigslist with October 2006 data from Yahoo! and Alexa:


Rank Employees   Company
(page views)     
1 10,000 Yahoo!
2 90,000 TimeWarner
3 10,000 Google
4 70,000 Microsoft
5 50,000 News Corp
6 12,000 eBay
7 23 craigslist
8 25,000 BBC
9 130,000 Disney
10 12,000 Amazon

That's not a typo for the number of employees at craigslist—while the other top-10 sites have more than 10,000 employees (most of them far more), craigslist has 23.

Now obviously this isn't entirely fair, since most of these other businesses run much more than just a web site. But nevertheless, it is an impressive statistic.

Another thing that makes craigslist such an anomaly is its design, which can politely be called austere or minimalist—or more directly, just plain ugly. Google is perhaps the closest, but even it is relatively beautiful, and all the others on the list seem to be operating in a different design universe.


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