Mark, I agree... but I'm afraid this goes way beyond PR -- it has deceit written all over it! D.
UPDATE: the post below is a "streamlined" version of the one I posted on Mark's blog (not displaying yet): I seemed to have crammed too much info in that one... this should be clearer
follow-up for Mark:
There would have been no problem whatsoever with "living comfortably" -- however comfortably he could legally manage -- would he had been upfront about wanting to make money... would he had not asked for and accepted loads of community help for a very long time before turning for profit...
There is a big burden on the community that made craigslist what it is and has to make do with rudimentary customer service and very few improvements... because Craig/craigslist keeps talking the grand talk and quietly pocketing the money... instead of spending it on customer service and improvements...
The *really* "shrewd strategy" would be ... to do exactly what he appears to try to do: maximize profits in the long run and milk craigslist for as much as he can at the moment... (while keeping long term profits in mind: plenty of things that could bring money in now, would be a bad idea in the long run).
It's just that... people are bound to wake up at some point and serious competition is starting to show up. So... yeah... I think he may well end-up selling, although he's been saying no, no, no... hell no! for a very long time...
P.S. anyways, at least you find it conceivable that although he's been pretty much swearing he would never do it, he might in fact sell -- meaning you are NOT a groupie, like so many of those writing about Craig/craigslist appear to be... take care!:) D.
I'm just wondering what you thought of Craig's answer to the would-you-ever-sell question from the audience: "*Right now*... [my emphasis] we are just not interested in selling..."
P.S. oh...and the cash cow is already monetized to the tune of 50-70 mills in estimated profits (while customer service continues to be severely understaffed...) D.