FORTUNE -- Dave Gooden says he didn't intend to be a whistle blower. But last week that's what he became, forcing Airbnb -- the next Groupon, Zynga, and/or Twitter, if you believe the hype -- to investigate its own advertising practices and compelling the media to hound him until he decided to stop talking. Two days after stirring the pot, Gooden was already saying "I am not interested in getting any more attention over this matter," and returning to his less noticeable life as the founder of a small real estate website in Minnesota.
The fuss started when Gooden read the news that Airbnb, a website that helps tens of thousands of people make money by welcoming strangers into their homes, was rumored to be worth a billion dollars. Gooden, a humble guy in Minnesota who tried to build a competitor to Airbnb in 2009, was not the founder of a company worth a billion dollars. He was the founder of a facsimile that for all intents and purposes no longer exists.
And so Gooden went digging through his inbox. In 2009, while he was building that Airbnb competitor, Mimbeo.com, he couldn't understand how Airbnb was seeding its site with so many listings. Building an initial community is the hardest task for a listings site in its youth -- indeed, for any site that purports to be "social" in any way. Airbnb now claims it found its first customers through PR, partnerships, and word of mouth. In 2009, Gooden had a different hypothesis: that Airbnb was trolling Craigslist for potential renters, convincing them to also put their listings on Airbnb. To test it out, he put up some dummy room-for-rent listings on Craigslist, testing to see whether he'd be solicited. He was, but not by Airbnb. By an affiliate on its behalf: More
Waiting in the queue for Apple's latest hot gadget is a cold hard way to earn some cash
[UPDATE: The No. 1 spot changed hands Friday morning for $900. See below.]
Six hardy souls were huddled under red and black umbrellas in front of the big glass cube of Apple's (AAPL) Fifth Avenue retail store at 5 p.m. Thursday night -- 24 hours before the iPad 2 was scheduled to go on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 11, 2011 9:45 AM ET
Armed with pedigrees and degrees, some entry-level venture capitalists are finding it's more fun and lucrative to be on the entrepreneur's side of the term sheet.
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In early 2009, Bartek Ringwelski was spending his days working at Canaan Partners, a venture capital firm in Westport, Connecticut, where he analyzed pitches and learned startup basics. But after he received 100 responses to a Craigslist post for a cleaning person, MOREDec 8, 2010 10:55 AM ET
The government 2.0 movement is about change, real change, and how to use the power of tech to empower the public. Here's how it will work, and who's already behind it.
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more about "Craigslist CEO talks prostitution and...", posted with vodpod
On the San Francisco Bay Area's local NBC station, Jon Fortt and Sarah Lacy talk to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster about controversies surrounding the company. This episode of Press:Here airs on Sunday, 3/22. Part 1 of 4. (EBAY) (YHOO) (GOOG) (MNI) (GCI) (NWS) (MSFT) (AAPL)Jon Fortt - Mar 20, 2009 5:31 PM ET
By Michal Lev-Ram
Craigslist filed a countersuit against eBay Tuesday, alleging that the Internet auction company engaged in unfair competition, trademark infringement and a slew of other improper activities.
The move comes less than a month after eBay (EBAY) sued Craigslist, claiming the privately-held online classifieds company tried to dilute its ownership stake in Craigslist and removed its representative from the board of directors.
The two companies' unhappy relationship began in 2004, when MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - May 13, 2008 5:28 PM ET
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