It was 1993 when Craig decided to change careers. 17 years at IBM and it was time for a shakeup. Charles Schwab came calling from across the country in San Francisco.
Craig was 40 and starting over. The job kept him busy, but he’d make time to for local programming events where he met others in his field and kept track of what was going on in the industry. Pretty soon, he was a regular at the meetups and thought, “Hey, there should be a way for everyone to keep up with what’s going on.”
As a software developer, Craig was a techie, so he started an email list where he and his friends could update each other about different events going on in town.
It was a hit and lots of people started using it. It was perfect for Craig—a fun side project that didn’t take too much work. He spent his days banging out work for Charles Schwab and his evenings managing “the list.”
After a while, people started posting about other things. When someone was moving, they’d notify everyone their apartment was available and maybe sell some of their furniture. They bought cars from each other and listed jobs for their employers.
When there got to be too many emails crowding everyone’s inboxes, Craig decided to make a change. He shut down the email list and moved everything to a website.
Picking the name for the URL was easy—Craigslist. And, as a fun and rewarding side project, he kept working his day job for three more years before thinking, “Hey, I could probably do this Craigslist thing full-time.”
Craigslist is one of my favorite side project turned megahit stories, but there are many more like it. More importantly, there are millions of successful businesses you’ve never heard of that were built in someone’s spare time.
If you’ve ever had a big idea and thought, “There’s no way I can make time for it,” there are a lot of real-life stories that say, “Yes, you can.”
You can build big things in your spare time. Here’s how to do it. [Read more…] about The Craigslist Method: You Can Build Big Things In Your Spare Time