Startup Blog

The Power of Audience Access - Craig's List

Posted by Mike Volpe on 2/4/09 11:12 AM

Recently we were trying to make more space in our apartment and cleaned out some old things.  We had a papason chair and an artificial Christmas tree that were just taking up too much space.  Both were in good condition and useful, and I thought maybe we could make some other people happy, keep landfills a bit more empty, etc.

The tree went on the "free" section.  I got 2 emails within 30 minutes and a teacher ended up coming to pick it up to use in a school production of Annie (there is a Christmas scene at the end).  The chair went into the furniture section and I got 3 emails in 40 minutes and someone paid our full asking price of $40 with a smile.  Within 5 hours both items were gone and we had a lot more space in our apartment.

Before the Internet this would have been impossible.  We could have put an ad in the newspaper or posted some signs, but that would have been time consuming and expensive.  We probably would have just thrown them out.  Why?  There were still lots of people looking for good cheap stuff.  We just had no way of accessing that audience.

The power of access to an audience today is that it is much easier to access audiences and build your own.  Things not possible or profitable before are now relatively easy and massively profitable.  Craig's List, Ebay, and thousands more.

Have you created an audience? How do you let others access it?  Are you making the most of your audience access?

Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: disruptive

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