Who made you the person you are today? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Craig Newmark, CSR & Founder of Craigslist.com, on Quora:

In starting Craigslist, way back in '95, I assumed a direct customer support mission.

That put me in direct contact with thousands of people, mostly Americans, who needed basics, like help putting food on the table, getting that table, getting a roof to put the table under.

Direct customer service like that means getting in touch and staying in touch with regular people in a way that I, as an old-school nerd, never did.

I also learned to ignore trolls, if possible; they thrive on attention.

Finally, getting hit by fake news attacks reminded me that "a trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy." Doing a lot about that now by providing significant support for trustworthy journalism, like Wikipedia, and the Poynter Institute, with more in progress.

Overall, I've delegated myself into uselessness; I still do just enough customer service to stay in touch with the needs of regular people.

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Published on: Jan 4, 2017