- GWL is not trying to make money on real estate. If he was, he would't be fooling around with apartment complexes, he'd be buying up more land in Marin because that property has been growing by leaps and bounds since 1990.
- GWL has already donated a significant amount of the land he has bought in Marin to a group called MALT (Marin Agricultural Land Trust). It ensures that the land will remain farmland. *Significant* amounts of land.
- GWL has always been committed to social justice issues. He doesn't make a big deal out of it. In fact, GWL is pretty low profile about a lot of the generous things he's done.
- GWL has excellent taste in design and architecture. He's also put his money where his mouth is and built green buildings because it was the right thing to do, despite the cost. Both Big Rock Ranch and Letterman Digital were LEED Certified and they didn't really need to be. Big Rock and Skywalker are both models of how a complex can be integrated and fit into their natural surroundings. Both campuses are almost invisible from the road and even on campus, everything is well integrated into the environment. We should all be so lucky as to have GWL for a neighbor.
I'm not saying he's a saint or anything, but for a billionaire who has changed the shape of our culture, he's actually pretty down to earth. Don't get me wrong, we don't hang out or anything, but in my experience he's consistently gracious, well reasoned, and well intentioned. Mock him all you want for Star Wars decisions, but never question his integrity. He deserves better.
I'm just speaking generally here, there are certainly cases where someone would need to back up this much data, but for your home media library? If we're talking movies, 20 TB is roughly 20,000 movies (for sake of argument, I'm not considering music). At what point is this just digital hoarding? I used to keep a large collection of movies, mostly pirated, and eventually realized that:
a) I was spending more time and money managing the collection then I wanted to. b) That I rarely watched many of the items in my library. c) That I was placing myself in legal jeopardy by storing so many illegal copies. d) Anything I did want to re-watch I could get from Netflix, the public library, or download.
Music would be slightly different, as I could see where music is in some kind of constant rotation, but again, how much of it are you actively using? I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but I think this kind of collecting/hoarding is a byproduct of pre-internet scarcity.
I'm always amused when I see people, mostly web professionals, bitch about CraigsList.
The VC and bizdev types hate CL because "CL is just leaving money on the table. They need to understand how to make a profit."
Webdevs hate them because CL doesn't adopt whatever new design trend comes along, therefore CL "doesn't get UX", or webdevs hate them because of situations like this, where some webdev can't build his business off of someone else's platform.
This, compadres, is why you don't take your business public. CL has a staff of less then 20 people, they make plenty of bank while at the same time staying true to their own ethos, whether you agree or not. And the consumers seem to be coming back over and over. And yes, I have heard many people say that this is because CL has been around so long, that they are the 500 lb Gorilla that will never be moved. Uhh, are we on the same Internet? Tell that to Yahoo, MySpace, etc etc.
Here's a Wired article from 2009 that covers the exact topic of CL and site scraping. Maybe PadMapper should have read it first.
No, but it took huge balls at the time to say "we're not supporting this anymore. " Apple did the same thing with the 3.5" floppy disk and adopting the USB port on iMacs back in the day and got roundly mocked for it, until the PC makers started following suit a few years later. Whatever Jobs was, he was certainly a visionary. Apple was never afraid of break convention when they felt it was the right thing to do. What other companies can we say that about (seriously, what other PC manufacturers have down this? I'm genuinely curious.)