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Craig Newmark
Founder, Craigslist

Back in 1990, I was a systems engineer at IBM in Detroit. I had a manager who told me that aside from my technical knowledge, my sense of humor was my saving grace. I was sometimes arrogant because I was very technical. It became a problem when I was working within a marketing division, and the culture was hostile to the technical culture. I was advised to use my dry sense of humor to help diffuse that atmosphere. In business there are times when you disagree, and sometimes it turns out that you're just plain wrong. Humor takes away tension and helps you realize you're wrong.

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Last updated April 30 2008: 4:31 PM ET