In case you missed our first newsletter this year, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of International Internet Advertising Services Inc., we’re doing a series on our history and the technological advancements that have impacted our world.
The first few years of the new millennium were a crazy time. While the bursting of the dot.com bubble actually gave the company a boost, it would be the aftermath of 9/11 that would eventually take a significant toll. Google and GoDaddy had started their ascent to world domination.
So… the company was going strong and there were quite a few team members that we need to acknowledge for their contribution to that status. Bob Bayer has been one of James’ best friends since kindergarten, and James thought he’d be a great addition to the team. True dat. Bob was a perfectionist with skills. Mike says he could look at a website and tell you if one pixel was out of place. Bob not only made the team better, he helped Mike structure the file server and standardize work flow. In fact, the only downside of Bob’s presence was that his name was forever stuck in Mike’s head. He regularly called other team members Bob, and many years later, still does on occasion.
Then there was Paul the first. Paul was a “mad scientist” of imagery and animation. He created hundreds of amazing website designs and was a wizard with 3D animation. His preoccupation with work projects though, sometimes took his mind off other important matters. He arrived at work one day carrying a bag of garbage. Mike was mystified and asked him why he brought a bag of garbage to work. Paul was confused. He looked at the bag and was clearly shocked. His response to Mike: “Oh, no! I threw my lunch in the dumpster.”
There were others back then who have since move on. Nancy was a designer hired right out of high school and is now doing QA work in Australia. Serguei is in the United States working on stuff he can’t tell us about, not that we’d understand it anyway. Serguei is likely the smartest person who’s ever been on the team. He is a math wizard who has the ability to visualize complex databases. He wrote a book on artificial intelligence before the rest of us even knew what it was. (Thankfully, we can still call on Serguei when we need him.) And there was Leisa, Fred, Danielle, and Gary. Great people all.
Getting back to the state of affairs in the early 2000s, let’s talk about Google. Google wasn’t the first search engine. In fact, there were several others, including Magellan, Infoseek and Alta Vista. According to James, none of them worked very well. One day Mike stumbled upon a new search engine called “BackRub.” This one was very different. He was amazed, and so was James. Mike picked up the phone and called the contact asking if they were looking for investors – he’d like to be one. Unfortunately, they said no. Unfortunate, because BackRub morphed into Google. Still, Google has certainly been a big part of our business.
By the early 2000s, Google was well established as a search engine and began selling text-based ads. Mike completed their online course to become one of the first 100 Google Qualified Advertising Professionals in the world. International Internet Advertising Services Inc. was now really starting to realize the potential in its name.