In the Web world, David Ulevitch is a bit like the ubiquitous Waldo of the childrens’ book series. First came the job at a regional ISP at age 12. By his junior year of high school outside San Diego, he was working at the free music-sharing company MP3.com. He was still there when it went public in 1999, and when it imploded under the weight of a lawsuit by Universal Music Group less than a year later.
Ulevitch was also a participant in the VA Linux IPO. (He was awarded stock for writing software used by the company; it paid for his college education at Washington University in St. Louis.) And Ulevitch was one of the first employees hired at the ad network AdBrite after entrepreneur Philip Kaplan spun the business out of his popular site, FuckedCompany.com.
Ulevitch, now 28, will be on the scene a lot longer, judging by the trajectory of his own four-and-a-half-year-old, San Francisco-based company, OpenDNS. Boring as it may sound, by providing a way for consumers to improve their page loading times, as well as protecting them from phishing scams and empowering them to block sites, OpenDNS has become one of the most promising startups around. Indeed, despite competitors like UltraDNS and, more recently, Google, which launched its own DNS service last December, OpenDNS is uniformly acknowledged as the leader in its field — and its business is ballooning.