Pacific-Tier Communications and the CTC are pleased to present our series highlighting and introducing entrepreneurs providing thought leadership and innovative ideas in technology, communications, and environment-related industries.
Pacific-Tier met up with Chris Ueland at his offices in Studio City, California
Pacific-Tier: Chris, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where did you come from?
Chris Ueland: Sure, absolutely. I am a New York native, and I moved to LA when I was 18. I started on the Internet with an open source project called ML.ORG, when I was a young teenager, and that got me hooked into the Internet.
I started working from my parent's house on nights and weekends on this open source project, and started ICom.Com, which was funded by my former partner.
Pacific-Tier: Excellent. Now you're working with NetDNA LLC. Tell us a little about NetDNA LLC, and what you do?
Chris Ueland: NetDNA is a pretty cool company. We're doing content delivery, and we have 10 data centers around the world, and we are focusing on speeding up content to end users.
Pacific-Tier: Who would be your customer? What kind of company would come to NetDNA?
Chris Ueland: Primarily the Alexa top 5000 sites. Right now our customers are primarily advertising and video sites. We are looking to also get into full site acceleration for some of these large web sites.
Pacific-Tier: And what does that mean? What does full-site acceleration mean?
Chris Ueland: We're constantly looking for any kind of way to speed up a website. And the latest cutting edge stuff to deliver that website as quickly as possible to the end user.
Pacific-Tier: So you are there to try to make the end-user experience better, as well as facilitate the product your customers have?
Chris Ueland: Absolutely. And making it as easy as possible on our customers, where there's not a whole lot of infrastructure changes on their end.
Pacific-Tier: So you've kind of a serial entrepreneur your whole life. You've started several companies, gone on to other projects - what drives you to be an entrepreneur?
Chris Ueland: I think it's just in my DNA. I'm always looking for ways to do things that are outside the beaten path.
Pacific-Tier: That's pretty exciting. Is it because the large companies don't offer you the challenge, or is it because you just have things you want to do that the large companies won't support?
Chris Ueland: I think it's the fact that as an entrepreneur you can create your own structure. And you can develop things that work really well with your personality. For me, I really enjoy building things, and the companies that I create allow me to harness those talents and just build things all day. Which I love!
Pacific-Tier: The economy has been kind of sketchy lately, and you have a lot of young guys graduating from university, and thinking about going into the work force, and a lot of guys who are thinking about starting their own companies. What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur or graduate who is getting ready to hit the street?
Chris Ueland: Yeah, the first piece of advice is to start as early as possible. You are going to make a lot of mistakes. Get in there and get your hands dirty.
The second (piece of advice) is to develop a real skill set, where you can take that skill set and bring to anybody, anywhere in the world, and provide value for them.
The third is really to build something. Don't just shuffle things around, genuinely build something big. I think that is really going to fix and help the economy.
Pacific-Tier: And where do you go to from here?
Chris Ueland: We're looking at really cutting edge stuff to accelerate web sites and to lower latency and deliver the best possible consumer experience.
Pacific-Tier: Give yourself a plug for NetDNA, how do they find you on the web?
Chris Ueland: www.netdna.com
Pacific-Tier: Any final words for the technology community?
Chris Ueland: Get out there guys and build stuff. That's what's going to get us out of this rut that we're in. I really look at the telecom guys and entrepreneurs as the answer to creating things, and continuing to build this country up.
Pacific-Tier: Great advice - thank you very much. It's been a pleasure talking with you today.
Chris Ueland: Thank you John!
You can listen to the entire audio interview at Pacific Tier
An innovator and an activist, Chris approaches each of his pursuits by asking the question, "how can we help people?" His years as President of Globat LLC, a company he co-founded with friend and business partner Ben Neumann, helped the company net numerous awards and recognitions based on the quality of service the company provided to nearly 100,000 customers around the world. As the Vice President of the Greater Valley Glen Council in the City of Los Angeles, Chris has also worked hard to improve the quality of life for people in the area he represents. Mr. Ueland has enjoyed leadership and ownership roles in successful companies such as Globat LLC, Icom.com, iBoost.com, and DefyingGravity LLC, many of which were ultimately acquired by other companies.
Check out the entire Innovators and Entrepreneurs Interview Series