Starting an Online Advertising Network

Interview with Chitika Co-Founder Alden DoRosario

For those who are familiar with the world of online advertising, Chitika is widely known as a fast-rising star. In this entrepreneurial profile, Chitika co-founder Alden DoRosario shares a few thoughts on starting up Chitika.

Alden DoRosario, CTO and Co-Founder of Chitika, is a forward-thinking entrepreneur who started what has proved to be a very innovative online advertising company. His fast-growing firm is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

If you are a web publisher, Chitika is a gem for incremental revenue generation. Although we don't have any Chitika ads on this page (sorry, Alden!), you can see how we use Chitika on our site by looking at this Dell printer ink and toner page.

While we can't retire based on our Chitika ad revenues, it contributes a decent amount every month that helps us defray the costs of creating useful content for entrepreneurs. Long story short, we give Chitika a big thumbs up!

Without further adieu, here's our interview with Alden DoRosario.

Give us a little background on Chitika.

Chitika is leading the innovation in online advertising. Our core business is connecting online advertisers to online publishers using innovative new targeting methods. We currently do about 2B+ ad impressions per month spanning 20,000+ websites.

When did you start Chitika?

We started Chitika in 2003. I co-founded the business with Venkat Kolluri, who is our current CEO.

What were you doing before you started up Chitika?

Before starting Chitika, we were wasting our time in the research department at Lycos.

Where did you get the startup money for Chitika?

Our wives each contributed $7 (and for that investment they now own 48% each of Chitika).

Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?

Google Adsense is our biggest competitor. On around 100+ sites we beat out Google Adsense mostly by doing a better job at ad targeting and yielding a higher CTR. 100 is still a small number -- so I wont claim to be a google competitor (yet!).

How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?

This is our first business -- so there were zero expectations.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

Yes. I wish we had started the business earlier.

What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?

1) Technical innovation. 2) Hiring great people. 3) Focus.

What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?

a) RUN FORREST RUN. b) FIRE AIM AIM. Both of them mean the same: Jump first, think later.

Too many entrepreneurs sit on their ideas. In my personal experience, the only ideas that have failed to take off are the one's for which I had detailed business plans for.

Great advice. Thanks for sharing your entrepreneurial experience. We look forward to watching Chitika continue to grow.

Are you a founder of a company? If so, we'd love to profile you on our website. To let us know you are game to be interviewed, please contact us.

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