Born and raised in rural Canada, I taught myself how to code during the long winter days in Alberta. With less than eight hours of sunlight each day in the winter, a computer was a welcome retreat.

I became fascinated with the internet at a young age. I managed to secure a dial-up connection to Edmonton’s free internet (Edmonton Freenet) in the mid-1990s. I published my first website (about video games) in 1999.

I attended the University of Alberta in the management information systems program, a combination of computer science and business; however, I quickly became bored and set out to start my own online business.

Over the following years, I started and operated several websites, including some way before their time, like a website that contained information about pregnancy and raising a child that customized the content to your child’s age and gender.

In the mid-2000s, Facebook opened up their platform to third-party application developers, and I realized that those application developers had no way to make money off their efforts. I created and launched Cubics, which was the first company to show ads on Facebook (before Facebook itself) – the growth was explosive, and soon we were showing more than 1 billion ads a day. Cubics was acquired in 2007.

For the past 10 years, now in San Diego, California, I’ve been building Ezoic, the first platform to bring world-class technology and artificial intelligence to web publishers. Our goal is to remove as many distractions as possible for publishers and help them grow. I think the internet is best when anyone can share their knowledge efficiently with the world, and I intend to help save the open internet.

Lafoo is my personal blog, and my opinions are entirely my own. Why is it called lafoo? My last name is French and means “the (la) flower (fleur).” In programming, foo is a metasyntactic variable used to represent an unspecified entity. It’s used when you need a name, but the particular name doesn’t matter. I couldn’t think of anything more fitting than that!

Follow me: @dwaynelaf