Class Notes

Dring Needham

Harold Williams

Robert Benson

Eugene Grisanti

Robert Mundheim

Mary Mullarky

Bill Bailey

Sandra Froman

Rafael Vargas Hidalgo

Franklin Raines

Lawrence Bacow

Jack Downey

Martha Samuelson

Brian Leary

Gary Culliss

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Winning Idea
Gary Culliss ’98

Gary Culliss ’98 was on his way to becoming a patent attorney when he cofounded Direct Hit Technologies, Inc. Faster than a high-speed modem, Direct Hit went from a series for patent applications to a staffed and fully funded operation—all before Culliss could take his law school exams or win the 1998 MIT Entrepreneurship Competition for his idea.

A computer maven with a degree in mechanical engineering, Culliss wondered why he couldn’t vastly improve Internet searches simply by ranking the popularity of sites among previous searchers using similar keywords. Turned out, he could. By applying a bit of mathematical magic and a lot of inspired networking to the task, Culliss laid the foundation for a company the Wall Street Journal has projected could pull in millions of dollars in advertising revenue alone. Direct Hit launched on Hot Bot in August, and Culliss says that talks are progressing with other major search engines interested in a few bull’s-eyes of their own.

Janet Hawkins