Founder & CEO
David, one of BusinessWeek Magazine’s “Most Promising Entrepreneurs Under 30,” grew up in Del Mar, California and began his Internet career early in life. Before entering high school, he worked for ElectriCiti, a small regional ISP where he picked up his first tastes of system and network administration. While a junior at Torrey Pines High School, David started working at MP3.com, starting as an intern and eventually working in the content development department during the revolutionary company’s explosive growth period between 1999 and 2000.
After high school, David attended Washington University in St. Louis, earning a degree in anthropology. During college, he worked in the university’s campus backbone group writing customized software to manage the university’s networks and routers.
While at Washington University, David decided to begin operating his own web presence. In the process of securing a domain name, he discovered the need for a DNS management service. Because he had his own server, and also because he is a tech geek, David decided to write his own web-based DNS management software, a product that was more flexible than anything available. He passed it along to his friends who also ran websites, and his first company, EveryDNS, was launched. Today, the service supports more than 93,000 accounts worldwide, and has earned its loyalty through the service’s superior security and reliability in managing domains for individuals, organizations and corporations.
In 2001, David helped start the California Community Colocation Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit which focuses exclusively on providing colocation services to not-for-profit entities. In fact, David donated the project’s very first server.
After graduation, David moved to San Francisco and continued to run EveryDNS, which was proactive and extremely effective at stopping malicious sites in its corner of the Internet. The ‘Internet Bad Guys’ stopped using his services and moved on to some of the seedier neighborhoods on the Internet. After effectively eliminating abuse from his network, David found the limitations of being constrained to EveryDNS’ niche of domain management frustrating — he wanted to improve the overall Internet experience.
Together with experienced advisors and investors, David created OpenDNS with the mission of being a business which succeeds by making the Internet a better place. That combination isn’t necessarily unique (c.f., “don’t be evil”), but David wants OpenDNS to be successful and still be able to look his mother in the eye because he’s doing the right thing.
In the time since its 2006 launch, OpenDNS has become the world’s largest and fastest-growing DNS service provider. Today the company helps millions of people around the world, including students and employees at tens of thousands of schools and businesses, navigate the Internet safer, faster, smarter and more reliably.
Read more about why David started OpenDNS.