I am Paul Coonan. I built my first computer in 1981. I was 12. I built it from the component level, soldering every little resister, capacitor, and chip in place. So, yeah, I am a geek from the beginning even though I may not look like one!
I taught myself BASIC programming that same year, no classes available yet. The next year classes were introduced and in the 8th grade I taught the teacher. I continued BASIC programming in high school for a year and did not continue further. It bored me and the internet was not around yet.
I had always been entrepreneurial ever since the 6th grade where the most influential teacher I ever had created a special format for his class that taught basic economics and business. It was called T-Town, after his name, Mr. Trochum. Everybody got to have up to 3 businesses. You had to apply for them with your basic business model and state your prices. The money involved was not real, of course. We had weekly auctions, and we even had small claims court. I know, this was a lot to take in for 6 graders, but for me I learned a lot, and at the end of the year I was the richest person in the class.
My goal in life from an early age was to be self-employed.
Immediately after high school I began looking for opportunities. I got the chain letters. I did home assembly. I tried vinyl repair. I even tried SMC. I made a bit with SMC by selling crap to my friends and family, and at flea markets. I even used to find the clearance items at Target and resell them at flea markets as well! I can sense an Amway distributor from a mile away as well as any direct distributor of any health product. I used to get approached by them all the time. I don't know if it was because I had 'sucker' written on my face, or if it was because I presented an entrepreneurial type personality. I have even seen matrix programs before the internet was even invented where people 'secretly' got together in homes to discuss the 'business plan' which was solely comprised of paying people money and then finding people to pay you.
It wasn't until 1999 that I got online and my world grew exponentially. Always being entrepreneurial, I knew there had to be a way to make money online. I happened to come online just before the peak of the dot-bomb era. There were new money making programs coming online, as many 2 to 5 a day, every day. My top programs I promoted were the beginning of what paid to surf was where you downloaded a piece of software and you watched banner ads while you surfed anywhere doing what you would normally do. AllAdvantage was the grandfather of this system. Many others spawned from AllAdvantage, and every one of them died.
Being fed up with programs that did not pay their members, I created iSAAF.com, Internet Surfers Alliance Against Fraud. I became a consumer watchdog making public record of known scams, sites that were paying, and others that were questionable. Through iSAAF.com I became known across the net, became branded. As a result, I was able to build downlines in virtually anything I promoted, if I thought it was worthy. I rarely promote others anymore, mainly because I am too busy promoting myself.
There were many opportunities back then but little advertising mediums. In 2001 I created a banner exchange, FireBanners.com. Later in 2001 I discovered ClickThru.net, the original and the grandfather of what we now know as a traffic exchange. I thought the concept was ingenious. A few other similar sites began to appear. I then made the decision to have my own, and bought a set of scripts written in PERL for a very simple traffic exchange from a little known person at the time, Tim Linden. I launched PayMeToday.com a traffic exchange which I ran for almost 4 years.
I launched PayMeToday back when there were only about a dozen other traffic exchanges to compete with. I have watched the evolution of traffic exchanges, and text ad exchanges as well all of which started from paid to read programs, since they began. Although I did make money with PayMeToday, it was not enough to quit my job.
Eventually I got serious about ebay and was doing so well that I decided to put internet marketing to the side and let my domains go. Ebay ended for me in 2006 due to personal reasons.
I came back online in 2009 and saw how much internet marketing had changed in only 3 years and began catching up learning about social networking and viral marketing. Being gone only 3 years, I became an unknown once again. The turn around in internet marketing is massive. I needed to rebrand myself all over again!
I created ZapIt.nu, a simple and free tracking/cloaking site, followed by TrafficRush.me which opened the door to show my unique ideas and approach to internet marketing. As cool as TrafficRush.me is/was, it is going to come offline soon. I just haven't had the heart yet to pull the plug. Honestly, it was too much time for too little money.
I spent a year developing vTrafficRush.com based on a viral concept I had in my head for the prior 10 years before launching. I wrote it all from scratch. vTrafficRush.com launched early March, 2011 and as I write this, has already been seen by over 2 million people and shows around 1 million ads a day due to it's viral nature! (Updated as of Sept 7th, 2012... vTrafficRush is about to turn half a billion ads seen, seen by nearly 5.3 million people!)
Next I launched ViralAdBuilder.com, similar to vTrafficRush.com but pays out 6 levels of commissions! That was in May of 2012.
I have many other projects in the oven. I seem to have trouble getting to them because the ideas for vTrafficRush.com won't stop popping into my head! But my new sites will eventually come, and I am sure you will love them!