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Popularity Contest

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  • Posted on 23rd Sep, 2022 02:42 AM

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This story appears in the November 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Between them, Gary Culliss, 29, and Mike Cassidy, 36, havequalifications sure to make most reassess their own"achievements." Cassidy has won a 2,000-mile car raceacross Australia, competed in marathons and studied jazz piano atthe esteemed Berklee School of Music. Oh, and the Harvard BusinessSchool grad co-founded and sold a company before starting DirectHit Technologies Inc. with Harvard Law School alum Culliss. (Who,by the way, wrote code at age 12, was a registered patent agentwith the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and invented thetechnology that would drastically reduce the pain of Internetsearching.)

The innovative of which we speak is the Direct HitPopularity Engine, available at partner search engines like HotBotand Lycos, or at http://www.directhit.com. During hispatent-agent stint, Culliss realized the most efficient way toperform patent searches was to ask colleagues where they'dfound needed information. The co-founder (who saved Direct Hit$50,000 in with his patent expertise) thought, Why notcreate an search engine that would list only the mostpopular and relevant sites, as chosen by other users?

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