Chris Parker is the founder of WhatIsMyIPaddress.com, the number one IP address lookup website. Chris started the website in January 2000 and for the first five years his revenue didn't even cover his internet bill. In 2014, Chris was laid off from his corporate job and was faced with the scary opportunity to make his website a full-time business.
Chris Parker Vroom Veer Stories
* Grew up in Tustin California and has lived within a 10 mile radius of home his whole life
* Went to Cal State Fullerton for about a year; not a great student--then attend the local community college for more years he wants to disclose; quit school when he realized his part time job was paying more than the what college grads were earning
* Worked in sales for a company called "Club Mac" selling Macintosh computers via a mail order catalog and in-person; not a great salesman; was talking people into buying cheaper computers
* Worked on IT and web stuff near the birth of the internet for Club Mac; at that time there wasn't an easy way to figure out your public IP address
* He build a server out of spare parts and set it up in his house to run the first version of WhatismyIPaddress.com. No graphics, it just returned the IP address.
* At some point he was getting alerts telling him the harddrive was nearly full; the traffic logs were building up
* Verion .1: He offered to answer questions via email; he just the email traffic to generate a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list
* A few years later Google Adsense call along; and decided to throw up a banner ad and it made a little bit of money; neat!
* Warning! Geek Content!: The server ran in Chris's house from pre-google time until 2014; he had a half rack server with UPS's in case of power outage and a very high electric bill trying to keep the house under 90 degrees and he was spending way too much money paying for internet bandwidth
* His wife points out that it might not be the best idea to have all the business assets in their house; a break in would effectively kill the business
* Strange as it sounds there were about six co-location facilities in Tustin within 1 mile of his house; bring your server there and plug it into their facility and you rent power, bandwidth, HVAC, and security.
* In 2014 he was selling life insurance online; the economy tanked and people were getting laid off work; Chris was asked to transition from full to part time
* Went back to full time for a while; but eventually he was let go entirely; Should I get a job or work full time on the website business?
* They experimented with working on the business for six months; which made enough to keep going---he has now replaced his job income with the business revenue
* Version .2 of the website, no graphics, bar on top, bar on bottom and a wall of text
* Version .3 he hired a graphic designer to make the site look much better GRAPHICS!
* Version .4 hired a couple of content writers to create blog content related to online security and internet privacy
* How important it is to use a VPN (virtual private network) to secure your internet connection; most businesses out there don't know how to secure their network and the ones that do are breached all the time
* On a trip to Taiwan from Sinapore his wife gets sick; in the airport in Taiwan there was a medical station using an infrared "fever detector" to find sick people and put them in quarantine; Chris noticed in time to put himself the detector and his wife and they made through
* Barf bag of the month club for dog owners who get queasy when picking up dog poo; start collecting those barf bags from airplanes
* You can verify that your VPN is working on Chris's site; you can also verify the country of an IP ad...