"I’ll Be Makin’ More than Dad Next Year!"

This is from a November 2004 profile in Fortune Magazine by Fred Vogelstein. You can bet all of the numbers are far higher now than ten months ago. Amazing!

Jon Gales loves Google, but not for the reason you might think. It’s a terrific search engine, sure, but what Gales really likes is that Google is making him money. Gales’s website, Mobiletracker.net, is a compendium of news and reviews about cellphones that after a year and a half attracts about 200,000 users a month. Google supplies the ads for the site, visitors click on the ads, and because of the site’s popularity, Google sends Gales monthly checks of $5,000 or more.

That’s a decent chunk of change for any sole proprietor. But for Gales, the numbers are eye-popping. He’s only 19 and lives expense-free at home with his parents in Tampa, posting four or five items in the course of the day while parked on the living room couch with his laptop. Says Gales: “If things keep going the way they are going, I’ll be making more money than my dad next year.”
Matt Daimler is a 27-year-old networking engineer in Seattle. Two years ago Daimler got so frustrated with getting bad seats on long business flights that he started Seatguru.com, which collects and displays information about the best and worst seats on airplanes. The hobby became a business when he and his wife added Google ads to the site. Days after they had signed up for the service, Google began sending scads of travel-related ads their way. The company takes a cut of the ad revenues—it won’t tell guys like Daimler (or us) how much—and sends the rest as a monthly check. The ads turned the site into a $120,000-a-year business.”