Ben Wills: Founder, Idea Guy

In July of 2008 Ben Wills began writing the first lines of code that would, by the end of that year, turn into the first version of the Ontolo Link Building Toolset. Ben conceived, architected, built and continues to architect Ontolo's link prospect gathering and qualification tools as well as to define and execute the overall vision for the company.

Beginning in 2001 Ben was the Senior Director of SEO and integrally involved with the growth of the largest search marketing company in the world, KeywordRanking, which peaked at over 1,400 SEO clients. He was responsible for designing SEO packages and leading the distribution of SEO knowledge and training throughout all departments of the ~175 person organization.

In 2005, Andy Beal asked Ben to join him at a new SEO startup, Fortune Interactive, and quickly became the Vice President of Operations. In the nine months from startup, the company had profits on a cash basis of 25% with 23 employees.

The thing he enjoyed doing most was eliminating work hours and location for his department, which was more than half the company. In the initial, one-month trial run, it was measured that productivity was increased 25% in doing so. And you know what else? People smiled a lot more, too. Buy Ben a beer, and he'll tell you all about some contrarian organizational philosophies. (They work, too.)

In late 2006 he began consulting full time on SEO, social media marketing strategy and link building.

 

Andrew Davidoff: Cofounder, Systems Guy

In July of 2010, Andy sat in Ben's apartment and, eight days later, had completely rewritten the entire Ontolo Link Building Toolset backend. It was more than 100 times faster, scalable, and much more secure in every way. It's generally agreed that this means Ben shouldn't be writing code and doing systems stuff, and also that Andy's pretty badass at it.

Before Ontolo, Andy started his sysadmining at Wayport, which was later purchased by AT&T. There, he administered Solaris machines, much of the network and the VOIP systems.

Andy then moved on to work at Vonage doing Linux and Solaris Systems Administration. While there, he traveled world wide to install and configure sets of specialized systems and also managed a team of some of the company's top systems architects responsible for designing and implementing advanced technical solutions.

Finally, Andy worked most recently at Linden Lab performing Linux Systems Engineering. His main project during his term was as the primary developer designing and implementing a system for programmatically generating operating system images complete with applications and configuration, and for deploying those images to servers. It included being able to deploy the images to Amazon's EC2 for development and QA.

At all of these roles, he authored scripts (primarily in Perl and Python) for configuration, support, and troubleshooting of systems and also configured, maintained, and supported critical infrastructure such as software packaging and repositories, DNS, systems configuration and imaging, AAA, and backups.

Basically, he can do some things.