DIGITAL MEDIA MASTERS;JOHN DANNER;NETGRAVITY

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John Danner cruises the fast lane, whether it's the infobahn or the left lane of I-280, the highway that leads to NetGravity's San Mateo, Calif., offices.

As head of the company that developed the first software to help Web sites manage ad inventory (http://www.netgravity.com), Mr. Danner is going on full throttle.

The NetGravity AdServer package lets Web sites and advertisers monitor the placement of their ads, including the pages the ads appear on and how many times they're seen and clicked. Sites can target ads based on information supplied by the browser.

While working at Oracle and Silicon Graphics on interactive TV projects, Mr. Danner helped develop applications of advanced, high bandwidth media.

"It was a great insight into what we think is going to happen someday once the Internet has the kind of speed it needs," Mr. Danner said, adding, "I feel very lucky to have been involved in such an expensive education."

If interactive TV didn't fly, the Web, fortunately, is a compelling medium. And Mr. Danner understood that marketers would need concrete, real-time information about their advertising.

"Start-ups had the advantage last year, at least, and everyone was excited about the Internet and the capital wasn't a problem," he said of NetGravity's early success.

But don't expect his pace to slow, particularly as competitors eye Mr. Danner's hold on the market. "Every day is chaos and something new happens."

Betcha didn't know: NetGravity isn't the only gravity Mr. Danner is conquering. Before starting the company he hitchhiked around New Zealand and climbed a glacier and an active volcano in the same week.

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