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Ariel Poler


Title:President, Internet Profiles Corp., San Francisco

Bio:Born in Caracas. B.A. in math and computer science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1987; MBA, Stanford University, 1994.

Work history:Computer programmer, Shimizu Construction, 1988-89; project manager, Aventura Hotels, 1989-91; student, 1992-94. Current post, 1994-.

Ariel Poler admits he's had some crazy ideas, but I/Pro is not one of them.

As a student at Stanford, he discovered the marketing power of the World Wide Web in 1993. But it was another discovery that led to the start of I/Pro, one of the first real sources of data on Web site traffic.

That discovery led Nielsen Media Re-search to make an equity investment in I/Pro earlier this month.

After starting a Bay area restaurant guide on the Web, Mr. Poler figured signing up advertisers and investors would be a snap. Instead, the same question came up over and over again: How do you know anyone's seeing the information?

Suddenly this Web marketing pioneer became a Web measuring pioneer. He and some friends drew up a business plan and began to study the problem of defining the audience of a Web site. He began to solicit feedback from various marketers about the kind of statistics they would need.

"Most of I/Pro just came out of feedback and suggestions from people," Mr. Poler said.

After graduation, Mr. Poler threw himself full-force into creating a business of I/Pro ( His company, one of the first to make tracking software commercially available, released a program to analyze Web site accesses and provide statistics about the most-accessed pages and how much time each user spends on the site. Another software component is able to provide demographic information about users, based on profiles I/Pro asks them to fill out.

Among I/Pro's clients are Playboy, Individual Inc. and Netscape Communications Corp.; I/Pro is also a member of the Com- merceNet consortium of companies.

Like most entrepreneurial executives, Mr. Poler says he doesn't have enough spare time, but when he can get away he enjoys skiing and rock climbing.

Betcha didn't know:Measurement must fascinate Mr. Poler. Before starting I/Pro, he invented a postal scale that gauged package weight by recording the movement of a computer mouse used as a balance.

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