Blasting into the Big Leagues - Matt Wells and Gigablast

Matt Wells

by Tiffany Chisum

SOCORRO, N.M., July 19, 2007 – New Mexico Tech alumnus Matt Wells is the architect, owner, and operator of the very successful Gigablast.com—the third largest Internet search engine in the world. In addition, Wells’ Gigablast recently won an award for being one of the largest and fastest growing technology employers in New Mexico.

Wells graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1997 with both a bachelor of science in computer science and a master of science in mathematics.

Upon completing his graduate degree at Tech, Wells went on to work at InfoSeek in Sunnyvale, California. He started developing Gigablast.com in August 2000, after leaving InfoSeek and returning to New Mexico.

While a student at New Mexico Tech, Wells designed and implemented a website called The Artist’s Den. The site was an open Internet database of art. Anyone with Internet access could log onto the website and add artwork and descriptions into a searchable database. The site was featured on Netscape’s What’s New, Yahoo’s What’s Cool (twice), and was a semi-permanent feature on InfoSeek’s Reference page.

In October of 1997, Wells started working at InfoSeek in Silicon Valley. While at InfoSeek, he worked on a search team that developed core search technologies for the search engine. He worked there for three years prior to moving back to New Mexico to start Gigablast.com. Wells stated that while at Tech he was “able to obtain the knowledge and experience to prepare (him) for the real world.”

Wells said that he always had a passion for search engines and working at InfoSeek gave him “no power to bring (his) ideas to reality.

“I wanted to make my own contribution,” Wells said about his creation.

Gigablast is the least expensive, most scaleable search engine on the market. It is currently powered by over 400 machines, handles up to 100 queries per second, indexes about 120 million pages per day, and serves between one and two million queries per day. On the business end, the search engine company has increased revenues by two to three times per year, reaching record revenues in the millions of dollars.

Gigablast started with just one employee – Wells – and now has several others, including two other previous New Mexico Tech students. Wells stated that they are “hiring aggressively and would like to hire more Techies, if possible.”

In addition to Gigablast’s office in Albuquerque, the private firm also has offices in Boston, and Denver, and will be opening one soon in Dallas.

To Tech students who might be following the same path, Wells said “Don’t be afraid to go on your own path, go after your passion, and take chances. The outcome can prove to be as rewarding to you as Gigablast has been to me.”

Wells highly recommended taking as many programming and math classes as possible while in college. He is a strong believer in the far-reaching advantages of taking math classes, stating that “The math classes I took (at Tech) helped me to think logically. With Gigablast, I always have to think that way.”

To fellow New Mexico Tech alumni, Wells said “If anyone would like to pursue a career in search engines and learn more about the industry, I would like to speak to them about possible job opportunities.” Interested parties may check out http://www.gigablast.com/.