On Wikipedia, the immensely popular site he founded in 2001, Jimmy Wales is named "constitutional monarch, benevolent dictator, and spiritual leader."
He claims to be more of a "carpenter" in his latest venture, Wikia, a for-profit wiki-hosting platform co-founded with Angela Beesley in 2004.
Wikia offers user-generated content on pop culture topics, such as World of Warcraft, Food Trucks, and the Harry Potter movies. Some 45 million visit its 275,000 "communities" each month.
The company cites revenues of "between $10 million and $99 million" in the last three years and presumes "rapid growth" will continue. Wikia plans on hiring 40 more by the end of the year -- the majority of them full-time employees.
Wales credits his early education at a proverbial one-room school house in Alabama run by relatives for his thirst for knowledge. The answer to many childhood questions was "look it up" and Wales "fell in love with the encyclopedia."
He was inspired to create Wikipedia, an open source and free software platform to allow the whole world to share such knowledge.
Wikia seemed a logical next business idea after Wikipedia and the general pool of information it allowed users to create.
"Yes, the economy is bad, but I hope we are seeing an early signal that people's spending [habits] are going to be better than prophesied," said Wales. "The shift from traditional advertising to interactive media is certainly happening."
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