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Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), he says, is "a complete joke," Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is "a cult," and Match is "dying." Says Mark Brooks, a marketing consultant who has advised Frind since 2006, "I've never known anybody so competitive.

When he does engage in conversation, Frind can be disarmingly frank, delivering vitriolic quips with a self-assured cheerfulness that feels almost mean.He hadn't even heard of Video Egg until a week ago. "I usually accomplish everything in the first hour," he says, before pausing for a moment to think this over.But then, you tend to attract advertisers' attention when you are serving up 1.6 billion webpages each month. "Actually, in the first 10 or 15 minutes." To demonstrate, Frind turns to his computer and begins fiddling with a free software program that he uses to manage his advertising inventory.The family's closest neighbors were a mile and a half away, and, apart from a younger brother, Frind had few friends."His problem was English," says his father, Eduard Frind.He seems perpetually lost in thought, constantly thinking about and studying the world around him.

"He's always watching his environment to apply it to the site," says Kanciar.

Five years later, he is running one of the largest websites on the planet and paying himself more than $5 million a year.

Frind, 30, doesn't seem like the sort of fellow who would run a market-leading anything.

Frind will spend hours hiding in the three-bedroom apartment he and Kanciar share, furtively flipping light switches, tapping on doors, and ducking into rooms to play on his girlfriend's fear of ghosts.

Another memorable valentine involved the secret consumption of a massive quantity of hot peppers.

His hometown, Hudson's Hope, is a cold, isolated place not far from the starting point of the Alaska Highway.