In some ways, [Philip J. Kaplan]'s story is the story of the Internet: Both worked through their youthful indiscretions and are coming back in a more sure-footed, sober way. After 10 years of booms and busts, the Internet has proved itself a medium capable of generating billions of dollars from the kinds of ads Kaplan is selling.
Others took it personally. In 2002, while speaking at an online- ad conference in New York, Kaplan was heckled by Jason Wolfe, who ran MyCoupons.com. (FC had embarrassed Wolfe that year by posting a memo in which the CEO admitted the website was losing money.) The confrontation escalated, ending only after Wolfe -- who said later that he had wanted to slug Kaplan -- was dragged away by his employees.
At the online-advertising conference here, he greets a visitor to the AdBrite booth. Kaplan can't quite place the man, until the visitor asks whether Kaplan remembers the altercation they had at the New York show three years earlier.