How A Kid Earned $2 Mil Before He Could Legally Drink – And The Shocking Way He Lost It

Andrew Thompson quit high school and built a web site that helped MySpace users decorate their pages. He promoted it by being a “MySpace whore,” who amassed as many MySpace friends as he could and promoted his site to them, and by getting ranked high in Google search results. Then one evening he added some Yahoo ads to his site and BAM, everything changed. He says he couldn’t believe that with 12 hours, the site made him about $2,500.

As the site got more “Google juice,” it got more traffic. Pretty soon he was up to about $200,000 in revenues. At 18, he was a millionaire. He bought a house. And a car. And another car. And a truck. And presents for girlfriend. And pretty soon the money was running low. But he didn’t worry because the revenue kept coming in.

Then one day he did something that seemed like the right move, but it made it all go away. He improved his site. He improved it so much that Google considered it a whole new site — and dropped him in the rankings. That’s when it all went away. Listen to the interview to get the full story!

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson


Andrew “Fashion” Thompson is the founder of beModel, a social network for artists. Previously, he ran sites including, which we talked about in this interview. For more about him, read his personal site’s about page:



Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey everyone, it’s Andrew Warner, founder of, home of the ambitious up-start. And one of the great things about the work that I do here on Mixergy is I get to find out stories of people that I never would have discovered otherwise. Because there’s really no magazine covering this, these kinds of stories. There’s really no television station that’s covering ambitious stories, ambitious entrepreneurs, like the conversations that I get to have here. And one of the people who I got to meet because of Mixergy is a guy who, before he was old enough to drink, and Andrew, correct me if this is untrue. But before Andrew Thompson was old enough to drink, he earned about 2 million dollars building a Myspace site. A site that helped people who were on Myspace. He earned it quickly, and then he lost it just as quickly. And we’re going to find out how he earned it, and I want to learn a lot from that. Then find out how you lost it, and that’s going to be a reminder to all of us entrepreneurs how to keep what we’re building. And then, at the end, we’re going to find out what you’re doing to regain it again, because you’ve got all this experience. It’s not going to waste. You can fight back in with the new business. So the big website, Andrew, that I understand that you built up is called That was the site?

Interviewee: Yeah, I had a few large ones, actually Myspacesupport being the biggest. I had Myspacecity. I had Mytowercodes, and a few other little ones, but those are the three big ones. And Myspaceforyou.

Andrew: And what do these sites do?

Interviewee: It gave users, as simple as it sounds, it gave users layouts, codes, generators to do all kinds of fancy things, and glitter graphics for the girls. So…

Andrew: Oh, I used to see those glitter graphics on Myspace all the time.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: I hated them.

Interviewee: Yeah, they were just…

Andrew: They were just so over-powering.

Interviewee: Yes, they were annoying.

Andrew: And how did you make money from that? We’re going to get into the details on how you did it, but can you tell me broadly where the money came from? You weren’t charging a membership or anything, were you?

Interviewee: No, it was strictly CPM advertising only, or CPC and CPM, it was a mixture of those two forms of advertising.

Andrew: CPC means cost per click. Every time somebody clicks, you earn money. CPM means cost per impression, and you earn money every time, every time your ads were shown. All right. Let’s go to, let’s go back to the first business that you launched. And how old were you when you launched it, the first online business?

Interviewee: Yeah, well, my first online business? I did Photoshop websites. Photoshop output.

Andrew: What does that mean? I saw that in your profile, and I don’t understand what Photoshop websites means.

Interviewee: Back a long time ago, like when I was 16, I used to build websites teaching people how to use Photoshop. How, just quick tutorials on how to do filters, and how to do effects, and how to do fancy text effects. And we would, my buddy and I, we’d go around submitting tutorials to big database sites. So we’d build a whole bunch of tutorials, submit them everywhere we can, and then we’d have Google ads. And on good days, we’d pull up to 150 bucks. I mean once we get approved, I mean from the tutorial database sites, we’d get a whole bunch of traffic. And that was where I started.

Andrew: What kind of tutorials? You mean text tutorials, images? Were there videos?

Interviewee: It was, well this was a little while ago, so there was no screen capturing software that I was aware of, so it was all text tutorials and pictures. Just, you know, how to do something in Photoshop.

Andrew: So you just say this is a feature that you guys all need to know about. I’m going to describe it with text. I’m going to show you images so you understand it. And then you submitted those to databases. What kind of databases?

Interviewee: For example, the biggest one being So you’d go to places likes those, and they just, those places linked to other people. And you just submit your tutorial there, and they send you thousands of hits a day.

Andrew: Hits to your website or…

Interviewee: Yes.

Andrew: were the tutorials housed on their site?

Interviewee: Nope, it was a direct link to your website.

Andrew: Wow! And how did they know who had quality content and who didn’t?

Interviewee: You’d have to be approved. The tutorial does have to be approved. Some of them would be declined.

Andrew: Each tutorial has to be approved.

Interviewee: Yes, by a moderator. And that’s where I started with the whole internet advertising thing.

Andrew: OK. And then you just threw up some ads from Google, and that’s where you’re bringing your revenue.

Interviewee: Yup.

Andrew: OK.

Interviewee: That’s exactly right.

Andrew: All right, and I think one of those sites was, a tutorial site?

Interviewee: Yes, that was. That was one of my bigger ones I did pretty good with.

Andrew: OK, and…

Interviewee: And then websites, go ahead.

Andrew: Were you getting traffic to that site beyond the databases? Were you starting to get some Google traffic, Yahoo traffic, that kind of thing?

Interviewee: Yeah, naturally the SEO would build up for certain keywords, but the majority of traffic was from referrals, referring sites. And I mean we would submit to a lot of database sites, so I mean traffic was really consistent, because we would keep submitting tutorials daily, just constantly. I mean we were busting our ass just making tutorials on how to use Photoshop.

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Interviewee: …just making tutorials on how to use Photoshop. So I mean, it kept coming from them.

Andrew: Ok. I teased this interview and we’ve got tons of people who are watching us right now. Tons anyway for me. This isn’t like CNBC levels but it’s a good number of people who are watching us and one of the reasons they’re watching us is because I kept saying that you’re a guy who earned about $2,000,0000 before you were old enough to drink. And we’re going to get into the big dollars and we’re going to get into the way that you lived hard but I also want to – in fact, more important for me in my work on Mixergy, is to talk about how you worked hard. And I know: you said this over and over and the people who I’ve talked to about you have told me this about you that you worked your butt off. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t just like you landed on trick and everything fell into place and money was rolling in your pockets. So I want to take it slowly and if you’re waiting for the big pay off, guys, if you’re watching us live or listening to us recorded, wait for it. It’ll happen. So you were saying you sold iDesignThis dot com for how much?

Interviewee: It was so long ago but I think it was 25…it was 2,000 or 2500. And I sold that on Site Point and I just recently found out about Site Point. You know, I wanted to get out of the Photoshop thing, this was when the MySpace thing was coming, and that was my first big like chunk of change at the time. I mean, here and there I would do good days on Google Advertising Photoshop tutorials. A hundred bucks a day but 20 bucks a day average. It always varied but when I sold that it was like $2000 cash and I was just amazed. And I was 17 I think when I did that. So that was a lot of money for me. Especially for a high school dropout.

Andrew: Wow. Wow. Did you use that to validate dropping out of high school? Did you show it off to your parents and say, “Look, I was right”?

Interviewee: Yeah, to my parents, yes. My parents did not like the idea of dropping out at all. But…

Andrew: Why’d you drop out?

Interviewee: A few reasons. The main reasons being I really hated doing stuff I didn’t want to do. I always sat on the computer. Always. I was always on the Internet. I couldn’t stand doing anything but being on the Internet and I was the biggest nerd there was in school. And the drive.

Andrew: The drive?

Interviewee: The drive. Every single morning waking up at 5:30 and then driving a half hour to get to school.

Andrew: I see. I thought you were going to say “the drive to make it big”. You mean the actual commute drive.

Interviewee: Yeah. That’s how lazy I am. I don’t like to drive in the morning.

Andrew: All right. I’ve heard all kinds of reason for starting a business. That’s interesting. Okay so you made –

Interviewee: Oh and sorry. I forgot to mention, I wanted to keep doing Internet stuff with my buddy, Mike. So those were the three main reasons. We wanted to do the Internet thing full time, the drive and I hated school.

Andrew: Were you guys partners on any of these sites?

Interviewee: Yeah. Him and I verbally were partners on every website up until MySpaceSupport. That’s when I kind of went solo because I did everything my…to an extent, myself.

Andrew: Ok. Should I move on now to MySpaceSupport dot come or was there another major business before then? Another milestone?

Interviewee: No. Not really. Just jumped right into that one.

Andrew: Ok. All right. So then you launched MySpaceSupport. What did you want that site to be at first?

Interviewee: I was a MySpace addict. Always wanted to build my image. Always wanted to have the coolest layout. Always wanted to impress the girls. I was all about image on MySpace. So I would look around for backgrounds, I would look around for generators myself, just look around for stuff. And then I came across a profile editor and I just liked building websites. I said, “I could build something better.” And that’s when another friend of mine, Curtis, he designed the first version of MySpaceSupport and that’s when I started programming my ass – I don’t think I’ve every programmed so hard in my entire life than I did on that site.

Andrew: By programming do you mean actual programming? Coding up the generators or are you talking about just designing the layouts?

Interviewee: No. I’m talking PHP and MySequel because the site was database driven to an extent. I mean, there was stuff that had to be pulled from a database. I did have a community in there so eventually I started progressing. The generators would get [INAUDIBLE] and I would have to do some Java script. I mean, things did get…As MySpace grew, the generators got a little more intense. You had to do more programming. That’s what I used to do. I stopped programming after I made my money I completely stopped but I programmed PHP, JavaScript, all of that for day and night going through 12 packs of soda every single day. For three months.

Andrew: All right. That’s what the Internet’s built on: soda drinkers. Ok, so you built this thing with the idea that you were going to make money the same way that you made money with iDesignThis dot com? By throwing up ads from Google, right?

Interviewee: Yes.

Andrew: And Google ads. You just have to go in and you have to fill out a form and you have the code that you could put on your site. And they send you a check whenever they…

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Interviewee: Yes.

Andrew: And Google Ads….

Interviewee: Exactly.

Andrew: You just have to go in, and you have to fill out a form, and you have the code that you could put on your site. And they send you a check whenever they…

Interviewee: Yep.

Andrew: I think it was every other month, back then?

Interviewee: Yeah, it was Net 30. So, after the end of the month, after the end of the calendar month, whatever. You know. You’d get a check 30 days later. So….

Andrew: Okay. All right. And didn’t you have to be old enough to cash checks to work with them? To sign a contract? I mean, you were under 18.

Interviewee: No. actually, [Laughs] I went through quite a few Google Accounts. But no, there’s no age requirement.

Andrew: Why’d you go through quite a bit…why’d you go through a few Google accounts?

Interviewee: I got, actually, kicked off of my first Google account for displaying irrelevant ads on certain pages. And I guess they didn’t’ like that. But then my buddy got a Google account. And he lost his Google account. And ended up having to use my mom’s Google account. I went through, like, four Google accounts. I mean, it was a train…. It was a rollercoaster. I mean, so….

Andrew: And the one that you settled on… Yeah, sorry. You go ahead.

Interviewee: What were you going to say?

Andrew: I was going to ask, the one that you settled on, who owned that Google account?

Interviewee: My friend Wes, actually. And he still owns that Google account to this day. But I do have…I’m not going to use Google. I’m a CPM guy now. So every time we got checks, he and I had to go to the CPA. And it was really funny. You know, Mitch passed the money over to me, and….

Andrew: In this case, the CPA means the Certified Public Accountant. We’re not talking about a new…

Interviewee: [Overlapping] yes.

Andrew: …revenue model.

Interviewee: Yeah. When money started coming in.

Andrew: Okay. All right. So, you’re…you’ve got your site, you’ve got your ads, how are you getting traffic to it?

Interviewee: Okay. When MySpace was big, what…three years ago? Four years ago? When I started it, and then a year through it, it was a lot different. You know? There was no Twitter, there was no Facebook. Social networking hasn’t even really boomed yet.

So back then, I was into building my image. And the way to build image on MySpace four years ago was to have a lot of friends. You remember when Forbidden and Tila Tequila had a whole bunch of friends? Everybody was in a competition with them to try to get as much friends as them.

So, the term was “whore.” Whoring. Back in the day you’d do whore trains, you would do whoring. Basically you’d post bulletins saying, “Add this person, add this person.”

And you would get a whole bunch of people to basically post bulletins saying to, add me, for example. And I would go to 5,000 friends. 10,000. And then once you break a barrier, like, 10…20,000 friends is when you get in the “cool zone.” The popular zone with all the MySpace whores.

And we’re talking like, I was in whore chat rooms with people who had 50,000 friends, 100,000 friends, 60,000 friends. Forbidden was in a few of those chat rooms sometimes. And a few other big people.

Chris Crocker was in a chat room with me one time, doing whoring. Back when MySpace was big. And us whores, with 20…30,000 friends, we’d say, hey, post a bulletin for me. And we’d all post bulletins for each other, getting us more friends.

Which is what led me to the idea of, “Okay, why don’t I have all these whores…”

Andrew: [Overlapping] [Laughs] Hang on a second. Before, Okay. Before we continue from that. I want to make sure that I understand this part.

Interviewee: Okay.

Andrew: Back then, when you sent a bulletin, that would go into people’s inboxes, right? So all these people who were following one of the whores would get an email saying, “follow this other whore, or be friends with this other whore…”

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: …and a significant number of them would just go and be friends because they wanted to be friended back?

Interviewee: Exactly. And it’s not even an inbox. A bulletin is, if you’re friends with them, you’re gonna have a list of bulletins and you’ll see it. You know? Like, right now your main page. You’ll see, “So and so posted a bulletin.”

So, exactly. They would click the bulletin, and surprisingly enough, they would add you. Even if they don’t know you. Just because they wanted friends.

Andrew: Because they wanted friends, because they were kind of doing what you were doing to a smaller degree. And because you guys looked good in your pictures. And they wanted to have good-looking friends to impress the friends in their high schools and colleges.

Interviewee: And having lots of friends meant, you know, you’d look cool on MySpace.

Andrew: Gotcha.

Interviewee: I mean, if you had over 5,000 friends four years ago, you were cool on MySpace. That’s really what it was all about.

Andrew: And then you had your own little club, where you guys would talk to each other. And you threw out a couple of names. I know Tila Tequila of course, but who’s Forbidden?

Interviewee: Tila…no, I was never in a chat with Tila Tequila.

Andrew: I know but you threw out her name, so I’m saying, I know her. She became huge from this. But who’s Forbidden?

Interviewee: I’m surprised you don’t know Forbidden. I think she got bigger first, and then Tila just took off, just out of nowhere with her whatever lesbian show. But Forbidden was, like, the first on MySpace to reach a million friends. Before Tila Tequila. I could be wrong, but Forbidden was just another huge…whore.

I mean, I’m not saying that in a derogatory way. I mean, like, MySpace Whore. So….

Andrew: Right, and so you guys would just stay up all night and you would friend each other, then you would pimp each other out, and you would just keep building up your audience. And at first, it was….

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Anderw: … You guys would just stay up all night and you would friend each other. Then you would pimp each other out. And you would just keep building up your audience. And at first, it was just for ego?

Interviewee: It was purely for ego and image.

Andrew: Ok. And then you were… you were starting to say that you realized something. What was that realization?

Interviewee: I started to get really cool with all these people. And I had a bunch of friends, so I would start saying, hey. Post bulletins for my website. Generators, cool layouts, cool graphics. And I would have to pay them. I think I paid them, God, 50 bucks a week? Or 50 bucks every so… depending on, you know, how many friends they had, I would start dipping into my own cash. And these bulletins worked like wild fire. I mean, it blew… I had, like, 5or 10 whores who would post bulletins every so often for me, or every day. And, including myself, you know. Twice a day or whatever. Sent me thousands of hits. Thousands.

Andrew: And they would all say, go check out because that’s where you can get new layouts. You can get these bejeweled text for your, for your site. And everyone will think that you’re cool

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: Ok. And all that was coming to your site. And you were making money from advertising from Google?

Interviewee: And that’s… Once I started doing the whoring it just… it just started picking up. And then I naturally started growing with SEO as well. And other stuff I’ll tell you in a little bit, but the whoring is kinda what gave me that initial kick, so to speak. It really got me going.

Andrew: Ok. I see the people are loving the… the whoring on myspace. I see Chris Dirt, I think you’re making him laugh. Who’d have thunk. He’s saying Will Lam is loving a whole lot of whoring on today’s live webcast here at mixergy. We’re gonna get to the business part of it in a moment. We’re gonna dig deeper into the business part of it. But, alright, so. Now you’re making money through Google. And then there was a turning point that I read on your site, about Yahoo. Can you tell people about that?

Interviewee: Ok, this is, this is kinda where, things started to change. Google. I was doing 100. I started doing pretty good, I mean…

Andrew: Yeah, how much money is pretty good?

Interviewee: I was doing 100 to 400 a day, depending on how many whores I could get to whore me. I know, that sounds funny, but… And then, you know, over time, like in a month… you know, it just started picking up. But, I was doing up to 400, 500 dollars a day on Google. I haven’t even added CPM banners yet, too. I didn’t even know. I don’t even think I was too familiar with CPM at this point yet. But Yahoo just launched their advertising program. It was in Beta, actually. And certain people got invited, or whatever. And I was one of the Beta customers. I got an invite. I don’t remember how I got it, but I did. And, the night… I don’t remember exactly which night, but my friend Mike was over… my really close friend, and I added Yahoo that night, that evening. And Yahoo updates every hour. It updates every hour with stats and stuff. I think I was doing 500 bucks a day at this point, almost. I added Yahoo and that evening, in one night, out of nowhere, I checked at like midnight or whatever with my buddy and it said 25 hundred dollars, or something. $2,500 in less than 12 hours. And, of course I didn’t believe it at first. I was so skeptical. I didn’t even know what to think. I was like, there’s no friggin way I made 25 hundred dollars in 6 hours. And, that was… that was the turning point. That was where the money started coming and Yahoo was real. And…

Andrew: Why did Yahoo bring in more money for you than Google? I thought Google was the giant in this space.

Interviewee: Ok, Google. This is… this is what happened with the Google Yahoo thing. Yahoo started nailing down hard. Yahoo didn’t have as many advertisers like Google did at first. Google actually had relevant, contextual ads that were displayed on your site. You know, like ring tones and graphics, html. You know, all those relevant ads that aren’t as high paying. So, I’d get thousands of relevent clicks on Google and make 500 bucks a day. Yahoo I would get hundreds of clicks a day but the ads weren’t as relevant. They were more like education. Get your degree. Get… you know what I mean? They’re higher paying ads. So Yahoo was displaying less relevant, higher paying.

Andrew: Fair to say, cuz Yahoo was whoring themselves. Cuz they were going to reduce the value of their… of their ads for their users and your users in return for bringing in more money. For running those high paying offers that aren’t necessarily relevant.

Interviewee: Yeah, they… and… they… they really had no choice at that point either. They needed high traffic websites and they didn’t have… they didn’t have as many advertisers, you know? And I mean, so, we pushed out what they had. We… they had a select amount of categories that we could push, and we pushed the most relevant which was, I would push education ads because that seemed like more kids were on myspace…

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Interviewee: You know, cause I’ve seen, like more kids were on MySpace. So I used education ads. And it paid off surprisingly well.

Andrew: Oh, all right. Well done. So do you remember how much you made at the height per month? What was your highest monthly revenue?

Interviewee: Um, $215,000, $214,000.

Andrew: OK. So over $200,000. In a month.

Interviewee: Yeah. In a month.

Andrew: Did you have to share this with Mike or anyone else?

Interviewee: Um, nope. Nobody helped with the site at all, except for my buddy who did the initial design for me and came up with the domain name. But I did all the work, all the programming. So, I mean, I paid him very well, but I mean, I didn’t, no, I didn’t split it with anybody. I did have a partner in Canada, however, who was using my Yahoo account. So, he had his own website. So, out of that $214,000, I think, like every month, I’d have to give him $30,000 of it.

Andrew: So he was using your account to run ads for himself? He was in Canada and Yahoo wasn’t allowing Canadian affiliates.

Interviewee: Exactly.

Andrew: The intention behind that was to have a site that would almost, that would make people think that it’s owned by MySpace. That MySpace offers support on this site, right?

Interviewee: Right. MySpace didn’t like that, either.

Andrew: But, why didn’t they stop you?

Interviewee: They tried. They sent me a “Cease and Desist”. Um, and they threatened to sue me. Cease and des-, see, if you don’t do this, we’re going to come after you. Uh, at first, I didn’t take it too heavy, or whatever. But then they came at me again, and then I had a buddy at PhotoBucket who said he knew somebody at MySpace. And he got in touch with them, and they just said, “hey, add this to your footer”. Actually, it went from being a “Cease and Desist” to them being super-nice, saying, “OK, fine, we’ll let it slide”.

Andrew: Who was your buddy?

Interviewee: His name was Peter Pham.

Andrew: Pham? Peter Pham? Of course, he has buddies everywhere. Why did Peter Pham, he did an interview with me here on Mixergy about how he has all these buddies everywhere. Why did Peter Pham want to help you out?

Interviewee: Because, at the time, I was the largest MySpace site. At one point in time and, him and, when he was working for PhotoBucket, I don’t know what he’s doing, I haven’t talked to him in years. But I actually met him in LA, personally, we had lunch together. But he wanted to do some type of partnership, PhotoBucket with MySpacesupport, some type of link trade, you know, where we kind of help each other out. Never ended up going through,but him and I were MSN buddies for quite some time. And he ended up, you know, he’s like, OK, let me talk to somebody at MySpace. Let me see what I can do, basically. And he helped me get out of that.

Andrew: That guy has got more connections than anybody that I’ve ever seen. I’ll tell you what he’s doing right now. Now he’s the founder of BillShrink. Do you know BillShrink?

Interviewee: Yeah, is that that web site that helps you find a better deal on cell phones?

Andrew: Exactly! Brand new site. Everyone knows what they are because he made a deal with T-Mobile somehow, where T-Mobile was running ads for him for free, essentially, with Catherine Zeta-Jones. You talk about connections and the power of connections. It helped you just to be close to this guy. Can you imagine the effect that his contacts have on his own business? I did an interview with him before, I think before he launched that business, back when he was just a guy who was a big connector in Los Angeles. People got to go and download that interview, because you can see how methodical he is about building connections. I mean, it’s real but also, there’s a method to it that you can learn. OK, so, he helps you out with them, you keep going strong, um, and you at your height make $200,000 in a month, and it’s basically yours. Um, before we get into expenses and all the business stuff, let’s now spend a little bit of time on the celebration. What’s the first big thing that you bought for yourself?

Interviewee: Oh, man, um, when I got my first check, I think my first check, I say everywhere when I got my first $100,000 check, but I think my first check was $180,000. Um, I went and bought a brand new BMW in cash. Um, $49,000 after taxes, 330xi, got my first check in January, I bought the car in February. So, I went, I mean, I can’t even explain how it felt, I just went and bought a brand new $50,000 BMW. That was the first thing I bought.

Andrew: Why didn’t you take out a loan? Was it to be a big-shot? Was it because you couldn’t, because you were too young?

Interviewee: I don’t know. I think because I thought, I thought in my head, if I had it paid off in cash, I would never have to worry about it again. But now I wish I would have bought a used car, financed it, or done some type of lease option where you know, like, trade that car back in three years later, and get a different one. You know, like, unless I was, I don’t know, I should have been smarter and not just dropped $50,000. But, that’s what I did.

Andrew: Let’s come back to that, I got to remember to come back to that. What else did you spend money on?

Interviewee: The next month, March 10th, I closed on my house, $93,000 down, cash..

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Interviewee: The next month, march 10th, I closed on my house, $93,000 down in cash, after closing costs.

Andrew: What kind of house was it?

Interviewee: Ah, the one I’m in now. It’s a…

Andrew: Ok, so you bought this and you still have it, so you didn’t lose it all.

Interviewee: Well, I’m working on saving it, but I’m at a point where I’m in a little rut. But I’m getting back up, and everything’s gonna be fine. I’ll tell that at the end of the video, what’s going on. But yeah, I still have this little baby. Four bedroom, finished basement.

Andrew: I’ll tell you this, before we continue. Just about every internew with a successful entrepreneur who I’ve had on here, they’ve had a big setback. The difference is that everybody has setbacks. The differene between them and everyone else is that they get up and they go build another business. Most people would say, this is ridiculous, obviously entrepreneurship is too risky. I’ll go get a job, I’ll have this interesting background, and life will go on. But the guys who come on here, the entrepreneurs who’ve built up incredible businesses say no, I’m gonna do it again. If I could do it once I can do it again. Alright, what what else did you buy? You bought the house, you bought the BMW.

Interviewee: Man, I splooged. I took my girlfriend straight to Hawaii. We went to Vegas. I wasn’t even 21. I bought her so much stuff, it was ludicrous. I bought another BMW, $120,000 cash. I bought a truck, $40,000 cash. I have the list written down. I spent a lot of money at strip clubs, way too much. You know I kind of went a little crazy. I didn’t do alcohal, I didn’t do drugs, I’ve never done any of that stuff. Barely ever drank. I just loved toys. I spent tons of money on clothes, jewelry. And there’s probably some big stuff I’m missing. Oh, my house. I spent way too much money in this house. I upgraded this thing, probably $200,000ish in cash, of renovations. I now have the most expensive non-selling house in this neighborhood. So yeah, I went a little crazy.

Andrew: Rose, you guys aren’t dating anymore right?

Interviewee: No.

Andrew: What was she like? It seems like from what I’ve read from you about her, she must have been some knockout!

Interviewee: Yeah, she was my first love. I mean, I never had a girlfriend in highschool, never kissed a girl in highschool. Didn’t lose my virginity until I dropped out. So, she was like kinda the first girl, I mean I had a few girls before her, but she was the first girl that I was attracted to on a high level. And then, she met me right when I started to make money. She met me… in February I want to say. So I didn’t have my house yet, I just had the car. You know, that’s all I had. And, you know, stayed with her ever since, and spoiled her. She definitely loved me for who I was, and not just my money. I mean, things were great, but yeah. She was good.

Andrew: You said earlier that you were a nerd in highschool. I’ve said that a lot about myself, I was a big friggin’ nerd loser, didn’t have anything going on for himself, just couldn’t wait to leave school so I could get on with the beginning of my life. It sounds like that was what your experience was.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: How old were you when you quit?

Interviewee: Actually, last semester of senior year, 17.

Andrew: Ok, so you say that you didn’t lose your virginity until after you left school, that doesn’t necessarily mean you were old when you lost your virginity. How old were you when you lost your virginity? Can we ask that? Is that inappropriate? Guys, if you’re watching this live, let me know if this is beyond the realm.

Interviewee: Actually, the only reason I know this, this may sound lame. But it was five months before I was 18. Because it was my Christmas present, and my birthday is May, so…

Andrew: What do you mean your Christmas present? From the girl you were dating, or your friends?

Interviewee: Yeah, the girl I was dating.

Andrew: I see.

Interviewee: Christmas present, that’s silly, but yeah. 17 then.

Andrew: So, how much of his drive came from the fact that you had some kind of burning desire to succeed in the world. School wasn’t giving it to you, you weren’t getting it back from the highschool girls. And here you found an opportunity in coding up a business, and you werent going to let it go. You weren’t going to go to sleep if there was some kind of diet coke that could have kept you going, or red bull. How much of that is true?

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Interviewee: I’ve always had drive. Always. And all I’ve ever wanted to do was build a business. Since middle school. I don’t know why, nobody I know around me’s ever built a business. My mom’s worked full-time.

I just always have wanted to build something. And it was the Internet. I mean I’ve always wanted to make money off the Internet. Ever since I found out you could. I don’t remember…junior year? I mean, I found out you could start making money probably…. I don’t remember which year. Junior year. And then I started doing the Photoshop stuff.

And then ever since then, I’ve just been… that’s all I’ve been going for. Just constantly working on that. So I’ve always been driven to make money. I’ve always wanted to be a millionaire. And now I say I want to be a trillionaire. I mean, millionaire and billionaire doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s kind of like, I want to be a trillionaire. But I’ve always been driven to make….

Andrew: You’re inventing words now, though.

Interviewee: There’s no trillionaire yet…but….

Andrew: Right. Yes.

Interviewee: You know…with inflation….

Andrew: [Laughs] That’s right.

Interviewee: Within a few years….

Andrew: [Laughs] Yes.

Interviewee: I might be able to hit a trillion.

Andrew: All right. I gotta say, I’m walking around now here with…I’m in Buenos Aires, where I think it takes, like, a trillion dollars just to make a 10 dollar bill American. A trillion pesos. So who knows?

Interviewee: A trillion pesos! [Laughs]

Andrew: The conversion’s a little nuts.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. So then you decide that you’re gonna make a change to the site. Why did you want to change the site?

Interviewee: Well, this was my first attempt at it, out of all the money that I have blown, to invest a little money back into the site and keep up with the times.

MySpace was changing, new generators were needed. You know, I wanted to give it a facelift, you know? ‘Cause I like building website. I enjoy it. So I like changing the interface. I like making things friendlier. I mean, I enjoy building websites.

So, me and my buddy, we said, “Hey, let’s do this.” I hired a programmer to do the entire framework from scratch and mod-rewrite the URLS, make the URLS completely different. Flew to Miami, did some touchups, fixed a whole bunch of stuff.

And the reason we flew to Miami is ’cause my friend in Chicago…I hired two friends in Chicago, of mine, to finish up, basically. We flew to Miami, launched…. Finished the site in like, a week. We were out there for a while. It was a ton of fun….

And then launched the new version of MySpace Support…

Andrew: [Overlapping] Okay. Before you say that you launched it, let me ask some geek questions here. What language did you develop the site in?

Interviewee: It’s always been PHP.

Andrew: It’s always been PHP?

Interviewee: But what we went from was the standard procedural PHP. Which is “if-then-else” statements. You know. Like, if-then do-while loops, you know, stuff like that. We went from that to an object-oriented view of it. Which is you know, classes and objects. And then functions and methods and all that stuff.

So we went to a more complex, sophisticated type of programming. You know, so that we could then add features later, have a more sophisticated community, and, you know. Just tidy up the code. So we went from that, to that.

Andrew: What were you trying to do to the URL structure?

Interviewee: Be SEO-friendly. See, it used to be a “question-mark-p, equals this.” You know. Whatever. All kinds of fancy little symbols in the URL bar. So it’s like, okay, let’s mod-rewrite the URLs. And keep in mind, I was a high authority…Google loved me, had tons of trust in me. I was first place for the most…1, 2, and 3, it would jump around…for the most competitive term in the industry, which is “MySpace layouts.”

It was bringing me probably 60,000 visits a day. That term. Just that term alone. Not “MySpace codes,” not “MySpace generators,” just “MySpace layouts.”

So, I decided to redo the URL structure using mod-rewrite with Apache and pretty-up the URLs.

Andrew: Yeah. ‘Cause that’s what all the search engine optimization experts tell you to do. And in most cases this makes a lot of sense.”

Interviewee: It makes tons of sense.

Andrew: They say, make it so that humans and computers can understand it. So that the URLs are more descriptive. So if you go over to, you can see it…how am I saying it? So that it’s almost like a sentence packed with the keywords that you want to rank.

Interviewee: Exactly.

Andrew: Or, separated by dashes. No question marks and funny characters, and all kinds of things that only computers understand.

Interviewee: Yeah. It helps your SEO just a little bit, you know. When you type in the keywords in Google it’s also your title and URL bar. But yeah, that didn’t help in this case. Do you want me to…explain it?

Andrew: Yeah. What happened there?

Interviewee: OK. So, I found this out after, of course. When we did that, instantaneously, I think the next day, I was page eight. You know, we launched the new version in Miami, I got home, got on Google and I was like, “Where the fuck am I?”

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Interviewee: …where the fuck am I. You know, I thought there was a… am I allowed to curse sometimes?

Andrew: Yeah, be honest, be open.

Interviewee: I was flipping out because that was like 50% of my traffic. And then I’m going through the pages, and I’m on page 8 and I’m like, “What’s going on,” so I hire an SEO consultant for $300 an hour to teach me some stuff and he basically told me since I was a high-authority site, when you do a complete restructure – like I mean everything was changed, from the graphics, to the directories, to the URLs, to the CSS code, to the PHP code, to the HTML code, everything was completely changed – and since I changed it instantaneously, like, you know, I went from the old version straight to the new version in a matter of seconds, it’s a brand new site to Google. Your domain loses its trust, and therefore I basically started from scratch, going all the way to page 8, and having no trust, no authority, the domain didn’t mean anything anymore, because it’s brand new now.

Andrew: My stomach hurts as I hear this. This is like overnight.

Interviewee: Yeah. So I lost everything overnight and it was me trying to make it better.

Andrew: You’re doing the responsible thing, you’re saying to yourself I’m not going to buy another car, another truck, I’m going to reinvest in my business, what’s the smartest thing to do to reinvest in my business is to say, my traffic is coming from Google, I’ll help Google even further and grow my business that way.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: Wow. So how did you feel after that? Well, first of all, can you change it then, if you can go, if overnight you can lose it all, can’t you overnight go back to the old version and get it all back?

Interviewee: So I spent $30,000 in SEO trying to get it back. I bought text links from the most high-authority sites you can buy. I mean I bought text links on… I went through a buy/sell text links place and you can buy text links with no follows and you can, you know, just get straight-up links. I did all sorts of SEO techniques. I don’t remember everything I did, but I had a guy help me do a lot of stuff. I ended up spending $30,000, and that $30,000 was strictly for buying stuff. I didn’t even pay for labor because I did a lot of the programming myself – and I got to like page 5, I think, but at that point I was like, I am just dropping way too much money. I mean really, the best technique you can do to get up in SEO is really buy straight-up links. Links is… I’m a little behind, I know there’s the Twitter and the pinging and the blog pinging and the Technorati – all that fancy stuff. I know there’s probably other techniques now, but back then it was just buying links, or having high-authority links link to you and link back to them – and it just was not working, I just could not get back to page 1 no matter how hard I tried, and I just kept dropping money into it. So it was like, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t keep spending money, it’s not working. So eventually I sold…

Andrew: I’m getting questions from the audience. If you guys are watching and have questions, if you have knowledge of SEO or have knowledge of this space, MySpace, space at all, bring on the questions, bring on the insight. Merick actually has a great question here, he’s asking me to ask you if you redirected your old pages to the new pages before going live with the new site.

Interviewee: Yes, that was actually an .htaccess thing I forgot to do. You can do a redirect – there’s a few types of redirects you can do, there’s like 301s, 401s, and there’s one, there’s a redirect that you can do in the .htaccess file that says, “Hey, this page is gone – not missing, it’s over here.” And we didn’t do that, and I didn’t figure that out until a month later when it was too late, when the old design, when the old site was already gone. Unfortunately, I trashed the old site, I don’t know why. I kind of like to have a clean server. I’m OCD when it comes to my files and you know, I like to have all the folders perfectly prettied out. So I trashed the old site. And it was too late to do the 301 redirect – that the page… you know what I mean? So – that was too late. And I did find that out, that I could have done that and I was devastated when I found that out and I deleted the site.

Andrew: You know, one of the things I admire about you is, if people see your pictures online, you look like a fashion model. Right now we’re just hanging out on webcam, but people see your pictures online, you’re like a fashion model – then you start talking and you sound like the biggest geek on the planet, with the way that you wanted to make sure to keep the folders properly organized, with the PHP and the development, the whole thing – so how did you feel?

Interviewee: How did I feel? About…

Andrew: Yeah, you’ve been pretty open about your feelings, I love that. That’s what makes you feel to me, as a writer, as an entrepreneur, as a human being, that’s what makes you feel more human to me. So you talked a little bit about your depression – did it start to set in at that point?

Interviewee: No, it didn’t set in until probably, almost a year ago, just recently.

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Interviewee: Yeah it was rough. Because not only; I lost everything so it was rough. I had to sell everything and I am the kind of person who can’t ask people for help. I can’t let anybody pay for anything. I just, I can’t even ask my mom for help. I can’t ask my dad for help. I can’t ask friends for help. So I was cashing everything out. I sold my Wii. I had to sell my Super Nintendo. I had to sell my video cameras. I had to sell my TV’s. I sold everything. So, I even did a garage sale. It was horrible. But yeah, it was rough.

Andrew: Why did you have to sell it all? Was it to make payments for the house?

Interviewee: It was bills, consumer debt, business debt, second mortgage…just piles-

Andrew: Why did you need to take on business debt if money was coming in?

Interviewee: That’s still a mystery to me this day. I don’t even know why I pulled out a second mortgage. I think I started overspending what came in every month, and I locked up some money in a CD so didn’t spend my tax money, and I think I wanted toys I couldn’t necessarily afford. Like I think my M6, for example, I pulled out a loan for that one. Because I didn’t have 120k cash. I might have had 60k cash, and then the rest locked up and the rest spent. You know, 93k down, so I bought my M6 and I pulled out a secure 120k loan. Bought that car, and then paid off the 120k secured loan, you know, when I got more cash, and I think the same thing happened with pulling out a business loan, pulling out a second mortgage, and then eventually I kind of just overspent what I earned. So I think that’s why I’m in debt.

Andrew: Why did you spend so much? Part of it is, you said earlier you love your toys, but take me into the psychology of the moment. Why?

Interviewee: I love gadgets.

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Andrew: By that point it was a brand new site to google, right? If you would have gone to the new site, it would have been another site still.

Interviewee: Yes, and I think even if I had the old site and reverted a month later, I think it would have brought me even back farther, because they would have already indexed all, I mean I was doing, you know, 100, 200.000 visits a day. They already indexed my new site probably that day, you know. So going back to the old one, would have been re-indexing, so.

Andrew: Allright, I want to thank Saad Malic for helping us connect, by the the way. How do you know him?

Interviewee: Through the MySpace-industry I believe, we have been chatting just randomly over the years and, you know, and he’s always been a supportive guy, and anytime he had questions where I had questions, we’re just in general just nice ‘aim-buddies’ with each other so to speak.

So I think Saad is well for getting me this interview.

Andrew: I’ve got to say this; anyone who is listening to us: If you have a story similar to this or if you know someone with a great story, a great entrepreneureal story or an investor who has invested in you business or anyone who you think should be on Mixergy, do what Saad did and help me get to know them, so we can get them on here.

Okay, so, it was about I think you said and it’s hard to go back and count everything, but from what I understand, it’s about 2.1 million that you made. You had expenses, relevant expenses of about 1.1 million, something like that?

Interviewee: Yeah, I narrowed it down in a blog and kind of like, went through a thought-process, but there was the imperative expenses which I think was close to a 900.000 to a millionish dollars, that, you know, mortgage, bills, taxes.

Andrew: That was what’s left after you’ve paid your taxes, after you paid your regular business expenses and that was what you’ve used to spend on the BMW and everything else?

Interviewee: Yeah, so I think I was left with about a million cash, all and after expenses.

Andrew: And that was what you’ve used to spend for life?

Interviewee: Yep.

Andrew: Okay. Momsonedo? I’m reading everyone’s Twitter-handle, so Momsonedo is asking what happened to the site? What happened to the at the end of the story?

Interviewee: I left out a big part, a really big part. Since, I don’t know if you’re on a time-thing, but I’ll make it quick: I had another partner that wanted to work with me and I was doing humour-sites as well, I forgot to tell you that, I was doing humour-sites. I would upload video’s, submitted to places, like Ebaum’s Room, before there was YouTube, we did humour-sites and I would make ten, twenty bucks a day of these ones, but this kid wanted to get into this MySpace-thing with me and he owned, and I don’t know if he still ownes it,

His name is….I should know his name. It’s a long time ago…. Kyle. Kyle, I believe. And he actueally sabotaged me. He had access to my server. I trusted him, but he downloaded my entire site -and this is why the market saturated so quick-, downloaded my site, zipped it up, themed it with a different skin, started selling it on Sitepoint and Ebay.

So he screwed me big. MySpaceGeeks is a thief, and I hate to call somebody out like that, but he saturated the market like nobody’s business, and I mean, he was selling it for, like 20, 50, 100 bucks and there was so many MySpace clone-sites: identical copies of mine, just a different theme and there was just nothing… I mean; you can’t, I can’t copyright MySpace-lay-outs. Doing any type of copyright thing with intellectual property especially based on somebody else’s website,, there was nothing I could do. I mean: he was a young kid in Australia. I couldn’t even sue him if I wanted to. And this was in the beginning: before I had money.

Andrew: I used to listen to Howard Stern as a kid and whenever anyone said something like that on the Howard Stern-show, he would say: “Woeah, wait a minute, I don’t want to get sued here, let’s not liable anyone” and I don’t want to do that and if Howard Stern takes all these crazy risks and what he says wouldn’t allow that, I shouldn’t either. I want to be careful not to accuse somebody, I don’t know what he did and what he didn’t do. I don’t know if somebody set him up, for example.

Interviewee: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: And made it look like he did this. I don’t know what it is, but bottom line is, what you’re telling me, is; you’re stuff was put out there

Interviewee: Somebody from someone, and resold and the market was saturated within a month.

Andrew: And anyone who wanted to, the end-users, if they googled for MySpace-layouts, they would have way too many options to pick from and you guys were all splitting that market up?

Interviewee: Yep.

Andrew: Okay, wow, I didn’t know that. But then, what happened with the site at the end for you?

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Interviewee: So at the end, I think I sold it 2008 of April. It just kept going downhill. That entire year just kept getting worse. I started to kind of lose hope on it, started venturing out on other things, trying to figure out other things. And I tried to get into affiliate marketing.

Andrew: On the site, running affiliate ads on your site.

Interviewee: Yeah, or no, just landing pages. I was trying to, like, sell green tea, sell diet pills, sell…do all kinds of affiliate marketing. And I’d try to get into that, and I’d follow a whole bunch of blogs and read what they would say, and I just, I couldn’t get affiliate marketing to profit for me, so I lost a little bit of money there. I don’t know why, sometimes I break even. But, you know, I was trying that. I gave up on MySpace Support because I couldn’t get it to go up, and I ended up selling it. And at that time I think it was doing, it was doing 3000. It went all the way down to 160 the next month, 50, 40, 30, and I think I got down all the way to $5000 a month on the site, and I was like, okay, time to sell it. I sold it in time, and I sold it for $75,000, and around that same time I sold my clothing company I started, which I never really got going, so it’s not worth a discussion. But I did make a profit off of it. I sold it for $25,000. So I walked with 100 less commission. The attorney charged me 20-ish, maybe a little less, so I sold it in 2008, April, I believe, April 2008.

Andrew: Okay, so what you have now is the house…without windows?

Interviewee: Yes, I have the house, a TV, and a couch that I’m on. No, but I have started something else when we get into that, that’s doing…getting there, but yeah, I sold everything.

Andrew: Okay, before we get into the new one, let’s understand what did we learn from the experience the first time around. What are some of the things that you learned from it? I’ll start you off and say what I learned from this. First of all, whenever something goes big, you gotta jump on it right away, not be the millionth person to pile in, but be one of the first people to see the opportunity that MySpace is going big and jump in on it and find a way to ride it. You did that, Peter Fam’s company, the company you worked for, Photo Bucket did that with MySpace, and many others did that, so that’s something I learned. What else did you learn from this experience?

Interviewee: Yeah, it definitely is about catching the wave, and trying to time things and finding the trends, and I mean, it’s always, always gonna help you for the better. I mean, it’s definitely something I learned. What I definitely did learn is, unfortunately after I lost my money, I read the entire Rich Dads series about investing.

Andrew: By Robert Kiyosaki, the Rich Dads series.

Interviewee: And I love, I love Robert Kiyosaki because his story is, you know, is basically he lost his millions, slept in his car with his girlfriend, made it back to the top. You know, simple success story, but he’s really inspiring. And I learned about investing. I learned about, you know, and obviously now I know not to foolishly spend, and not be so compulsive, impulsive and whatever, but now I know about investing, and I know where I want to go, and I know what I’m gonna do, and now I know how to do it, and I mean, I learned a big lesson about life, money, people, for sure, relationships. I learned a lot emotionally, and I mean, definitely, I definitely learned stuff in a business sense too. I mean, I‘ve been reading. I’ve read, probably since I lost my money, easily 20 books strictly on business and stocks and finance and real estate investing.

Andrew: How many years has it been since then?

Interviewee: Since what?

Andrew: Since you’ve lost it all or since you starting reading them.

Interviewee: I probably, I think I hit my point of losing it all just last year, so about a year ago. I mean, maybe a little more. It started to really get downhill, and, like, I started to get really tight on funds, but I think I started…I lost it all last year, maybe a little less than last year.

Andrew: So let’s say this, what age were you when you created

Interviewee: I believe it was 2005. I think I was 18. I want to say I was 18, barely 18, just turned 18.

Andrew: And the year, the age when you sold it?

Interviewee: That was last year I sold it, or 2008 of April, which is right before I turned…wait, it’s 2009, last year I was 21, so I think it was right before I turned 21.

Andrew: Okay, so you were 20 years old. And the age when you made your first million?

Interviewee: I was 18 by the time I accumulated a total of one million because, yeah, I think I had to have been 18, borderline maybe 19, but I got a million quick because the checks were coming in every month.

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Andrew: And you consider yourself a hacker-developer, right?

Interviewee: Not a hacker by any means but a developer, yes.

Andrew: Okay. All right. So, people are asking us who are watching us live, including Everything I Do, what are you up to now?

Interviewee: So August of last year, August of 2008, right when I moved back from LA – I moved to LA for a year. I came back here, broke up with Rose just last year in August. Sold the site in May so I kind of moved out here right after I sold the site. Or April. Sold the site in April, moved out here in August, jumped into another relationship right away that didn’t help my situation but my partner and I – I have a good friend who I met through an investor out here. A really good friend. He’s the one running around in the background. Jamie. Jamie Jones. Jimmy Glamor. I met him through actual an investment deal that him and his father and I almost did that didn’t go through. So I was like, “Hey. I’ve got an idea.” He’s always wanted to do a website with me; he’s an entrepreneur himself and he’s always wanted to do something with me. So we sat down, we brainstormed, we came up BeModel.

Andrew: With what? Let’s say…I know it but I want to make sure that everyone else knows it. It’s…

Interviewee: A social…What is BeModel?

Andrew: No. What’s the name of the site again, just so they catch it?

Interviewee: BeModel dot com. B-E.

Andrew: BeModel dot com.

Interviewee: We’ll put up the letter BeModel dot com soon too. And so –

Andrew: What’s BeModel dot com? What’s the premise of the site?

Interviewee: It’s a social networking site for the industry of photography modelling and styling and it’s a really, really big industry and there’s money in it. There’s a lot of money in the industry. Every girl wants to look pretty on camera. Every photographer wants to shoot half naked girls. I mean, every guy wants to be a photographer and shoot girls. Well, not every guy but I mean a substantial amount. And modelling and photography is really big. And our top competitor is doing very well. And there’s only one competitor. And so we came up with this idea and we raised a small investment in the beginning of $20,000 from his father who was the initial investor that I was going to work with a long time ago. And, you know, we worked our butt off, we did the site mapping, projections, expenses, all that fancy stuff. We got it ready. Convinced his dad probably within a month and then ever since that him and I have became best friends. So for the last year, him and I have been working side by side, 24-7. And we hired a foreign company to do the site, to try to save money.

Andrew: A foreign. Outside of the country company?

Interviewee: Yes. In India. So I would work with them every single night from 11 pm till 8 in the morning. So I was on a nocturnal schedule for about a year. And we ran out of money with them. Nothing went how it was supposed to be. It was hard to communicate, nothing got done how I wanted it, nothing got done how Jamie and I saw it. So [INAUDIBLE]….

Andrew: Ok. We lost you for a moment but you’re back.

Interviewee: Ok. So we got our first investment. It took a year…they took 10 months to 11…10 to 12 months to get it where it is now. And we actually got 15,000 users in two days. Database crashed. Lost half our users. And now we are…after that we’re like, “Ok. We need to redo our site. We need to get this to a better level. We have so many innovative technologies and features that we’re going to implement but we just don’t have the money.” So this is when Jamie and I started busting our ass off. Just approximately four months ago we raised another…we just got another investor on board. Just people, just…it was actually from my blog, surprisingly. I’ve been searching…Jamie and I have been networking like crazy. I mean, through his dad’s connections, through my family’s connections, through my friends’ connections, all my good connections were through a few of my friends but they never went through. So I was trying to figure out a way, “Ok Jamie, we can’t fix BeModel. I’m three years rusty of PHP. I can’t dig in Indian code and fix this so we need to get some money.” So we had been searching [INAUDIBLE]…blog about it.

Andrew: Sorry. Lost you there again. Can you say it again?

Interviewee: Which part?

Andrew: You said so you need to figure something out and so what’d you figure out?

Interviewee: So we needed to figure out a way to get an investor because I couldn’t fix the site myself. I’m three years rusty of programming. I mean, I can barely do Ajax technology now because it’s so new. I mean, I haven’t really messed with Ajax.

Andrew:And you consider yourself a hacker, or a developer right?

Interviewee:Not a hacker by any means but a developer, yes.

Andrew:Alright so people are asking us who are watching us live including everything I do

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Interviewee: AJAX technology now because it’s so new. I mean, I don’t really mess with AJAX. So, I started a blog. I decided to blog about it just recently, and setting to searching for investors. And we just closed last night. Got our first check. And I mean, things are going great. We just raised $75,000 for this company, and cash. One investor and, if things go well, he’s going to give us more money. And we still have two other investors who are actually looking to give us $200,000. So things right now are starting to definitely pick up, because now we’ve got a total investment in this company of $95,000, with another potential $200,000. And we’re going to take B Model to a great level, a very, very high level.

Andrew: You know what? Navader, who’s watching us live, asked the great question. How did you get 15,000 users in two days? Or did you say 14,000?

Interviewee: Well…

Andrew: Whatever it was. How did you get it in two days?

Interviewee: OK, so how I did that probably is not the best way to do business, but it works. We would go around messaging. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of competitors out there. So what we would do, is that I built the scripts that would pick up users off all the competitors’ sites. I have a list. And I actually, I used Curl. It’s a PHP command where you can actually scrape data from every single user. And what I would do is, I’d get a really big user list of every single user in existence. And I mean it took a week to scrape everybody. And I mean it’s a great technique. It’s not bad by any means. It’s just, like a method of direct advertising, so to speak. So I would build a list of all these users, and I would get in touch with them. And I would send them messages, emails, on a… What I would do is I would regulate it by thousands per day. So what I would do, is I would have the script do, you know, a hundred per minute. And then I would end up getting up to 15,000. So what I would do is I would send the messages saying, “hey, you know you need to expand your portfolio, we have great options here. Check out us”. And it worked magnificently. And so, that’s what we did.

Andrew: [Laughs] Ha, that’s great. So I think I heard that Myspace did the same thing. I did an interview with, oh, I forget the name of the author. The woman who wrote “Stealing Myspace: The Biography of Myspace as a Company”. And she’s, I think she said that Myspace did pretty much the same thing with Friendster. That they went out there, and they grabbed their best users. And it sounds like that’s what you did here.

Interviewee: Yeah, and I mean we got lists with Facebook and Twitter now. I have came up with, I’ve been in the social networking thing now, now that we have money to actually create the technology. I have some awesome techniques of how we’re going to get…

Andrew: But isn’t it harder now? Because now they’re quicker to jump on this. Myspace took too long to jump on the horn and to jump on the, to jump on the spammers. But today, Twitter’s quicker about it. In fact, Twitter has a spam button. It took them a while to do it, but even before they had the spam button. But they have the spam button now, and they’re still a young company. And before they had the spam button, there were still ways for them to jump on people. Facebook also jumps on spam pretty quickly.

Interviewee: Yeah, no, we’re not going to, it’s not, it’s not spamming, what we’re going to do. It’s, we’re going to build a big list. Like, you know, you know how you have 14,000 followers? What we’re going to do is we’re going to find everybody with the keyword Photoshoot. You know what I mean. We’re going to, we’re going to build a list and we’re going to do it the right way. We’re not going to spam, and you know, just mass blast everybody. I mean, that’s not what we’re going to do. We’re going to actually, legitimately, build a solid, fan-based, Twitter-based, we’re going to build Facebook applications. We’re going to build all kinds of technologies that’s going to bring us users that we can, you know, message and get them to sign up. I mean, I don’t want to tell all my techniques. So, you just can’t say it right now, but it’s not spamming. It’s going to be just a form of direct advertising. But not like, hey, come over here, hey, come over here. You know, it’s not going to be spamming like that. I mean.

Andrew: All right. Well, I’d like to do another interview after you’ve used these methods and gotten some results. And talk to you about what you did, when it’s safe.

Interviewee: OK.

Andrew: All right. So, for now, I think we’ve covered a lot here. We’ve covered the rise, we’ve covered the challenges, we’ve covered what you’re up to now. Um, how can people connect with you?

Interviewee: Um, connect with me?

Andrew: Yeah, I want people who hear these interviews, if they feel some kind of connection to you, if they want to follow up with you, to be able to reach out to you, even if it’s just on Twitter?

Interviewee: I am an avid blogger. I semi-blog all day, trying to think of quality blogs to write, trying to find out how to get more readers and subscribers. Because I like to.

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