In honor of the 50th ambush interview I'm nailing Lightspeed with 50 questions! Lightspeed is THE program on the net when it comes to 18-22 year old girls. Focusing on what some call the "cheerleader" niche, Lightspeed girls like: Tawnee Stone and Jordan Capri are some of the most recognizable faces on the net today. They are also argueably some of the most downloaded images. Lightspeed is at the forefront in the fight against acacia and other battles that affect all of us in the biz. I believe Lightspeed is one of the better people in this industry, not just as a businessman but as a person as well.
Thank you for putting up with all these questions Steve. Its our longest ambush to date. I call Steve a personal friend. He's someone who wears his heart on his sleeve and will give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. He has not let success go to his head and stays grounded in knowing who he is and where he wants to go in life.
Pictures complements of Fubar
- check it out the photo archive of all webmaster events!
GFY Ambush Interview thread on Steve Lightspeed
Admit it, you have sexual fantasies about Joan from the ASACP don't you?
Hmmm, I just spent a few minutes going over all my sexual fantasies... because if there is one in there about Joan, I WANT IT OUT! Seriously, I'm not attracted to women who are a lot older than me. But age perception is so tricky! Maybe if she wore pigtails...
Why does Rochard refuse to go jet skiing with you?
A couple years ago I came into the office only to realize that we'd all been working way too hard, so I called the day off and took my crew out to the lake and rented jetskis for everyone.
We had about an hour left when I saw Tanker stalled in the water, climbing back onto his ski after falling off. I thought it would be funny to splash him hard as I rode past. But I overestimated my own ability to turn away fast enough, and I slammed my jetski directly over the top of his. No one was hurt (whew), but the owner of the jetski rental said he had never seen so much damage to two jetskis. The collision tore the top of tankers ski and the bottom off mine, they charged me something like $6000 for damages.
Plus, Rochard is old and weak, I don't think he's in good enough shape to ride a jetski anymore.
What was your most embarassing moment in Cannes?
Ok, this is my MOST embarrassing story. But I know you will all laugh WITH me, not AT me.
Tanker and I hosted a gokart race in Cannes with Jman and Meat from Netpond, after being in Europe for about 10 days, drinking and partying every night. I had an upset stomach that day, but the show must go on, so I raced all day and night anyway.
Ben from Interclimax invited two dancers to the track where they had been broadcasting the whole event live. At the end of the party, the girls were dancing on the #2 and #3 winner pedestals, so I jumped up on the #1 spot to dance with them in front of the crowd. (Ok, I was hammered again by this point).
Someone from the crowd yelled "SHOW SOME SKIN!" to the girls, but I pretended that he was talking to me, and I turned around and dropped my pants to moon everyone. I immediately realized that something was VERY WRONG when I heard "EWWWWWW!!!" and laughter from the whole crowd. It was then I realized that while karting, I was hit so hard that I actually shit myself, and I just gave everyone there (and everyone watching the live broadcast) a Lightspeed story I will never live down!
"Lightspeed/Netpond Gokart Racing --- So Much Fun YOU'LL SHIT YOURSELF!"
How many cell phones do you go though a year?
I can't seem to hang onto a cellphone to save my life. Or a charger either. Everyone that calls me at shows hears all the time, "Sorry, I lost my damn phone again." Right Odie?
Why and when did you start Lightspeed?
I was running my own programming/consulting company, and I started Lightspeed in 1999 as a hobby. I wish I had started much earlier, maybe if my highschool guidance counselor would have been smarter: "Well, let's see. You like COMPUTERS and you like PORN... I know the perfect job for you!"
My wife Shannon had a lot to do with the beginning of Lightspeed too. I used to kid her that if we ever got divorced, I was going to move to LA to produce porn. She said "We don't need to be divorced for you to do that!" She is an amazing person, I don't think many women could put up with my lifestyle.
Running Lightspeed has never really been about the money for me. I really wanted to do something fun with my life. I was such a computer nerd in school, and in my 20's, I never really had FUN. I thought life was about the pursuit of money and career goals. I think starting Lightspeed was my response to an early mid-life crisis for me.
Also, I was a avid porn viewer and web surfer. In 99 there were only a few really good websites, and mostly disappointing ones. I wanted to see if I could do it better. I was inspired by ATK, Karups, TNV, and a couple others.
Ls-University.com was my first site. It was a labor of love. I worked on it every day with no help. I did every job from recruiting models, shooting, webmastering, customer service, and accounting. It just kept growing until it was making enough money to completely close my programming company. In spring of 2000, I walked away from a career that I'd been building for 13 years to do this full time. I don't miss my old life one bit. I'm glad I was in a position to chase my dream.
Where does the cheerleader fetish come from?
I grew up in a small town, lived in the same house until 18, and had just a few close friends. My best friend's sister was a cheerleader, and I had a mad crush on her. She knew it, and she used to tease me at every opportunity.
When I finally got together with her, she had a rule that we could do anything sexually, as long as her panties STAYED ON. Ok, I can live with that! My memories of dry-humping her in her cheerleader uniform sort of stuck, until it became a fetish.
When I started Ls-university, it was just going to be softcore college girls. But after getting fan mail from our first cheerleader shoot, I realized that lots of guys have the same fetish. I had found a niche I understood and could sell. I made University into a cheerleader fetish site instead. Now I think I've shot more cheerleader sets (over 1000 sets) than anyone else on the web.
Why is there a big dent in your head? Talk about CNN.
I went home for the summer at the end of May 1985 after my first year of college. My best friend and I had lots of catching up to do, so we left early on a Wednesday morning with a half-gallon bottle of whiskey to go play drunken golf (We were both avid golfers, and heavy drinkers).
But it was raining, so we decided instead to roadtrip into the Olympic National Forest near Olympia Washington to see an old rickety bridge built 410 feet over a river gorge. The bridge is a good 20-30 minutes into the forest, accessible only via dirt logging roads. We didn't tell anyone about our change of plans.
By the time we arrived at the bridge, much of the bottle was consumed. We planned on tossing gliders into the gorge from the bridge, but I accidently dropped the whole bag of gliders after the first couple. So we decided to try to retrieve the bag from the river, look for some good fishing spots, and finish killing the bottle and the day. I trusted that my friend had been there before and knew a safe passage down to the bottom. He didn't.
We walked around to the edge of the bridge, and started to hike down what appeared to be a trail. My friend got sick, and stopped to puke. I didn't want to watch, so I kept hiking. I thought the trail seemed steep, but I kept going, thinking that we would just have to find a different way out, maybe up river. I remember sliding on my ass down one particularly steep section, grabbing onto a tree to stop myself. Suddenly there were no more trees to grab, and the next thing I remember was waking up at the bottom of the gorge next to the river. I had tumbled about 150 feet and fell off a 60' cliff at the bottom into loose rock and sand.
My friend was also there. While I was unconscious, he decided to try to rescue me. He did the exact same slide and fall to try to reach me.
We were in horrible shape. I split my head open, crushed the right side of my face, fractured my neck, and tore a lot of skin off my hands, arms, and chest. My friend wasn't much better. Although he managed to stay upright through the slide, he landed the fall on one leg. He blew out his left ankle, knee, and hip. We were both bleeding badly. Worse yet, we were trapped between the river and the cliff. Neither of us could walk.
We laid at the bottom for about 3 1/2 hours. Crying, praying, screaming for help. Saying goodbye. We seriously thought we were going to die.
A logger drove across the bridge that we were under, and noticed our car parked on the side. He told us later that he thought he had heard someone yelling for help, and since he didn't see us on the bridge, he stopped to look. He called the county sheriff to report two bodies at the bottom of the bridge. We were the 49th and 50th to fall from that spot. No one else had ever survived, so he assumed we were dead too.
Another logger heard the call, and hiked up the river to us to see what happened. When he got there, he realized we weren't dead. He called for help and did some first aid to stabilize us. I believe he saved our lives.
The only way they could get us out with our injuries was by helicopter. So much time had elapsed, the local news stations sent their own helicopters to tape the rescue. There is some amazing footage of me in a gurny, hanging from 300 feet of cable under the rescue helicopter. The rescue was dramatic because the pilot had to fly directly under the bridge into the gorge to reach us. Twice. The video made all 3 local news stations, and I later learned that CNN also ran the story and video of the rescue.
So now, I have a lot of scars and a quarter-sized hole in my head where they had to remove a piece of bone. My friend also recovered, although he has a permanent limp.
I learned an important life lesson that day. It explains a lot about my personality and lifestyle now: Carpe Diem, seize the day. There is no guarantee that we'll be here tomorrow. Whenever someone says to me "I'm GONNA do ______ someday, my answer is always the same. "What's wrong with TODAY? Do it NOW"
Why do you prefer the minivan to the viper or eclipse?
My cars are in my garage. The minivan is parked in my driveway. I think its just more convenient to drive the van. Plus, I work out of my house. I don't really go anywhere alone, so the cars just sit there.
Talk about any disaster sponsorship stories and your general thoughts on sponsorship.
There are different reasons to sponsor tradeshows or parties/events.
1) To promote your product/name and bring in new business.
2) To reward your existing partners and affiliates.
3) To build relationships with co-sponsors.
4) To support the industry.
5) To have fun and enjoy life.
Every sponsorship we've done has accomplished one or more of these things. We try to hit all five. The Phoenix Forum has been a home run for us every year. It has become a great event for Lightspeed.
I don't think I've ever been involved in a real "disaster". There are almost always challenges and things that go wrong at the last minute. We've been disappointed before, but even the disappointing experience still teaches us what not to do, so the next event can be even better.
I have said many times that meeting people face to face is the key to success in this industry. People are much more likely to do biz with people they have met in person. Sponsoring industry events is a great way to meet everyone.
Do you train your dogs to bite people?
Not at all, but I do have a nervous dog that bit Cory from Weg when Cory cornered him in my shower. Don't ask.
Talk about the new house. Pics
Shannon and I bought our dream house last June. We are very happy here. I'd rather not post pics, there are some from 2005 Phoenix Forum on Fubar. We just remodeled our pool this year, I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out
How many cars do you own? Pics.
I own two cars, two minivans, and a motorcycle
Why do you travel so much? Do you sleep more in hotels or your own bed now?
I honestly enjoy traveling and seeing the world. I've been to every state except Alaska, and my passport has stamps from all over the world. I've been fortunate to have met friendly people from different places that have invited me to see their home cities. Traveling with a local makes everything much easier and more fun. Its great to see a city beyond its tourist spots. I really want to visit Prague and Australia, I haven't made it to either place yet.
I am on the road about every other week, so I sleep in hotels about half my time. I keep saying I will slow down the pace, but that hasn't happened yet. I've already done 14 trips this year. I miss my family when I'm traveling, but as my children get older I hope they will travel with me more often.
Talk about the day that CE first called you.
Haha, you really dug up some dirt, didn't you!
When I started Lightspeed, I really didn't know what I was doing. Some people I had met encouraged me to attend Internext in Vegas. At that show, CE went huge by giving away a brand new Dodge Viper. I remember thinking how small my business was compared to a company that could afford to do that!
I asked around about CE, and learned a little about Fantasyman (Ron). Being new, a few people decided to pull a prank on me. They told me that Ron was the most powerful person in the industry. They told me that he had noticed Lightspeed, and had his eye on me. If I screwed up, he would crush me out of business. Needless to say, I was nervous as hell, and my solution was to avoid them at all costs.
After Rochard started working for me, we went to another smaller event. Fantasyman walked past me, and just looked over at me, didn't say anything. I was so intimidated by him that I actually ran into the bathroom and puked!
As Lightspeed grew larger, CE did finally notice us and called my office looking to do a traffic trade. I panicked! In my mind, I was about to be stomped on by the 800-lb gorilla! All I could say on the phone was, "I don't know why you are calling me, there's nothing I can do for you!" and I hung up. They must have thought I was a complete moron.
It took almost two more years before I was set straight about CE and Fantasyman, thanks to Kaiser, MikeB, FabianC, and LeeNoga.
I think about this story now when I meet newbies. I hate to hear that anyone ever feels intimated by me! JB from TCG put it all in perspective for me, "We all put on our pants the same way."
What's the most consistent aspect of Lightspeedcash?
I've run Lightspeedcash from the beginning in an honest way. When I started in 99, there were a lot of webmasters that felt cheated by some of the bigger companies. There were a lot of paysites that didn't give the surfer any real value. I think that gave us an opportunity that we were able to capitalize on.
No one has ever been able to convince me that being dishonest is a better way to run a business. Sure, I could make more money. But my morals are my ceiling. I don't need anyone's money enough to steal it.
What companies did you work for as a computer programmer?
Haha, ok, here's a little misc trivia. My old company website is still online. http://www.nm-software.com -- check out the glowing letters of recommendation!
What exactly did you do for the Y2K thing?
Damn, you are really making me fess up to all my most embarrassing moments.
I was a computer programmer going into Y2K. I worked on several large company's systems that had serious Y2k related problems. I was calm about Y2K until I went to a seminar hosted by Ed Yourdon. Mr Yourdon was a computer GOD to me, he actually wrote the structured programming textbooks I studied from in college.
He scared me to death. He predicted a worldwide disaster. And he called upon anyone who understood the Y2k issues to try to educate and prepare everyone else.
I was not an alarmist, but I did get involved with our local community by volunteering to host and maintain a Y2K news and information page. I was interviewed on Seattle tv news as a "Y2k consultant". I spent the last six months of 99 preparing my home for a possible disaster. We stocked up on food, water, gas, cash, and firewood. I even went around my neighborhood handing out free "Y2K survival" pamphlets!
Needless to say, when Y2k came and went without a worldwide meltdown, I felt a bit embarrassed that I was so worried. And all my neighbors had a good laugh at me about it. What can I say, but OOOPS!
Where did you go to high school? University?
I grew up in a little town on the peninsula of Washington State called Port Orchard. I went to public school, and graduated in 1984 from South Kitsap High School ranked #3 in a class of 650.
I left home to study computer engineering at Arizona State University, were I was expelled after 18 months for "cheating" -- I was privately tutoring a girl I met (ok, I was trying to get laid) -- but the school had strict rules about working together on projects. They were looking for any reason to eliminate students from their engineering program since it was overcrowded.
I went back to Washington, defeated, and finished my programming education at a trade school called "Bates" in Tacoma. I did very well there, I finished a 2 year course in just one year. I guess you could say I "mastered Bates".
Talk about the first house you bought.
Shannon and I owned a 3 bedroom dump in West Seattle. It was awful. The windows were painted shut, there was a little room that had an exterior window but no door (I don't want to know what was in that room), and it was in the middle of a gang infested area. We told people that we lived on the corner of Gunshot and Gangbang avenue. Her car was stolen twice.
When we decided to start a family, my first priority was to get away from that house and neighborhood. The house had 3 inches of water in the basement the day we moved. We took a loss on the sale, but good riddance.
We built our second house in a rural area with family in mind, and both my kids were born there. We lived in that house for 5 years before moving to Phoenix.
What are your favorite shows? Least favorite.
My favorite webmaster show is the Phoenix Forum. It just keeps getting better every year. CCbill has done a fantastic job organizing it and I appreciate the freedom they give us to entertain everyone during the show.
I am a huge fan of smaller shows. Granted there aren't as many people there, but the ones that go are looking to do business. Without a large crowd, there is usually more time to sit and have business meetings without feeling like you are missing something.
Besides Phoenix Forum, I've had great experiences with Cybernet, Island Gathering in Curacao, YP/Negrilnet in Jamaica, YP Mexico, Webmaster Access in Cancun, Miss Desert Sun in Scotsdale, the "MojoHost Experience", and most recently in Hawaii for Wildline's "Maui Traffic Summit". I'd say my least favorite show is Vegas Internext. Its just beome so big, I find myself spending the first half trying to say hello to everyone, and the second half saying goodbye. As a sponsor, it is expensive to try to accomodate such a large crowd without several co-sponsors, or by making your event invite-only, which tends to hurt the feelings of the "uninvited".
Did you close out Lightspeed to new affilates because you feel you make too much money now?
Not at all! It was part of my business plan all along to spend up to 25% of our revenue on advertising and marketing. I wanted to build Lightspeed as both a webmaster and a consumer brand. We've attended and/or sponsored nearly every webmaster event for the last 4 years. Let's just say we've invested heavily into partying everyone's asses off!
Now we are a more established company, and we have a very solid webmaster base. Instead of continuing to recruit new webmasters, we have chosen to commit more attention to our existing webmasters, and redirect our advertising budget into direct traffic purchases, and content/site/program acquisitions.
Why the close relationship with CCbill?
I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Cadwell family and the business they have built with CCbill, Cavecreek, and Drm Networks. We have worked closely with them on the Phoenix Forum event, and I have become personal friends with several of the CCbill crew.
They are all good people and an excellent, honest company. They've given me great business advice over the years. I think the close relationship has come from years of working together without a single problem. Never a missed payment. It just doesn't get any better than that!
I went to college here and fell in love with the warm weather. Granted it is too hot in the summer, but we get 8 or 9 really nice months, and we laugh at everyone shoveling 4 feet of snow from their driveways in the winter.
I found it easy to recruit talent here when we first got here in 2000, but now there is a lot of competiton in Phoenix. There are still thousands of beautiful woman here, Scotsdale is amazing.
What do you wear to work when you work from home? pics
When I'm home, I hibernate like a bear. I've gone a week straight without even getting dressed! I don't have a home pic, but I imagine I look something like Jim from "Taxi" most of the time.
Why do you come to GFY?
Its always good for a laugh. There is always something interesting to read. If there are major announcements or industry news, it finds it's way to GFY pretty quickly.
YEAH, #25! I'm halfway done!
How many air conditioners do you own? How many still work?
Our house has 5 a/c units, and it seems like at least one is ALWAYS on the fritz. Big house = big maintenance costs. I'm reminded of the movie "The Money Pit" sometimes
What's the most expensive event you've ever been a part of that you paid for in part or in its entirety?
The "Lightspeed Adventure Weekend" was the most we've ever spent on a single event for webmasters. We flew in our top 20 webmasters and several industry friends and threw a 3-day party. That was an amzing time.
We also invest a lot into the Phoenix Forum every year, since we live here and I feel obliged to show everyone a good time in my home town.
How come there were so many complaints from people in europe about the smell on your go cart seat?
haha, see #3. Was that story worth asking about twice?
How do you order a quarter pounder in Mexico with only ketchup on it? Why are you such a picky eater?
Numero dos. Solo ketchup. Coca-cola light. Grande! That is all the Spanish I've ever needed to know!
I am embarrassed about my picky eating habits. I am not a very adventurous eater. I'm a meat and potatos kinda guy. My mother wasn't a very good cook, and I just never learned any different. I have a very "fast-food" lifestyle.
What would you be doing to if you weren't in adult?
Probably still wearing a suit and tie, and carrying a briefcase to and from a job I hate. I don't want to ever go back to that.
Who do you look up to in the industry? Down on?
There are so many people I respect that I'm afraid to leave anyone out. Anyone who has built their business with ethics and integrity deserves respect. CCbill, Natnet, and Ynot come immediately to my mind.
Conversely, there are many people that took the easier path, and I think their attitudes and actions have hurt the whole industry. Its hard to respect anyone who operates without a long-term mindset.
Out of all the models you've ever shot, who's your favorite and why?
That is a tough one! Tawnee, Taylor, Raimi, Jordan, and Aly are all special to me because they've been with Lightspeed the longest. I really enjoy shooting Taylor and Jordan. They have fun personalities and they just light up on camera. Jordan never takes a bad picture, I think she is the most photogenic model I've ever worked with.
Talk about the libary at ASU and the windows there.
When I was at ASU in the mid 80's, the library had a large study hall on the lower floor. Many of the desks were lined up against the windows. Some of us noticed that the windows became like one-way mirrors at night, since there was no light directly outside. From outside, we could see in, but no one could see out.
That provided hours of entertainment for me and a few other fellow voyeurs, especially when short-skirted girls would rest their feet on the windows under their desks! It was "upskirt heaven".
What's the strangest thing in the Lightspeed studio right now?
Hmmm, we have a sybian, supersoaker guns, and a fake locker room.... but I suppose the hardest to explain would be stuff we bought in an effort to make a church altar. The plan was to do realistic-looking wedding upskirts for our www.churchupskirts.com site. We never finished it, but I still like the idea!
Ever had to deal with the police during a photo shoot?
Yeah, once. We rented the cabana at an apartment complex to do a photoshoot. It had a bar, a workout room, steam room, and a hottub all inside. Me and two friends were shooting 4 girls dressed as cheerleaders for a "lesbian cheerleader reunion" scene.
I put a "private party" sign on the door and locked it. We closed all the blinds and put up sheets over them too, just to make sure we had privacy. There was one high window that we couldn't reach, but we didn't think it would be a problem.
While shooting suddenly everyone stopped and looked at the door. The girls were all facing me, I had my back to the door. I turned around to see the manager of the apartment, the superintendant, and 3 policemen. They asked "Who is in charge?" and EVERYONE pointed at me! Gulp.
It turned out that covering the windows had caused suspicion, and there was a small hill on the side of the building with the one high uncovered window. Apparently a few teenagers climbed the hill to spy on us to see what we were doing. They called the police to report "Three men taking naked pictures of four young cheerleaders".
I was handcuffed and taken outside, there must have been 20 police cars, it looked like a scene from the Blues Brothers movie! The police were treating me like a child-molester, I even got face-planted onto the hood of one of the cars.
Once they checked everyone's ID's (all the girls were actually over 21), they decided they didn't have any grounds to arrest me, so they let me go. They all left, but the manager and superintendant wanted answers. We told them that I had recently finalized my divorce, and my friends hired these four strippers to "cheer" me up.
The manager was an older woman, and she was livid. The superintendant was a guy my age, since it was late at night, he dismissed the manager and told her he "would take care of everything from here". He took me into his office, where he made me show him all the pictures we had taken so far. He finally said, "I'm really only mad about one thing... WHY WASN'T I INVITED!!!"
Do you have any strange obsessions with rubber duckies or other objects?
I really don't have an answer for this one. I do remember having a girlfriend that used the head of a rubber duckie to masturbate in the bathtub.
Have you ever barfed on yourself?
Sure. But not yet today!
At my first convention in New Orleans in summer 2000, Natnet had an open hospitality suite, where me and two friends landed after drinking heavily all night. We were all fucking around, paying the bartenders to make undrinkably-strong drinks for each other.
After one particularly strong drink, I realized I was going to be sick, so I headed to the restroom. But the room was crowded and I couldn't quite make it. I tried to cover my mouth until I could reach the bathroom, but all I accomplished was to basically slap my projectile-vomit back onto my white shirt and shoes. I went to the bathroom to clean up, someone asked me what happened. I said, "Oh, some bitch just puked on me." He immediately called bullshit. "Looks to me like you just puked on yourself."
That guy was Tony Morgan from Natnet. I felt so bad about making a mess at his party, I moved all my hosting to Natnet a month later, and I'm still a happy Natnet customer today.
Worried about .xxx or 2257?
I have a very good attorney, I pay him to worry for me. I do think both .xxx and 2257 represent significant challenges for the industry in the future. We donate to the Free Speech Coalition and support their efforts.
Fastest you've ever traveled on land? Discuss.
Tanker, Rochard, and I rode our new motorcycles from Phoenix to Cybernet in Las Vegas. The wide-open highway was too tempting for me, I hit 161mph on the way. I need a faster bike, that was all it had.
You make enough money, why don't you wear any bling bling jewelery?
I don't know. I don't have anything against nice jewelry, its just really not my style. I am just a regular guy, who would I be trying to impress?
In a fist fight - who would win. you or max hardcore? you or bradshaw? you or Joan?
I haven't been in a fight since the 4th grade! I tried to defend my mother after a bully called her fat, but he beat the snot out of me. That inspired by mother to go on a diet that day and she lost over 100 pounds.
But to answer the question, I think:
1) Max and I would pretty evenly kick the shit out of each other.
2) Brad couldn't bust a grape in a fruit fight.
3) Joan would win because I'd never hit a woman.
Talk about the anal hobbit and how that changed your life.
The Anal Hobbit was a character created by Boneprone at the Portland AWE show in 2001. Boneprone, Tanker, SixNine, and I were all sitting around in the afterhours suite when a newbie came up to us and said "I have 200 uniques a day, and I want to know how to make some money!"
Boneprone loves to fuck with people. And he was in rare form that night! He said, "Well, you're lucky you asked us. We'll tell you the truth, not like all these other guys!"
We spent the next couple hours telling the biggest, most elaborate bullshit story I have ever witnessed, all centered around "Jesuscash" and their best converting site "TheAnalHobbit.com". He told the guy that the Anal Hobbit was actually the midget from Austin Powers, but he couldn't get more work, so he turned to gay midget hobbit porn to make a living.
I kept thinking the guy would realize we were feeding him bullshit, but he never did. I also thought we should let him off the hook before he left, but no one did that either.
The story got so complicated and elaborate, with subplots and minor characters, I wish we had video taped the whole thing. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard. When one person would run out of ideas, he'd pass it to the next guy, and so forth. We even pulled random people from the crowd, giving them a wink and asking them to verify pieces of the story.
We've since adopted this into a convention game we call "Liar Liar" where the challenge is to see how long you can go without saying even ONE true thing. Another classic round happened last March in Cancun. We had a woman believing that I owned the internet, but I was getting bored with it and was considering closing it down. "But won't that affect millions of people?" "Well, yeah, but FUCK THEM, its MY internet!"
The day of the Anal Hobbit story was a turning point for me. It was the debut of the "Lightspeed and Tanker" comedy show, where we first realized what a good team we would be. It was also the first show I attended where I felt invited to hang out with the "cool kids", instead of sitting in the lobby at 11pm, wondering where the hell everyone went!
What's the deal with you and Gary Kremen (sex.com)?
I don't know. He likes to vilify me. I don't really give Gary much thought.
What's it like to dogfight Tanker in air combat?
For my 35th birthday, my wife bought me a very cool gift. There is a company here in Phoenix www.fightercombat.com where you can actually fly real stunt planes that are rigged up to play laser tag.
I was determined not to lose to Tanker, but he is younger and in better shape than me. I was chasing him into a hard turn, pulling 4 or 5 g's, when I passed out cold. The next thing I remember was waking up, with the pilot asking me if I needed water! During that dogfight, I passed out twice and puked twice. When it was over I felt like I had been physically beaten. It was an incredible experience, but I'll never do it again!
How long does it take YOU to get to Vegas on 2 wheels?
I've only ridden to Vegas once on my motorcycle, but I was tired of listening to Rochard and Tanker telling me I ride like an old woman. So I lit them up, and all they saw was a blur flying by.
Why do the French give you problems when you order ketchup cheeseburgers?
France is known for fine cuisine. I don't think you will find many French people who consider a hamburger with ketchup only "gourmet". What can I say, rich french food made me shit myself. (See answer #3)
What do you see yourself doing for a living in 10 years? 20 years?
I fantasize about retiring all the time. I would love to travel and play golf. My ideal job is where my only responsibility is to walk out to my mailbox to collect my check.
Did you lie or extort the truth a wee bit on any of the 100 questions thread? BE HONEST.
I read through it again. I think I was pretty dead on accurate. Maybe I exaggerated how many hours a day I work. I don't think most people would call what I do all day WORK.
I have said all along that I'm doing this for fun. When it stops being fun (it edges closer all the time) I will find something else to do.
What's your opinion on people who attend your events and don't ever plan to do any business with you?
It depends on the situation. I have lots of friends that I don't really do any business with. I don't need multiple hosting companies, I don't buy much content, I can't use everyone's billing solution, and I don't really look for trades with hardcore sites. Seeing those people at my parties isn't a problem AT ALL. Especially when I am invited to the parties they host.
Goodwill goes a long way, and people that I don't do direct business with might refer me or say a good word to someone else that is looking to work with me.
The only time I get upset is when I feel taken advantage of. At one event, someone came up to me and said "Why do you do so much for these people? I've asked around, do you know all these people hate you?" That really hurt my feelings, and I skipped the next 4-5 shows while I put it all in perspective:
Win some, lose some. It's impossible to make everyone happy all the time. We do the best we can.
What do you think of ambush interview so far? Suggestions?
I think these are GREAT. I've read every single one so far. I've learned a lot, even about people I thought I knew well. It's good to read their stories from their own perspective. I think it helps make everyone more REAL.
My only suggestion to you is this:
LEARN TO USE A SPELL CHECKER!
Congrats on the Ambush Interview series Sleazy, and thanks for giving me a chance to be part of it.
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