Christopher Mallick is an accomplished financier and business executive as well as one of the top players in online adult today. He has an extensive transaction processing background with businesses that have processed over a billion dollars in healthcare transactions and several billion dollars in internet transactions. As head of epassport, Chris is known for throwing THE event at webmaster gatherings and spending an evening in his presence makes hanging with movie and rock stars seem like small time. With all that hype, Chris still takes the time to talk to the little guys. Amazing and impressive, this makes a strong statement on his personal character considering what he controls and the strength behind his reputation in this business. Here's a note for other major players about to be ambushed - Chris had the balls to do this ambush totally blind like everyone else before him. For someone in his position, I have to say:"he's got balls."
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GFY Ambush Interview thread on Chris Mallick
Why did you get fired from Paycom? Discuss.
But seriously, I am unable to discuss the particulars of this event, which has since been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. I am extremely happy that it happened, as I have learned that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. It has never been more true than at this time in my life. So while there are those that will be pissed that I am not dishing dirt here, others will appreciate that these things are best left unsaid and undisturbed. But thanks for asking.
How many nightclubs did you own? Which ones? Talk about this time in your life.
I have owned and operated about 6 nightclubs in all, starting from my 18th birthday (back in the olden-days you could have a liquor license when you were 18…). They were wide and varied in size, scope, vibe - everything.
My first place was a real live Disco in 77’, 78’ and 79’. Lighted dance floor, puffy sleeves, gold neck chains - the whole thing. It was like “Boogie Nights” and “Saturday Night Fever” combined, with a twist of “Blow” for you lovers of movie analogies….
I owned a couple of other Disco-like places, a Pool Hall and then “Billy Bob’s Texas - The World’s Largest Honky Tonk” in the mid-80’s…
Then a place in NYC and then to LA in the mid to late 90’s.
The LA Club was by far my favorite, although it was a huge pain in the ass – legally; we did not have a dance permit, but that is a day long story for another time. But I met a lot of the people that later followed me to Paycom, like Keith Hill, who was my Manager and Johnny V (who I actually followed to Paycom) who was the Assistant Manager at the LA spot. It was a Hip Hop club; I think one of the first in LA We had every sports, music and gangster celebrity you could imaging through there. It was nuts, but a lot of fun and I met some incredible people that are my good, close friends today still.
I loved the club business. Shaliza wants me to open another. If Tony Morgan would do one with me I would be all over it again. Nobody, anywhere, has a better ear for music and understands what people want in their entertainment experience, imho.
The service business, which is what I am in now and was in then, taught me a lot. Put me in a room with a bunch of drunks, music and lights and I feel at home; thus my love for this business. hahaha61514;
More answers to follow…
How much money have you processed over the years? Ballpark.
Billions; maybe 6 or 7 plus? It is hard to say. But a lot of transactions, especially if you include drinks bought and sold…
Did you buy or lease the private jet?
I leased, not Paycom, me.
Are you the sole owner of epassport now?
Yes. ePassporte (with an extra “e”) But my key team members have an upside stake as well.
Why did you take epassport? Discuss.
It was the company that I started, worked on, gave birth to, along with a lot of great professionals and partners. But it, as opposed to Epoch, was MY baby, so to speak.
The future for this company and its products and services are so wide and varied that it can and will keep me very interested for a long time. It will not get old…
Where did you go to high school? University? Degree(s)?
I attended a great College Prep School in Texas. I did not go to College, however. I guess the Prep was too much. What really happened was my Dad had a major heart attack; he was 42 and we were not very well off financially at that time, as a family and I had to go to work. My kids are going to University, no matter what. Thankfully I have provided for that in case I have The Big One a little sooner than one would hope.
People always think that I did really well without going to University so maybe it is not important… I always have and always will disagree. I think that education is critically important and especially today. Street smarts and a great Prep got me through, but it would have been a lot easier if I had the opportunity to go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy about my life, I just want to always be one that says “Go to school!” “Get a Degree!” It is a lot easier when you actually understand the terms people are using and don’t have to leave the meeting to look them up.
Which one of the three stooges are you? Larry, Curley or Moe?
Oh, a wise guy eh? Moe – for sure – Moe.
Why do you always seem to sit facing the door in a restruant or nightclub?
It should not “seem” that way; it IS that way. I can’t sit with my back to the door. It is either a past life thing from the Old West; or a 80’s NY thing or I figured out at some point that I look thinner with my back to a structure larger than me.
What is the wildest party you've ever been to?
A Bachelorette Party, thrown at my place, when I was about 22, in New York, for an ex-girlfriend. I was the only guy there with about 19 women. I am calling the lawyers now to find out if the statute of limitations has run so I can answer more fully
If you mean Curacao (cure- a-sow) hahaha61514; Why not? The business climate is great and the beaches are perfect and the casinos are easy if you play EXTREME. Also, the corporate structures are affordable and honest, and they are Dutch! Ask any Dutchman, the Dutch invented business. Call Chad at Python… he is the foremost expert on Dutch law, culture and customs. He is my constant advisor.
What state was paycom in when you came onboard? What did you do? Why did you do it? Why did they need you?
Paycom was in the state of California Sleazy., I thought you knew that.
OK, so Paycom was in the top ranks of all processors with iBill (a moment of silence please) and CCBill and Jettis, plus about 50 others that have come and gone. The company had grown at a tremendous rate with 3 people at its helm and a lot of growing pains. The banking relationships were not good because there was a crook that had taken advantage of the guys. I corrected that and put into place some corporate structure, marketing, branding and most importantly communication to clients about the problems and solutions. Then, we all performed and turned things around.
Let me be clear: I have no reason to stroke anyone’s ego, let alone my own. But Paycom was built by Clay Andrews and Joel Hall with nothing but an idea and a ton of brain power that these guys have and still posses and control. It is their baby and they know their shit, every which way you can imagine. I was a gun for hire who became a full partner. I came in and whacked the problems, built some things and was lucky enough to learn a great deal and make some lifelong friends.
Have you ever been drunk or high at a webmaster event? Thoughts on intoxication at these functions.
Yes, drunk. I don’t use drugs, unless you count alcohol. I have been hammered a time or two, but I try to keep my wits about me. I’m there for business.
My opinion about intoxication is simple: If you can handle the parties and still get up the next day and handle your business, great. I won’t miss a meeting, ever, because I am hung over. I respect the time of others and if I have a schedule, I try to keep it, unless I have a conflict that arises and requires me to change.
I think too many people go to shows to just get ripped. I mean, the inside of a club or hotel room is the same, no matter where you are. So getting torn the fuck up night after night, show after show in your room or at the clubs makes no sense to me, but hey, that’s just me…
What kind of car(s) do you drive/own?
BMW’s / Escalade’s
How many homes do you have? pics
Being on what some people consider the top of the ladder in this business, who do you look up to in online adult? Down on?
I look up to Tony Morgan as a true leader and a great friend. Ron Cadwell too, on both scores. Lars is the Man; Roger V comes up with the best new sites, concepts and promotions, imo. Mike Price is a branding guru and understands the way to do it effectively. Johnny V is an oracle of great advice. My former partners, Clay and Joel forgot more about processing than most will ever learn. Rand, what a great communicator. And then there are the “Quiet Ones” that are truly pulling the strings, making deals, staying low and focused and making money and futures for many. Last, but not least (and I could not get all the people I admire in here…) is Karups. They were never my clients, just friends. These guys actually update content, call their members, care about every single aspect of their business. They are the best run program out there, imo.
As for those I look down on, well I’d like to say I don’t look down on others, but I do. The answer would have to be those that fraud programs, systems or the industry. The parasites that give us all a bad name. Those that exploit children and others. They are scumbags.
What was your worst sexual experience? Best?
I don’t know what the worst was, I guess my first. It was with a nursing student, in full white uniform (sounds good, right?) but in the back seat of a 69’ Ford Fairlane – yes it was after 1969….) I am heavier now, but I was always big so it was cramped. The uniform she had on was hot, it was my first time, so that was exciting and scary but that car was so little and it was about 10 degrees outside and I got a cramp in my leg, and well… Hold on, I need to get my therapist on the line.
The best? I think it is yet to come….
Talk about your work in healthcare? What do you think of HMOs?
I worked with Doctors and hospitals financing their accounts receivables from Insurance Companies in the USA. I then began pre-funding or factoring their receivables. My company processed the very first electronically submitted heath care form in the USA for payment from the US Government to a physician. That was the first electronic transaction I processed, in 1990. It took 34 minutes to transmit 32 fields of data. Then we thought it was fast…
I learned that an aspirin in a US Hospital costs $0.04 and sells for $7.50 if an insurance company is paying the bill. The whole thing is rigged.
The entire health care system here is whack. HMO’s are the worst. People that work in hospitals can’t afford to be ill and treated in that same hospital. Drugs work wonders, but those that need them can’t afford them. Something is very wrong….
I am all for a more efficient system that does not allow for those that are less fortunate to slip between the cracks; the US system is not one that will last or one that should.
What was your very first, second and third job as a kid?
First: I cleaned parking lots from 5AM to 9AM at an apartment complex.
Second: I cleaned and repaired and repainted apartments at that same apartment complex.
Third: I was a leasing agent at that same apartment complex.
I guess you could say I like to grow with an organization, or at least that is how it has always been for me.
What is the best medical health insurance in America today?
The kind you pay all cash for all services without having to gain insurance company’s approvals. There is not a lot to discuss in detail. It works simply… you go to a Doctor and tell him you are not submitting anything to insurance; you want the best testing, treatment and medications available, price is no object and BAM! The healing begins. After you spend $150,000 you feel better, until something else goes wrong.
Why do people refer to you as a 'hands-on executive"?
I guess because I am involved at many levels in the businesses that I operate. When I was a club owner, most of the customers thought I was the doorman, or a bouncer. I dressed like everyone else and worked like everyone else. I try to lead by example, which I hope is always positive. I really enjoy “operating” a business, and to do that you have to know what everyone does in every department. So I think that makes one “hands on” just by that management style.
How many people work for you now?
Discuss visa mastercard and amex and working with them in the adult arena.
A big subject. But one that can be summed up in a few words: You don’t work “with” them; they allow you to have a voice, if they so choose.
These are wildly successful, powerful and far reaching companies that do not “need” our business. The issue was never one where I was able to strong arm any of them to help us out or the industry. Rather, it is a give and take and exchange of ideas that made the difference.
To me, putting a “face” on the industry, that was not content and not a sponsor program was important. I essentially cold called Visa about a month after I joined Paycom. It was not a friendly meeting to start, but it ended up very well, and I actually made a friend or two that day. We developed a relationship and they have helped us out, as an industry. The rules are the rules and they are tough, but they could have been worse. Ask Ron C, he knows what I’m talking about. Guys like Ron and those of us at Paycom back then did a lot to instill a confidence that the wild west days were over and that this industry was a business that had meaningful volumes and more importantly, provided goods and services that THEIR cardholders wanted. It worked out well, I think.
What do you think distinguishes you from other people working with credit cards online.
Well, now that I am a simple merchant selling pre paid ePassporte cards, I guess my role is much different. Regardless, there is not a lot of difference now, imo in any of us working with cards online. Most people would agree that a few years ago the difference would be what we would allow versus what other companies would allow in terms of posting data, cross sales, pre checks, etc. I think we cleaned up some things that needed to be cleaned up back then and set the pace and tone for the future. Now people seem to fall into line as we all want to be here for the long run.
Most life altering experience as a teenager? How did it shape your life?
My Father’s heart attack, definitely. When you are 15 and your Dad says, before being wheeled into a quadruple bypass, “Son, here is my pistol. If that Doctor comes out and tells your Mama that I died in there, shoot the son of a bitch in the head, drop the pistol and walk out of the hospital.” He was serious, but also on morphine. That event, the surgery, not the required shooting, changed my future; I grew up, fast.
Have you ever run any adult sites on your own with content on them? own part of any?
Do you hire staff for looks or brains?
Brains. But they are not mutually exclusive concepts. Many bright women are attractive. Take a look at most of the staff of most of the people at the shows. There are not too many dogs in that group, imo.
What's with the entourage of girls at shows?
I am insecure and I need constant attention from women.
Seriously man, WTF?!
What constitutes an “entourage”? I had my 2 marketing staff and my Assistant with me at the show in Florida; they all happen to be extremely attractive professional women in business. Their conduct and abilities could never be questioned. We hired one model to pass out ePassIt Footballs. I do tend to hang around folks that tend to have female companionship, so maybe that is “entourage by association”?
Why wasn't Clay at the epassport dinner?
I think he was in the poker tournament.
How much does your hotel room suite usually cost at most shows you attend?
I get my suite comped in Vegas by the casino. In Florida it was around $600 a night. Sometimes I have much more expensive suites if the show is in Europe, or wherever. I do all of my meetings in my suite, usually, so that is both a luxury and a necessity, imo.
What's your favorite color? What color is your bedroom, bathroom sink?
Saphire Blue. Brushed Stainless where I am now.
Do you have any plans on retiring or leaving online adult in the near future?
No. I like the people, the opportunities, the out of the box thinking and the creativity of this industry. I am happy doing what I do.
And I'm done.... Thanks everyone and thanks Sleazy.
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