Marc De

Probably one of the youngest, big players in the game; Marc is the man behind ARS. This monster program has existed for years and anyone who's someone in this business knows of it or its been used in their surroundings.

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GFY Ambush Interview thread on Marc De

Question #1
Is it true ARS went under cause of chargeback ratio issues?

I don't recall ARS going under? At no point in time have we been out of business. Did we shut off all the sites in the ARS portfolio in early 2004 because of chargeback issues? Yes, that was the major cause of a number of issues that revolved around those sites. However, even with the loss of all the legacy GIM sites we still did good volume. We continue to do good volume and have grown significantly since that time What we did was necessary for us to stay solvent and continue to be a healthy company. Its because of that move that ARS is still around and growing. It was also a decision that was necessary to secure our biggest asset, our multi million dollar recurring DB. As many people have thought "Man that was a really bad decision" if all the information was available their opinion would be drastically changed. I stand behind that decision 100% and know its allowed us to do what we've done the last 6 months


Question #2
Why did Toolz leave and then come back? Why did Becky leave?

Toolz left to do his own thing. After realizing that being without me was no fun, he came back I also was in great need of his services on another project that fit him well. Becky never really left the company. She started a company called Storm Media which owns and operates all the sites in the ARS portfolio. Storm replaced our existing portfolio manager. Becky is no longer with Innovative Ideas (ARS) but she still works closely with us and her move was the best for all parties.


Question #3
How many cars do you own? Pics. Talk about the garage you had built for them.

I own 17 cars in total. 15 in Michigan & 2 in Las Vegas. You can find pics @ http://www.marcscars.com I built a 9000 sq ft garage to house them and be used as a base of operations for my groundsmen & car detailers.


Question #4
At its peak how many sales was ARS pulling a day?

In its peak which lasted about 40 months ARS averaged 3500 sales / day and 70,000,000 uniques / mo We never dropped below 15,000,000 uniques / mo and now do significantly more.


Question #5
What happened to your reality sites?

What do you mean what happened to them? They're still in the ARS portfolio


Question #6
Is it true you're addicted to video games?

Yes, I'm so addicted to video games that I had to create a company that makes them (S2 Games) and a company that distributes them (iGames). I've spent 10+ hours / week playling games since I was 4 years old. Currently I'm addicted to Warcraft III. I also purchased happypuppy.com from the public company that paid $48 million for the asset. Happy Puppy is currently the 4th largest video game website getting over 30,000,000 hits / mo S2 Games created Savage, which won multiple awards, including Independent Game of 2004 We're currently working on Savage 2 http://www.s2games.com http://www.happypuppy.com http://www.igames.com


Question #7
Given the chance to do it all over again would you still split your company into 2 parts: content and marketing?

Yes I would do it again. Back in 2000 I broke out our actual adult operations and sold them to Global Intermedia. ARS (the affiliate management side / marketing side) of the business was sold to Innovative Ideas which I own.


Question #8
How many affiliates did ARS have in total?

You keep using past tense as if ARS no longer exists. We're still large, alive, and kicking. Anyways, ARS has over 100,000 accounts... which doesn't mean SHIT! hehe Its all about active webmasters. In our peak we had over 2500 active WMs in over 4000 active accounts.


Question #9
There's a rumor: ifriends is running billing for you? True or False.

Webpower is the back end provider for our cam program HSN (@ Home Sex Network). We are NOT click cash and there are definitely distinctive differences between their products and ours. Our tours have some unique selling points.


Question #10
How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I own approx 25 pairs of shoes Yes, btw, I also enjoyed your mockery of my cars thread! ;)


Question #11
Is it true you washed dishes for Jackson's elite?

Yes, washing dishes was my first job... I actually enjoyed it, after work on the busy nights I would hang out and chat with some of the regulars while having a 'virgin' (of course) Strawberry Dacquiri.


Question #12
Talk about ToysRUs.

The 2nd job I landed was a cashier at Toys R Us. I really really enjoyed this job and when I was old enough I was immediately promoted. I worked 50 hours / week, commuted an hour each way and took a full load of classes when I was a freshman in college. I learned a lot about time management and driving while you're sleeping ;)


Question #13
What was the most amount of washing machines you sold in one day?

I have absolutely NO clue - I think the largest sales day I had was $8000... no matter what he tells you I'm a better appliance salesman than Steve (Webmaster Central).


Question #14
How did Sears play a role in getting you into online porn?

I was making enough money at Sears to easily pay my bills as well as accumulate some cash to invest in my online business (ya know, get off geocities hehe) It was all up from there


Question #15
What was your first paysite?

My first paysite was Breathless Boys (which started as my second free site).


Question #16
Why did ARS start with mostly gay porn? Was it revenue or personal taste?

I started in gay when there were virtually NO players at the time. It was a wide open market. Now, don't get me wrong, I like a nice penis as much as the next guy, but my decision to move heavily towards the gay market was purely business.


Question #17
What was it like being younger than your peers and having such a large which processes similar amounts of cash?

Success is a wonderful thing and it can be very fun, being young and successful just adds a multiplier to that I am not so concerned about the age of my peers, it wouldn't matter if they were younger or older.


Question #18
Do you avoid shows because you get mistaken for a twink pornstar?

ROFL - I may have missed my calling with that one ;) I went to almost every major show up until the middle of 2004 - so I've missed about a year of shows. I'm not much of a 'partier' and I think the social atmosphere of the shows doesn't mix well with me. Am I saying I'm a geek? I guess that is all in the eyes of the beholder. I'm more of a homebody family man.


Question #19
Why did you drop out of college? Any plans on finishing the degree?

You go to college for many reasons, the main one, however, is to increase your earning potential. At some point when you're making more than the maximum of your earning potential in the career you're studying for it's time to leave. At least that was my opinion I may finish it someday but currently, I'm just too busy.


Question #20
How many homes do you have? Where? Pics.

I have 2 homes, 1 in Michigan and 1 in Las Vegas - I would have to take pics and get them online to show them off. My Michigan home is more of an estate, maybe I have those ariel photos somewhere.


Question #21
What businesses do you own/run outside of adult now? Did adult fund their startup?

I own the following businesses, I'll try to follow each with a short description. DMA Real Estate - Owns income producing property, also owns most of the locations that our restaurants are on. DMA Food Group - A hospitality company with 6 restaurants throughout Mid Michigan. S2 Games - Develops PC video games, first title Savage which won Indepent Game of 2004 (a VERY high honor) iGames - owns happypuppy.com and sells millions of ad impressions per month to video game distributors nXi - Builds composite goalie hockey masks - considered the best mask in the biz and soon to break into the catcher mask market.


Question #22
Who do you look up to in the adult business? Down on?

I look up to anyone who runs a professional, ethical shop. Specifically, I looked up to Rich & Bob Botto, and Dean Shannon (many others included but those 2 stick out). I tend not to look down on people, however, those people that run their mouth with no regard to how unprofessional and ignorant it makes them look (REGARDLESS for the reasons of acting like such an asshole).


Question #23
Who was your favorite affiliate? - not necessairly volume.

Dr Bill - come back dude!


Question #24
If you could do it all over in this biz from day 1 - what would you do differently?

Have more stringent requirements for content minimums and quality for sites in the ARS portfolio.


Question #25
At its peak, how many salaried employees did ARS have?

I would guess approx. 25. Ok - I'm done for the evening... Sorry for the delay. Tomorrow I'll go through and answer specific questions and finish up question 26-30 About 8 months


Question #26
How long did it take for you to get over 1 million dollars a month in processing?

Top secret information or doesn't have the guts to annswer


Question #27
Do you make employees live with you in order to control their entire lives?

Oh this is too funny. No no no - that is called me having a big heart and helping a friend who is also an employee with this 'situation' Trust me, it was not I who controlled his entire life haha ;)


Question #27
Talk about your new online adult ventures.

(Scott, learn to count hahaha ;) ) Right now ARS is growing fast and furious. With the addition of over 350 new BYOT tours to our existing stable of sites and a killer cam portfolio combined with the latest promotions and soon to come FREE LAPTOP Promo, things are going well. If you haven't check out ARS in a while, you should. We have the best stats in the biz, over 400 tours in total crossing most niches, price point control and high payouts.


Question #28
Discuss the 2 most impacting life changing experiences of your life?

Quite simple - meeting my wife who has made me a better man and opened my eyes to experiencing life in ways I never would without her and of course, having children. My 2 boys (soon to be 3) have taught me things about myself and life that I would not have learned without them. They've also given me the patience I so desperately needed. Don't get me wrong, I could use some more but I'm sure that will come with age.


Question #28
What are your favorite webmaster events? Which do you attend now and plan on attending?

Not a fan of any really and I'll probably attend Vegas in January.


Question #29
Who are your closest friends in this business outside of your company?

I'm an introvert. I don't really form strong friendships outside of 'circle of trust' (yeah, straight out of Meet The Parents). I enjoy conversation with many people in the biz.


Question #30
How many miles do you think you could swim before not being able to go any further? Would you wear a loose fitting swim suit or skin tight?

hahaha dayum good question - I think I could swim a mile before I collapsed - oh hell I dunno I'm in good shape, I play hockey and tennis often. I think I would wear loose fitting swim trunks... Its not that I'm afraid to show the goods but skin tight trunks are goofy to me haha


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