Starting as the corporate lawyer for National Net, Matt became Tony's right hand man. He then took off on his own and started his own hosting company. He's been a staple on the adult webmaster scene and has associated with some of the bigger names in this business since day one. A stand up guy, Matt's someone who you want to make time to do business with.
Pictures complements of Fubar
- check it out the photo archive of all webmaster events!
GFY Ambush Interview thread on Matt Collins
Did Tony fire you because you opened a competing company?
Actually it was theft of the NatNet Secret Sauce. Well, the truth is that we parted company on very good terms. Tony decided to pass on buying RevShare Hosting and since I was the one who was working the deal anyway, I just did it myself.
In all fairness, Tony knew that I was ready to do my own thing and he encouraged me to take the jump-something that was not in his best interest but showed what kind of quality friend he really is.
Buying RevShare Hosting was the perfect deal for me because I can use my hosting skills and contacts, but not compete with NationalNet. I will never be able to do the large scale, enterprise level hosting that NationalNet does. However, I have a great little niche that I do work with that is perfect for me.
Seriously folks, I will forever be in Tony’s debt for all of the connections, hosting skills and contacts I have made in this industry. NationalNet is an awesome company and you will never hear me say a discouraging word about Tony, Bill and the whole gang.
Is it true you wack off so much you quit your law firm to work in porn?
100% percent correct. In fact, I got my start in the adult business in 1997 when I incorporated Tony’s first company and was paid in passwords!! I don’t know who got the better deal as I burned shit load of bandwidth with those passwords. Needless to say I was a fan of the Georgia Girls!!
I was so disappointed when I learned that VooMan actually answered all of my fan emails I sent in over the years! What a drag!!
I gladly gave up my law practice to become a pornographer! Life is great!! In what other industry can a geek get laid by the best looking hookers as often as he wants?? Wait, don’t answer that…
However, like most guys in this industry...I love porn!
Have you ever had to bail Tony (or any other industry friends) out of jail?
No I have never had to bail any industry friends out of jail…I have bailed out many non-industry friends!
I have spent many an hour trying to figure out how to get Tony’s limo bus and driver across the Canadian border. We succeeded one time, but failed the second…we ended up leaving the driver and bringing the bus in by itself!! I miss not going to Montreal, Fay’s show was a lot of fun back then. Don’t get me wrong, I like San Diego too and the Ynot has done a great job of helping to build that show, but I did like Montreal….I think it was the French girls!
Of course, I would happily bail out anyone of my friend who needed it! Feel free to call me if you need bailing out of jail...555-123-45678910.
Why are Rick Latona and Steve Lightspeed your best friends?
My friendship with both guys started out because they were customers of NationalNet and I always took care of NatNet’s major accounts. Rick and I fell into a natural friendship because we both live in Atlanta and go out socially on a regular basis. We get along great when we drink because Rick likes to talk and I like to listen…what a perfect combination!!
Steve and I became friends the same way, but I only saw Steve at shows. However, over time our friendship developed to where it is today…Steve let’s me personally “interview” every new Lightspeed girl candidate. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!
The funny thing is that Steve (a content producer) and Rick (the operator of Consumption Junction, which posts submitted images) did not like each other because of a natural tension over copyright issues. I managed to get them to actually do business together and ultimately become friends. I am proud to say that the three of us are without a doubt best friends for each other in a manly threesome kind of way (if you know what I mean).
I know the three of us still run business ideas by each other constantly, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their friendship. In fact, I look forward to seeing Steve again at Webmaster Access (cheap plug for GFY’s favorite trade show!).
Now Rick and I have become business partners in DigiPawn, the domain pawn shop (paid commercial message: if you need cash and have valuable domains, come to DigiPawn and we can Hook You UP!)
There is no easy answer as to why you become friends with some people and why you don’t with others. I have made a ton of friends in this industry and I make new ones everyday!
What inspired you to go work for yourself?
I have always wanted to work for my self. I went to law school with the only goal being to start my own practice. I left my law practice to work for Tony because I believed that move would be the next step to building long term wealth.
Jack Welch wrote a whole book on this subject: “Control your own destiny or someone else will,” and I took what I learned in that book to heart. Though this is one of the few self help business books that I have read (Rick may swear by them, but they mostly bore me). I really got a lot out of the basic idea that the money to be made in this world goes to those who take the most risk through starting and building your own business.
When I left NationalNet, I got a lot of supportive comments, but the one that really struck home the most was the one from Ron Cadwell who said: “You can’t keep an entrepreneur from doing his own thing.” That is so true and really affirmed that I had made the right decision. Words of wisdom from a very successful entrepreneur!
What kind of law did you used to practice? How did it help you in this business?
Since I opened my law practice to be an entrepreneur, I practiced food law…that is anything that would put food on the table hahaha61514; When I started, I really did a lot of everything: business, criminal, divorce, you name it!
That said, over time I did focus my practice on small business needs. I did the contracts to sell the same dry cleaners five times! I did a fair amount of litigation, but I always felt my real skills were negotiating settlement deals. I was at my best in mediation or at the settlement table.
Over the seven years I was in private practice, I became a very good negotiator and I learned to never give up. Probably the most important thing I learned was to build win-win settlements. When you go to trial, there is guaranteed to be a loser, and often even the winner is not happy because they did not win enough!
Negotiation skills have served me well both at NationalNet and at RevShare Hosting. I still negotiate like hell to make a deal. Sometimes, I have been accused of going to far to close the deal, but I am committed to keeping a customer at almost any cost and getting new customers if it is at all profitable. I may lose money on some deals, but long term, I think it’s the right strategy in a very competitive industry like hosting.
What was it like being Tony's right hand man?
It was cool as Tony certainly knew how to roll. The VIP thing was beyond comprehension if you have never done it.
I tell my friends that there are two ways to see Vegas, the public way and the Tony way.
The good news is that I learned how to roll like Sweet T, so I am pretty good at swinging some weight around myself.
As for the general job of being Tony's righ hand man, I did a little bit of everything. From going to clubs to having to go to Falcons games and sitting in the suite. Tough life...of course, we had to work the next day after all of it. Remember our motto...if you can't do the time, don't do the crime. No matter what, if we go out, you gotta be in the office the next day. I still live by that rule even working for myself.
You actually worked for ACME? Discuss.
I was a huge fan of the Road Runner cartoons when I was a kid and I find it so ironic that I went to work for a company called Acme Business Products after college. I actually looked up what Acme meant so I could know why I worked for the same company that tried so hard to help the Coyote! Acme actually means pinnacle, which was a pretty cool name for a business products company.Nonetheless all my friends gave me shit for working for Acme, of all companies!!
At Acme Business Products, I sold photo copiers. There is no better training in the world of hard core sales work, than the selling of business products! I can assure you of that!
Sales was my first carrier out of college and selling copiers was life at Acme. Of course, I have never stopped selling. From selling judges and juries as a lawyer to selling hosting services now. Selling is what I do and have always done. However, I am not your typical sales person-no high stress or pressure, I sell through building relationships-a skill I really mastered by watching Tony Morgan.
Discuss you educational background. Where, when, grades, etc.
It’s all just a haze right now…
I went to high school at North Clayton High School in the blue collar part of Atlanta. Even though I was a huge football fan, my high school won three football games in the time I was there! I managed to graduate with a 3.3 GPA and a full intention of going to college at a place where there was a decent football team and UGA was calling out to me!
I went to the University of Georgia back when it was one of Playboy’s top ten party schools and I did my best to help maintain that image. I pledge Sigma Pi Fraternity and lived all four years in the frat house. We were the true animal house, partying every day of the week. In fact, our house got shut down and demolished a year after my graduation!
While at Georgia, I majored in Business Administration with a Marketing degree and had a 3.3 GPA …I was ready to make a fortune in outside sales. Well, five years into the sales career, I was ready to be an entrepreneur (the first time), and after looking at all the ways I could possibly make my mark on the world, I decided to go to law school.
Unfortunately, I had not made enough money to go to law school full time, so I had to work my way through school. You aint’ done nothing until you’ve done a full time job and been a full time night student! That will build character!
I did manage to graduate after three years of year round school (4 full load quarters a year) and again, I had a 3.3 (story of my life). I left law school, quit my job and opened my law practice.
Why haven't you ever moved from Atlanta?
Good question and I ask myself that on occasion! After college, Atlanta is where you went to get a job since Georgia graduates were recruited for Atlanta jobs.Then I opened my law practice in Atlanta because I knew the local area and had a base of business to start with.
Then I went to work for Tony who was based in Atlanta, so couldn’t move then. Now, I work for myself and for the first time, I feel like I can truly work from anywhere. This past summer I was at home for only ½ of the summer and I have enjoyed working on the road quite a bit.
Who knows, maybe I will move somewhere in the next couple of years as I am exploring the idea of moving-but its got to be warm weather, but still have seasons. However, friends and family are in Atlanta and Atlanta is home!
Discuss what the fuck Revshare hosting is and how it works?
Ahhhh, time for the commercial announcement hahaha61514;
There seems to be a lot of confusion about RevShare Hosting. Some people think we are a free host. Let me be clear…
We are NOT a free host!!
So what are we? Like our name suggests, we make our money through sharing revenue with webmasters. We only get paid if our customers make sales for which we make a small commission. The customer generally gets between 80 and 100% of the normal payout hence the name “RevShare”.
Our customers are tired of getting a Hun listing and then getting killed on their bandwidth bills because of those three days of bandwidth. Our volume buying allows us to make money one sale at a time and we are now one of the larger bandwidth users in the hosting industry. With RevShare Hosting, there are no bandwidth bills and no server fees, we provide all the services a paid host would provide except we have a different payment model.
Our customers are not affiliate programs but affiliates themselves, thus we are talking about people who make:
*any other legal site promoting our approved adult sponsors
So how do you join RevShare Hosting? I’m glad you asked, its 5 easy steps:
1. Sign up (www.revsharehosting.com);
2. Choose at least one primary sponsor to promote;
3. Add a domain (or use one that we provide exclusively for your use);
4. Build and ftp your site;
5. Cash checks!
Anyone can do this!
Since we don’t do any of the BS that all the free hosts do (banners, stealing 404 traffic, etc.), there is no reason for any webmaster to use a paid host. I am more than happy to be THE host for webmasters promoting sponsor programs big or small. Speaking of small sponsor programs, we now support any CCBill Affiliate Program in our system thus giving our webmasters hundreds of programs to choose from.
The best benefit of all is I love my customers and I am always available via phone, email or ICQ!
There is NO reason to host anywhere else if you are a webmaster!
How is THAT for a commercial announcement?? Pretty damn good in my book!
Talk about digipawn.
DigiPawn is a business that just plain rocks! Wait till you hear how this works!!
DigiPawn (www.digipawn.com) is the joint venture between Rick Latona and myself and is frankly a business I am very passionate about.
Rick and I had been looking for a way to do business for the last two years. Since we were such good friends and our strengths seemed to complement each other’s weaknesses, we were a natural combination.
Since Rick is such an awesome idea-man, it’s not surprising that he originated the DigiPawn concept. Rick approached me about doing DigiPawn almost a year before we actually did it. Frankly, the idea of opening a pawn shop for domain owners seemed pretty crazy. However, the more we chewed on the idea and worked on the details, the more we both came to believe that there was a real market out there.
The central question was, who would use DigiPawn? Here is the answer we came up with:
*People in legal trouble
*People in family trouble
*people who need short term capital
*People who are domain speculators and need cash often but can pay the money back quickly by flipping the domain.
*Anyone who needs money and owns valuable domains.
An interesting idea struck us as we worked through this…most people who own valuable domains are young, with little credit.
With the exception of Rick Schwartz and other Big Guns of the domain business, most domain owners have one or two valuable domains and a bunch of worthless domains.
These guys have no chance of borrowing money at the bank, but they may need cash in a hurry for any one of the above reasons.
Now, this is a pawnshop, so we take possession of the domain, while the customer keeps DNS and all operation of any websites or business associated with the domain. We take this possession through our official registrar Moniker (Monte and Chipmonk are great guys to deal with! www.moniker.com).
We then advance money to the customer for a one month period. This advance is renewable by the payment of the finance charge and can be extended forever.
Remember, this is a 30 day deal and the finance charge is 15%....per month…which is why I love this business hahaha61514;
Rick and I have funded all operations out of our pocket and we have capital standing by ready to make more deals. Go to www.DigiPawn.com and check us out now!!
Ever spit in the tacos at Tacobell?
Nope. And to this day I still love Taco Bell and Mexican food in general!
I gotta meeting to run to, but I will be back for some more Q & A later :-)
What is G&K - the Tony connection?
The Tony connection….
In the early 1990’s, the one thing Tony and I had in common is that we both worked for industrial laundry companies. Tony was the general manage of the Atlanta operations of a Fortune 500 industrial laundry company (to see Tony’s full Ambush Interview, check it out here: http://www.ambushinterview.com/58/interview58.html). I was a sales manage of a company called G&K Services.
After I left Acme, I went to work for G&K to sell uniform services to industrial operations. Think of any industrial plant or service facility and the uniforms that they wear and you have the idea of what I sold. Tony worked for a competing company.
G&K was very good to me. They knew that I was in law school trying to better myself. Of course, they could have fired me on the spot, but they supported me (I guess even then, I was pretty good at managing a book of business!).
When I left G&K, it was to form my law firm. Tony needed a lawyer and somehow ended up with a referral to me. The reason he choose me is that I had been in the same industry as him! I knew everything there was to know about the industrial laundry business.
I took on Tony’s company as my client in early 1994 and handled a variety of legal matters for his company until he retired to enter this business on a full time basis. I always liked to say that I was on Tony’s team before Teiko!!
Anyway, that is how Tony and I originally hooked a long time ago.
Are you bound by any legal reason not to discuss certain topics of National Net?
Yes, of course I have a lot of issues bound by attorney client privilege that I would never discuss.
Likewise, I cannot discuss any trade secrets, the NatNet “secret sauce.” So far, we have not strayed into those areas, nor will we!
How many conventions do you attend a year? How many now on your own? Which are your favorites? Least favorites?
This is a subject that Tony and I have joked about quite a bit over the years. While I have always maintained that a company should have a presence at all the shows, Tony would laugh at hearing me say that I have not practiced what I preached!
I always go to Internext so you can count on me there, though those shows are not my favorite. I will also have quite a crew with me this year. Maestro, Jman (www.revsharehosting.com), Rob (www.gayrevsharehosting.com) and myself will all be there.
My favorite show is the April Phoenix Forum (http://www.thephoenixforum.com/about.htm) and I am sure we will have a strong presence there as well.
My next favorite show is the Webmaster Access in LA, so look for me there if you wanna do some business.
I am sure I will work a few others into the mix as well, especially ones that are based in warm weather in the winter!
What was the single most exciting thing that you ever experienced at an adult webmaster convention? Second? Third?
Most Exciting? The sound of the door of the Delta airplane closing as I am leaving! I am usually so exhausted when I leave that nothing beats that sound.
Seriously, what I really enjoy are the things I cannot or do not do at home. The first thing that comes to mind is the Hot Air Balloon ride we did in Phoenix last year-that was the bomb!
I also enjoyed the TGP dinner on the boat where we went to the Hoover Dam. That was awesome!
I loved hanging out at Steve Lightspeed’s house and Ron Cadwell’s house. It was my inspiration for goal setting as an entrepreneur!
I enjoy talking to beautiful women that are totally unattainable though it’s a horrible come down when I realize that they truly ARE unattainable (See Rocki’s girls as exhibit A)!
I really don’t like four hour dinners (though, please don’t stop inviting me-it’s an important part of our business). Can you imagine me sitting still for four hours? I can’t, but I do it hahaha61514;.
I think Brad Shaw would enjoy hearing me say this, but I don’t get off on the Cristal hahaha61514; (though it’s a great name for a hosting company!!).
I love hanging out in the lobby talking to friends and business acquaintances.
The thing I enjoy most about the trade shows is seeing all my friends again.
What's the most amount of women you've slept with in one day? At one time? Men? Ever use viagra or cialis?
Most number of women in one day? So many I can't even count...wait, do you mean ones I actually had sex with??
Men?? Hahahahaha!!! I am afraid not! I do have to confess: Nothing beats masturbation on Viagra!! The only thing I have to add is two words: Campo Allegro. (Thank you Flash Cash!)
Have you taken drugs at a webmaster event? If so, discuss and your thoughts on it.
Drugs? I can barely keep going with just drinking at my old age!
Seriously, I have seen a lot of things happen at the trade shows and I have always taken the attitude that people can do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else (we’ll get into this subject later on). I am not going to get into naming names.
How many houses do you own?
Just one house in surburban Atlanta. That is enough to keep me busy as it is!
What kind of car do you drive? (pics)
I drive a black Toyota Sequoia SUV
Do you fly coach or first class? Discuss.
I buy coach tickets, but I either try to get upgraded to first class which I am occasionally able to do or I also use Delta Skymiles points to upgrade to first class as much as possible. When on a red eye, I will always find a way to sit in first class as I just can’t sleep in coach.
I do try everything possible to avoid buying a first class ticket as I just don’t want to pay that much money.
Of course, I much prefer to fly via private jet, now that is first class!!
Who do you look up to in this industry? Down on?
Great question! I really look up to several people. Obviously, I look up to Tony for all that he has done for me. Tony is both a friend and a mentor and I have learned so much from him.
I also really admire Ron Cadwell and all that he has done. The credit card industry has been such an up and down industry, yet there has been only one company that has never been on the brink of disaster (at least as far as we know), and that company is CCBill. Plus if you have ever met Frank Cadwell, you know that company is a solid, family run business. Plus, let’s face it, Ron has always surrounded himself with outstanding talent.
Of course, no list of industry leaders is complete without mentioning Chris Mallick who has been successful in a dozen different industries doing totally different things. I learn so much every time I sit and listen to Chris talk.
Though I don’t know him very well, I have so much respect and admiration for Kris (I don’t even know his last name!). Kris is the common partner in the following kick ass businesses: Sublime, Ox Cash, Nasty Dollars, BangBros (and probably many others I don't know about). That guy is so talented and so good at what he does, he is a quiet industry titan.
Speaking of quiet industry titans, I gotta mention the guys at Karups, Lou and Jeff who have built a huge business by offering quality content with an emphasis on the Member’s Area.
There are many other people I look up that are too numerous to name here.
Now on to the people I don’t admire: I can’t stand people who make us as an industry look bad. This includes the people who throw shit off of balconies at trade shows as well as those child pornographers who think they are part of our industry. We are often painted with an unfair brush with these people.
Why do you use your real name as your GFY name?
I want people to know who I am and what I do. I really have a hard time with nicknames and real names. I am so bad at names as it is, making me learn two names is just not fair!
Plus, the people I look up to and respect all use their real name on posting (Ron, Chris, Brad, Rick, Steve) and everyone knows who they are. I want people to know who I am, not a nickname.
The other issue I had is that I want to promote both RevShare Hosting and DigiPawn, so that precluded me from calling myself any company specific nicknames.
Plus, as much as I like Richard, I have a hard time calling a grown man Bangwang!!
Do you think you'll be able to retire early from the money you've made working in the adult industry?
I really have no desire to retire…I just don’t see me retiring…what would I do with myself??
First, I am pretty competitive and I don’t see me ever being content with any level of success…at least so far, I have always wanted more.
Plus, I love the challenge of what I do…I would do it even if I didn’t make as much money. I also love the people in this industry, so I really don’t see me leaving the industry to do other things either.
Bottom line is I am not a lie around the house guy…now I can see slowing down and having more time to play golf in my weekly routine, but that is about it.
How smart is it to own a company like revshare hosting and make your profit from the stats controlled by other companies? How do you control fraud/being shaved?
This is a major issue in our industry and like everyone else, I really don’t have any way to fight program fraud.
However, I do have an answer for you and this is my position: I really don’t care whether someone shaves and pays more or doesn’t share and pays less. The bottom line is pure dollars and cents at the end of the month. In other words which program gives me the best return on my investment.
I know the anonymous poster attacked Rick and the Dollars.com concept, and frankly, I never understood how it worked either (and I told Rick this), but I did understand the goal of the program: to allow you to compare the return from competing programs. Rick quantified the analysis into RPM or revenue per million impressions, which is a statistical way of saying return on your traffic investment.
Webmasters should stop worrying shaving and worry about something they can control: return on their traffic investment. In business if you can earn more money from another sponsor than you are currently earning, then you should use the other sponsor regardless of payout, shaving or any other issue.
I would love to hear any opposing viewpoints on this because I think my theory makes sense. However, you wouldn’t believe it hearing the constant talk about shaving.
What does your family think of you working in porn? Ever worry about your kids googling your name?
My wife is happy as long as the bills are paid and our standard of living has definitely increased since I entered this industry. Of course, my wife is involved in the accounting side of RevShare Hosting as well as working with sponsors on our customer’s affiliate codes. She does not read GFY nor does she want to be an active part of our industry, which is fine with me (sometimes I don’t want to be an active part of our industry!)
Though my parents know what business I am in, I have never asked their opinion on the matter as its none of their business. To the world in general, I am just in the hosting business...just a service provider!
Not a whole lot comes up when you Google my name, so but as more press releases go out with my name on them I am sure that will change.
I am sure my true business will come up at some point when my teenage sons start hitting me up for passwords. ROFL!!!
Discuss your political views. Why the fuck do you think like that?
I am a Libertarian and damn proud of it!! http://www.libertarianparty.com/
I have two core philosophies:
Philosophy No. 1: I want to help poor people; I just don’t want to pay for it!
Philosophy No.2: I want the government to leave me the fuck alone.
Why does anyone think they have the right to take MY money and give it to someone else?? That’s insane!!
As you may surmise from the two core philosophies, I have strong opinions against the Religious Right and their unholy takeover of the Republican Party and their efforts to legislate their version of morality.
You may also surmise that I strongly dislike the Liberal Democrats who want to take MY money and give it to people who are not willing to work for a living or make horrible life choices.
The only rational way for someone with my beliefs is the Libertarian Party. I am surprised more people in this industry aren’t into the Libertarian point of view.
Talk about your jobs at Winn Dixie, the college dining hall, and other jobs you had as a kid.
I had all the usual jobs that kids have in the suburbs: grocery store, fast food, etc. I went through a few of them and made enough money for dates, drinks, car expenses etc. Winn Dixie is a southern chain of grocery stores. I love the name, its so anachronistic! Unfortunately, they pretty much no longer exist-sort of sad commentary on our culture now a days. Most of the jobs I had were shit jobs, but they made a little money for me
My favorite job was the dining hall while in college at Georgia. I worked the lunch shift, which means I got to eat for free. I usually ate “breakfast” before my shift began and then a snack before leaving for classes (I wasn’t too much on morning classes!).
Of course, the other cool thing about the dining hall job is that’s where I met my wife and we have been married for 15 years now.
How fast is your hosting company on page loads?
Fast, Fast, Damn Fast!!!
However, that is not really a fair question for any web host. Page load speeds are affected by a lot of factors way outside of my control. For example, there are a lot of hops along the route from my server to your computer and everyone of these hops can have a delay. Obviously the further away from the server you are, the more likely there is a chance of hitting a delay.
Another issue affecting page load speeds is the content of the page. If there are a lot of jpeg images, flash graphics or any other heavy duty graphics, it will be slower loading.
This is why the first thing you should do before calling any hosts support line about a slow server is checking a traceroute for yourself.
In the industry webmaster scene, who are the most sexually attractive women to you? Men?
top secret information or doesn't have the guts to answer
Where do you see your company in 5 years? 10 years? Yourself?
top secret information or doesn't have the guts to answer
Is it true you were a table dancer at the OPA?
Yeah, that was the night I first hung out with Corvette from CCBill. I have talked before how I have always loved the CCBill guys. Well I only met Corvette at the 2004 summer Internext, which is odd because he is the most public person there!
A great friend of mine, Fatal Attraction, decided to throw a party at OPA, a Greek Restaurant in Hollywood. When we arrived it was a zoo, they had belly dancers everywhere dancing on the tables. After we had a few cocktails Nick and Corvette and others joined in the girls in dancing on the tables.
Many more cocktails later, I joined in. What a great night and what a great dinner. I had a blast!!
I want to personally thank Corvette (and CCBill) for joining me in sponsoring that dinner and entertainment; I think everyone had a memorably experience! Of course, seeing me table dance may not be the kind of memories anyone wants to keep!! By popular demand I have retired from table dancing.
Needless to say that was one four hour dinner that I truly enjoyed and wouldn’t mind doing again.
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