- IT'S A SIMPLE MONIKER, just three little words strung together.
business plan behind those words is also simple.
As the year
2000 dawned, a former UNT student from Dallas would give up his
job, legally change his name to DotComGuy and shut himself in a
web cameras to broadcast his every move for the year. His goal:
to prove it is possible to live solely off the Internet.
words, he would become an e-commerce mascot.
be the person who makes it OK to buy things other than books and
begins its march to December, DCG finds himself sitting atop his
own e-commerce empire. He knows his idea was simple. It also has
DCG isn’t succeeding alone. He has the help of DotComGuy Inc. —
a core group of 15 talented 20-somethings who manage the business.
Erich Kirk, DotComGuy Inc.'s vice president, stops by the production
house. Above right: Jason York, the site's producer,
sits in front of a bank of screens at the command center.
they are leading the way to the point-and-click world of the future
through media coverage and the web site. And they are carving out
a piece of the e-commerce pie for themselves.
just has to follow. And it is.
love him. He’s huge in Australia and Japan. And Germans think he’s
the next best thing to Baywatch. More than 1.5 million people around
the world visit the DotComGuy web site every day. By June, more
than 80,000 people were registered users — meaning they regularly
stop by to chat with DCG himself and other DotComHeads (viewers)
or read DCG’s journal and calendar. They use DCG’s e-commerce database
and forum. They buy things online.
they watch DotComGuy surf the Net, cook dinner and do dishes.
as he prepares for the weekly Saturday Net Live event. Part of his
job is to entertain his viewers, so comedians and musicians play
in the house every Saturday, and they watch as mystery guests (Ed
McMahon and Incubus) and sponsors (it is a business after all) stop
is having the time of his life.
I think about wanting to leave the house, but mostly I’m having
too much fun to get bored,” he says.
all because of an idea.
1999, after DCG wasted an entire day shopping old-school style —
driving from store to store — with his parents, the idea was born.
when I decided people needed to see how e-commerce could simplify
their lives,” he says.
DCG with less than three months (he wanted to launch the business
in conjunction with the year 2000) to put together a team that could
help him solidify plans and target online sponsorships (someone
had to pay for it).
So he turned
to the people he knew he could trust — his fraternity brothers.
inception, DotComGuy Inc. was nearly half UNT alumni and Sigma Alpha
the members of the team who aren’t from UNT are somehow tied in
through the fraternity.
person DCG recruited was then-roommate Chris Davidson (’98).
is peripherally affiliated because NumediaGroup, the company he
is building with partner Mike Staley, supports the DCG site.
told me, I thought it was just crazy enough to work,” Davidson says.
“And I told him I’d help him make it work.
Davidson’s role has been purely technical.
is responsible for DCG’s site application development and daily
key player is DotComGuy Inc. vice president Erich Kirk (’96), whose
training in international marketing helps DCG meet the needs of
a worldwide audience.
York (’00), the site’s producer, puts what happens in the house
on the Internet for the world to see.
thinking the DCG plan is a short-sighted, one-year, get-rich-quick
scheme simply because he will earn nearly $100,000 from sponsors
when he moves out Jan. 1, 2001, think again.
the first year is just the beginning.
there’s no telling where we’ll go exactly, but there will definitely
still be a need for us, and we intend to meet it,” he says.
the DCG viewers wouldn’t mind meeting the man himself, so he’ll
go on tour. He’ll also make cameo online appearances, for nostalgia’s
But no matter
what the DotComGuy crew does, one thing is certain: The world will
be watching. And the face of business on the e-frontier will continue