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DOTCOMGUY - IT'S A SIMPLE MONIKER, just three little words strung together.

The revolutionary 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 house

wired with web cameras to broadcast his every move for the year. His goal: to prove it is possible to live solely off the Internet.

In other words, he would become an e-commerce mascot.

He would be the person who makes it OK to buy things other than books and CDs online.

As 2000 begins its march to December, DCG finds himself sitting atop his own e-commerce empire. He knows his idea was simple. It also has been successful.

However, DCG isn’t succeeding alone. He has the help of DotComGuy Inc. — a core group of 15 talented 20-somethings who manage the business.

Above left: 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.


Together, 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.

The public just has to follow. And it is.

Americans 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.

But mostly, they watch DotComGuy surf the Net, cook dinner and do dishes.

They watch 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 by.

And DCG is having the time of his life.

“Sometimes I think about wanting to leave the house, but mostly I’m having too much fun to get bored,” he says.

And it’s all because of an idea.

In October 1999, after DCG wasted an entire day shopping old-school style — driving from store to store — with his parents, the idea was born.

“That was when I decided people needed to see how e-commerce could simplify their lives,” he says.

That left 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.

At its inception, DotComGuy Inc. was nearly half UNT alumni and Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers.

Today, even the members of the team who aren’t from UNT are somehow tied in through the fraternity.

The first person DCG recruited was then-roommate Chris Davidson (’98).

Today, Davidson is peripherally affiliated because NumediaGroup, the company he is building with partner Mike Staley, supports the DCG site.

“When he told me, I thought it was just crazy enough to work,” Davidson says. “And I told him I’d help him make it work.

Since then, Davidson’s role has been purely technical.

NumediaGroup is responsible for DCG’s site application development and daily maintenance.

Another key player is DotComGuy Inc. vice president Erich Kirk (’96), whose training in international marketing helps DCG meet the needs of a worldwide audience.

And Jason York (’00), the site’s producer, puts what happens in the house on the Internet for the world to see.

If you’re 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.

DCG says the first year is just the beginning.

“From here, 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.

Certainly 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 sake.

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 to change.


How do you handle the audio/video/Webcast?

We now have 20 cameras (soon will be 24), and a production team that controls the action from another building.

Is he really live?
Why won't he wave when I ask him to?

So many people ask him to wave and say their names that we don't get those messages for hours, sometimes days.

How is everything being paid for?
The company founders started the company with their own money and have been fortunate enough to have some far-sighted sponsors assist with purchases and transactions.

Can he never leave the house?
What about haircuts, doctors, dentists, etc.?

He can go into his back yard, just not out the front door. He has found hairstylists online; his dad is a dentist; and we'll have to see about the doctor.


Is there a DotComGal?

He wishes.




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