If you were not here to attend the Affiliate Summit West, you must attend next time. This event was incredible, it was awesome getting a chance to meet everyone you talk to online in person, and of course others, it was terrific networking.
Before the Summit
I must have been the only one crazy enough to drive down to the event. I drove 10 hours from San Francisco to Las Vegas and back when everyone else flew in by plane. Unfortunately I even got a speeding ticket on the way back from Las Vegas to San Fran going 86mph on cruise control in the 70mph zones. Luckily the copy was friendly and only cited me for going 80mph in the 70mph zone. Next time I’m flying.
But my Affiliate Summit West weekend actually started 3 days before the event. Robert Norton, our Vice President of Technology, our system administrator, a damn fine business partner, flew out from Phoneix to San Francisco so we could setup our datacenter. He stayed over at my place during the trip and we went to work in our new datacenter.
As of right now I have invested a lot of my working capital in the server equipment that will run the Tracking202 platform. The current investment is approximately $10,000 worth of server equipment, not including any hosting costs.
Rob flew out, and we drove to our new datacenter located in San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley. It is a high-tech facility 24-hour surveillance, lots of coolers, backup power generators, security cameras, big heavy doors with security keycard access panels, and of course, lots of server racks. Rob is the master in disguise; he knows a ton about system administration, more than I ever thought. Here is a picture of our rack before anything was installed, and then here are some pictures of the server equipment as we went ahead and installed everything.
Pictures of Rob and I
There is more than just “servers” here; we have several other units that do other things, which actually manage the servers, units that make things easier to work on and units that we can remotely control the units easier.
After we had 2 exhausting days of working on the servers all day, we drove down to Las Vegas NV, in the Honda S2000. There wasn’t much room in the S2000 and whoever was in the passenger seat had to also hold some of our luggage on their lap because the trunk could not hold everything.
Rob drove most of the way to Las Vegas, and the when we got there we stayed over at the Boulder Casino, we would later move over to staying at the Excalibur instead because it was on the strip. On the first night we met up with Steven Truong, Tom Luong, and Souriya from Portland. We would then get together with Larby and Harrison. Larby is our Vice President of Sales, and he was also doing a great job networking with other people while we weren’t with him. He lined up a meeting with the AffSpy group the following day for us.
Day 1 – Table Meet Day – CXDigital Party
The objective of the first day was to meet the AffSpy group who is developing a product that was going to actually compete against ours. When we headed down to the Affiliate Summit we were on route to launch a new product, Offers202. Offers202 was supposed to be a site that aggregated all of the campaigns that every network promoted, so at one location you could see all the offers from all the networks, and see difference payouts that each had.
We knew about AffSpy before the event so we were originally planning on competition with them. Although the guys over at AffSpy were smart, and they approached Tracking202 and asked to see if we could work together and then long story short we are now working together in a mutually benefical way instead of competing against eachother. The AffSpy team is an extremely sharp and talented team, they know what they are doing and I look forward to working with them more.
Once we established at the first day, that we would partner with the AffSpy team, we changed our goals for the weekend, which was originally partnering up with all of the affiliate networks on Offers202. Because we figured out we would work with AffSpy now we switched our objective to seeing how many interviews we could put together. Rob and I drove all around prior to the event and picked up over fifteen hundred dollars in video equipment so we could record some High Definition interviews with super affiliates, and people in the industry. We managed to gather 8 interviews by the end of the weekend, a great turnout in my opinion.
Later on the first day I would later meet up with the following people, Jared Atchison, Dexter (ddventures), Ian Fernando, Stephen Gill, Gaby, Arymen, Doug Davis of CPAEmpire, Mike Semira with CXDigital, Adam with Max Bounty. We were with Ian Fernando alot during the Summit, he was a blast to work with.
More networking would happen later at the night! I’m very grateful to Mike at CXDigital for inviting me to the CXDigital party, they had rented out the MTV Real World Suite at the Palms, there was about 60 people everyone was extremely successful. Everyone there was successful by most standards, and it was extremely good networking with powerful people in the industry. We had a lot of fun, there was an open bar and everyone had a lot of fun. I don’t normally drink but I had a few there and we had a blast, for this I said I owe Mike at CXDigital a Super Affiliate!
Bobby from bluebobbo.com, George Spanoudakis, Nicolas Kokkalis, Alan Rafaeli and Adam of RockSolidColo, Kenneth Chen, Konrad, Brendan, Hagai, Matthew (socialmedia), George, Nicholas, Kevin, Justin, Raz, Kenneth, Johnathon Van Clute, Kyle and Richard Tarjeft. Pictures below:
Mike (CXDigital) And I
Arymen, Larby, Gaby, Me and Stephen Gill (Tracking202 and AffSpy)
Debrani (CXDigital) And I
Because all of the Tracking202 team was asleep when the party was over, I couldn’t get back in the hotel room, so I stayed over at Dexter’s place, a tracking202 user, and a friend from the bay area.
Day 2 – Booth Day – TAO Party
On day two the booths were opened up, there was a little bit of networking but not much happened on the 2nd day of the affiliate summit. The goal of this day was to simply set up interviews for the same day, and the day after. At the end of the day we had an interview with Ian Fernando, Jonathon Van Clute, and John Chow. And setup some more interviews for the following day.
At the end of the night we went over the to Tao Party at the Venetian, we got their late, it was extremely loud and only half of the team got in. I ended up staying so I could network with a few other individuals, although I can’t say I met a ton more people. I mainly got to meet with some of the S. California affiliate marketers, with Mr. Gary Lee, Ms Danielle, Jonathon, to name a few.
Day 3 – Going Solo
On day 3 all of the Tracking202 left for home by plane, except for me. I stayed behind and did what I needed to do, get more interviews done. I would end up at the end locking in 5 additional interviews with key people. Although I was alone though in terms of Tracking202, Dexter was there to help me out, and I owe much to him for helping me put together the rest of the interviews.
On the last day I went to the event and did the interview with Mike Semira at CXDigital, then we had an interview with Paul Bourque with UberAffiliate.com, Doug Davis at CPAEmpire, then Adam at MaxBounty.
After that was all done we went to the last event at Affiliate Summit West, the road rally, here they would give away prizes, and there was a toy car race, the winner would win a booth at Affiliate Summit East. The AffSpy team won.
At the end of this event we had the last but not least, final interview with the AffSpy Team. After the event it was about 4pm and I begun my drive back to San Francisco in the same day. I would get a speeding ticket in the way back, fall asleep at a rest three different times, and then continue the drive back. Trying to sleep in a Honda s2000 isn’t fun.
Affiliate Summit West 2008 was awesome; I plan on attending all of them from here on out. I will also be going to Ad Tech in San Francisco, of course in April! Unfortunately I don’t know how it happened but I missed seeing NickyCakes there, Jon Waraas and GrayHat!
Some of the interviews we gathered are mentioned below, and they will be posted on here next, back to back when they are ready this week.
- Wes Mahler – Interview with Doug Davis at CPAEmpire
- Wes Mahler – Interview with Adam Dureferise at MaxBounty
- Wes Mahler – Interview with Mike Semari at CXDigital
- Wes Mahler – Interview with Ian Fernando
- Larby Amouriche – Interview with Johnathon Van Clute with LPGen
- Wes Mahler – Interview with AffSpy
- Wes Mahler – Interview with UberAffiliate
- Steven Truong – Interview with John Chow