Yopo Interview: Anh Tran, Online Porn Entrepreneur

January 4, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here
“Sex with a porn star is more of a fantasy than anything else but the sex is not really that much different than with regular girls”. – Anh Tran

Have you watched Office Space and become saddened, realizing that is your real life? Anh Tran was just that person who set out to become a super-star politician, traveled a crap job for 1 year and ended up co-founding one of the largest online porn DVD rental company, WantedList.com. I first read his story in Wired while sitting on the toilet 2 weeks ago and realized his “Netflix of porn” in my own words was a brilliant idea and he must be loaded with cash. I was intrigued and tried to get a hold of him to learn more
about his idea as soon as possible. Through bugging many people I was able to get a hold of Anh and get a first hand account of his story and here is what he said:

Wantedlist Logo

Anh was born in Vietnam and moved to Stockton, CA when he was 4 and spent the rest of his life around the Bay Area. Majoring in Public Policy and Asian American studies from UCLA he wanted to become a politician or a lawyer. Anh also got a masters in public affairs from a school in San Francisco. He realized the Dotcom boom was taking off in the late 90’s and wanted to get involved. So he read every magazine about ecommerce, Internet and related fields, ending up with a job at Arthur Anderson.

“After a year of living out of a suitcase, maxing out expense accounts and doing unsatisfying work I decided it was time for a change. “

He met a co-worker and expressed the idea of WantedList, an online porn DVD rental site; that Netflix, Blockbuster and Wal-Mart chose not to participate in. Surprisingly, his co-worker had the same idea and they decided to quit so they could make something great with their lives.

At the ages of 24 they spent many hours researching the idea and wrote up a 60-page business plan. They expected 100,000 users in 4 years and sold everything they owned to self-fund their business. Considering it took $100 million for Netflix to start-up these two only had $200,000 from selling their motorcycles, family gifts and living off ramen for the next few years.

“We had competitions to see who could eat the cheapest for the week, Anh was the overall champion.”

In 2001 with their love of porn, a business plan and some capital they got started in the Mecca of the adult industry, Van Ness, Ca. Their business started slowly as well as their catalog of videos. They had very little connections and spent all of their time working on the website, fulfilling sales and getting the business off the ground.

I asked Anh how his parents felt about the type of business he started, and he said they are proud of him for running his own business but not exactly the nature of it. Anh learned a lot about how to run a company, manage people, be a leader, how to inspire and how to tackle/resolve issues from WantedList. A major thing is hiring great people and making sure they are comfortable with the type of company they are a part of.

The majority of people subscribing are white, 80% men and over 50% have video gaming stuff. Generally people who are online, aged 18-42 and make over $50,000. Surprisingly the same amount of married people and single people sign up.

Once you subscribe you receive the DVD in an envelope marked CTG so no one knows your business. The main way people have found his site is through word of mouth and affiliate marketing. They currently have over 15,000 users subscribed on the site.

“Five years later we are the established leader in the online porn rental market.

They grossed around 7 million dollars last year but are still not profitable. In that time period they have met tons of porn stars, dated a lot of them and have had sex with some.

Anh has been able to meet my personal favorite Lelani Lei among others. Anh’s favorite films include: the original Debbie does Dallas, Andrew Blake films, Dark Side Production among others. Starting from his 100-hour workweeks is finally paying off. Its nice to know at least one company in America you can’t get in trouble for browsing porn sites☺

yopo interview, anh tran, wantedlist, porn, entrepreneur

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4 responses to “Yopo Interview: Anh Tran, Online Porn Entrepreneur

  1. JH Reply

    They need to promote their affiliate program before. That is the best way to gain new customers, because you have hundreds of webmasters sending visitors to your site. Porn is awesome.

  2. Prakash Reply

    mr. online porn entrepreneur
    my name is prakash
    i m from dubai
    and i have question for u

    How do i become a porn Star