Derek Smout

Michael Hayes
After a flurry of ICQs and several postponed phone interviews, XBIZ caught up with Toronto-based WebcamCash head account executive Derek "Dwreck" Smout, who handles affiliates for the company.

In 2001, Smout got his start in adult entertainment with some high school friends in Manitoba, Canada, at a content company.

"They had a really cool office, and I just wanted to be a part of it," he says. "They were geeky guys, and they needed someone like me with an outgoing personality to handle sales and marketing."

The smooth-talking, fast-paced Smout quickly networked his way through the industry, meeting an array of contacts at various tradeshows.

It was at one of those tradeshows that he met Barry and Hazel, who brought the small-town boy to Toronto in 2004 and made him an offer he "couldn't refuse."

Since then, Smout has discarded his alarm clock — life at the company is anything but a 9-to-5 grind — and made it his mission to lead the ranks of WebcamCash's army of affiliates.

"The workday starts when I wake up," Smout explains. "I literally run to my computer in my underwear to check my ICQs."

Smout estimates that his mornings are usually filled with between 10-50 ICQs, ranging from content concerns to socializing with affiliates to payment issues.

"Whatever the subject of the ICQ is, it's important," Smout says. "Our best ideas, such as our new blogging tools, come from our affiliates. Plus, I need to make sure that everyone is happy."

By 10 a.m. Smout usually has a handle on his ICQs, which leaves just enough time for him to run to the shower, change and race to the office, where he's back on the computer.

After taking care of additional affiliate concerns via ICQ, Smout says he may step out to grab lunch or a quick cigarette around noon, but only if time permits.

In the afternoon, Smout says he turns his attention to emails. While he may be dealing with similar issues via ICQ, Smout says emails tend to come from a different breed of webmaster.

"I find the old-school guys and the more serious webmasters use email," Smout says.

According to Smout, he also plays "mail man," relaying messages from people he's met at tradeshows to the right person at WebcamCash during the afternoon.

Smout also spends the afternoon scouting for new affiliates, adding that researching who's doing what is a critical part of running any affiliate program.

Before leaving the office around 6 p.m., Smout makes sure to touch base with Barry, who owns the company.

"I usually give Barry a daily update," he says. "He's not the kind of guy who needs every little detail, but he needs to know about the day-today stuff. This is a personal business built on relationships, and Barry needs to know what's going on out there."

Weary from a long day, Smout returns to his apartment around 7 p.m. While most people in other industries would likely use this time for watching TV or going out with friends, a second part of Smout's day is about to begin.

"I use the evening hours to do a little soft marketing," Smout explains. "I post on the boards, and I bump threads, that kind of thing. It's very important to do this because you need to support your friends, that's how this industry works."

On some nights, Smout might make plans with his friends for dinner or drinks. But as he says, this industry blurs the line between social time and work time.

The day XBIZ talked with Smout was after one of his blurry nights.

"I was supposed to have plans with friends," Smout says. "But some business associates invited me out for a sushi dinner. I had to cancel; that's just the way it is because it's those face-to-face settings where the real business gets done. People want to know you."

To hear Smout tell it, what began as a luxurious sushi dinner ended with him stumbling home at 1 a.m., warmed by shot after shot of Jagermeister and lap dances from Korean strippers.

Finally at home, and with his bed beckoning, Smout had one last thing to do.

"I had to check my ICQs," he laughs. "At 1 a.m., most of my European webmasters are just signing on, and it's important to let them know I'm there for them." While a typical day in the life for Smout may be an exercise in endurance, Smout said he wouldn't have it any other way.