Tristan, 35, Netherlands
Co-Founder of WeCamgirls.com
How did you first come into contact with the webcam modeling industry?
My first contact with the webcam industry was through a friend of mine. She was doing webcam shows in the late 90s and early 00s. She started working from a “webcam house” in Amsterdam and later she started broadcasting from home.
How would you describe your background and personality?
I have a background in Jurisprudence (law philosophy) and before I started working in IT I was a teacher at a Law University. Things and interests change though and when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance and made a career switch. So now I’m out of Law and into IT with my good friend Rutger (co-founder of WeCamgirls), building all kinds of communities, review sites and other dating and webcam related websites.
Doing this has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Having your own company and doing the things you like when you like it, makes me far more “efficient” than working for a boss. Luckily I have a wife who has been very helpful and supportive (and she was making money, so I could start the company).
Talk to me about WeCamgirl’s origins. Where did the idea come from and how did that develop?
We launched WeCamgirls in March 2012 and in these past 4 years, the site has grown tremendously. It’s one of the biggest communities out there, but it didn’t come easy. The first year it was very hard to get models to the site, because there wasn’t much content. If you don’t get models to the site, you also won’t get new content (so there is a nice paradox there). This is the first problem you have to solve and I almost gave up on it (a couple of times). I’m glad we didn’t, because when it started to take off, it became a snowball, getting bigger faster and faster.
So why did we start the site? The idea goes back to a conversation I had with my friend I talked about earlier. We were talking about her webcam past and her transition from a webcam house to working from home and I asked her what the most inconvenient thing was, being a model. She said that one of the things she didn’t like most, was that she had to keep it a secret from most people. She could only talk to a couple of (open minded) good friends about her job. Especially when she started working on her own, she missed her conversations with other models and suddenly there was a lot of boredom and a kind of loneliness.
I was a bit surprised by her answer, especially the boredom part. It had to settle for a couple of months, but suddenly an idea was growing. The cam industry wasn’t really a market we had thought about much, but we had experience building communities. So we went for it. WeCamgirls was born.
Is WeCamgirls your main focus or are you also working on other projects?
We are working on a great variety of projects. We mainly do (dating) review sites (kind of like the review part on WeCamgirls) and dating blogs. But we also run a free (dutch) dating community.
Do you have any tips for people looking to get into the camming business?
If you want to become a model, the only info I can give you is read, read, read. Learn to know the business you are getting into. Some things you can only do or get once, so you have to get the most out of it. Knowledge is power. Especially in the camming industry.