A shark in Fuckup Nights: Marcus Dantus
The shark of Shark Tank, Marcus Dantus launched his first tech startup in 1993, dedicated to selling email addresses and registering digital domains. But the dot-com bubble eventually burst and his first fail came when he was contacted by lawyers to cease and desist from buying internet domains of brands that did not belong to him.
He bought more than a thousand domains, including mexico.com, which he sold for a millionaire figure. Listen to his fuck up story in our 8th Anniversary on his first steps on the internet business and how he became president at Mexico(.com).
We also interviewed him after his intervention in Fuckup Nights to know what he did after his fuck up. Marcus shared some of the wort pitches that have been presented to him gave some recommendations on what NOT to say when you’re pitching.
The story: I registered a couple of thousand domains
“I started thinking about which domain could really represent me. I knew “Mexico” had to be a part of it, but also the internet was so slow in those days. Remember we used to connect with modems? So I thought speed was very important. What actually represents Mexico and speed? I registered speedygonzalez.com.
By some miracle it wasn’t registered, but when I was about to put my website on speedygonzalez.com I got a cease and desist letter from Warner Brothers’s lawyers asking me to return the domain. I was in my mid 20s and I didn’t want to fight with big corporations so I returned the domain to them. All my friends said “You’re an idiot. You could make money. It would cost them to sue you.
Out of spite, I actually registered andale.com. Which I thought was generic and also represents Speedy Gonzalez, Mexico and speed. Before I actually uploaded my website to andale.com I got an email from a couple of guys from Sillicon Valley asking me to sell my domain to them, I didn’t even know that it was possible. They were offering me 10 thousand and I thought it was a joke, I thought they were kidding, so I said “Ok. Give me 20 thousand dollars I’ll give it to you” I they deposited 20 thousand dollars to my account!!
I thought this is amazing, this is the best business ever so for the next few months I registered a couple of thousand domains. Everything was generinc, I registered nations and states and cities and sports, and everything you could think about in Spanish. Nobody was registering domains in spanish. Eventually, I registered Mexico.com.”
Check out the full story in the video above.
“What actually represents Mexico and speed? so I registred speedygonzalez.com.”
After the fuck up: How NOT to pitch in Shark Tank
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Marcus is a renowned serial entrepreneur and angel investor with two decades of experience creating, managing, funding and mentoring startups in Mexico as well as in the United States. He is currently co-founder and managing director of Startup Mexico, the first entrepreneurship super campus in Mexico.
THIS IS FUCKUP NIGHTS
Fuckup Nights is a global movement that helps people break free from the paradigms that limit their lives. Every month we organize events around the world where speakers share the stories behind their professional fuckups, using failure to encourage difficult, vulnerable, and meaningful conversations.