The first thing I asked of managing partner Jason Tucker was to please translate the Playa Solutions (www.playasolutions.com) mission statement for the very dense. The "very dense" referring, of course, to me.
So Tucker provided a little 411 watered down for us still hangin' at 101: Webmasters strive to make money; to accomplish this they create a widget or an idea or a saleable good or service that is unique; then they go about marketing, driving, and converting traffic, and, with luck and persistence, achieving the goal - which, to recap, is making money.
"Companies do not have time," Tucker then explains, "to necessarily identify or try to seek out technology that can help them make even more." That's where Playa Solutions comes in.
"Playa Solutions was created to act as a conduit between what's out there in the tech world, what is possible; and with a few tweaks, additions, subtractions, what can help Webmasters convert more with what they have. Being Webmasters ourselves, we identify what we feel are current or future holes in the market, and we work to find solutions to fill them, and then roll [the solutions] out in a manner everyone can use and afford - be it new [tech] toys, speeding up sites, or just doing rote things a little differently - we are here to help."
Playa was formed a little over a year ago, and has been growing ever since.
"It was set up as kind of a think-tank," Tucker says, "to create what we wanted and what our friends needed, and we became a stand-alone company very quickly.
"There are very few companies that we don't work with in some fashion, be it through a specific tool we have licensed to them, strategic planning, goal execution, traffic management or to solve a problem they might have."
Tucker's joined at Playa by managing partner Oystein Wright. "He's someone who I am truly grateful to call a partner and friend," Tucker says, adding, "he is just plain awesome.
"His ability to get things done and still find time to play 18 holes amazes me." What Tucker describes as Wright's "European way of operating" has allowed the company to stay sane, remain focused and continue to grow.
"Our third partner is all about mainstream and stays in that world," Tucker says, describing the rest of the Playa Solutions team. Having this foot on the "other" side of the Internet "allows us to keep different points of view." Tucker adds that this also makes for "some interesting discussions about what can be done and what needs to be done.
"We work with several other companies, both adult and mainstream, to service our clients. I think we make an awesome team in that we look at the industry from different angles.
"We're big fans of outsourcing on a project-by-project basis, and scale up [accordingly]. This keeps costs down and allows our core [group of workers] to keep information within [a confined] circle." This protects a client's proprietary information, reducing the risk of corporate espionage.
"Our services are defined by market need. If a new technology comes out, we weigh it, test it, see if it fits with other technologies, and then build it as a solution. We never try anything with a client until we have seen the results ourselves. Trial and error has to happen before you plug [a technology] in so that minimal tweaking is necessary."
Tucker identifies searching out vendors who can "truly service our needs from the mainstream" as his biggest job challenge. "We typically only align ourselves with companies who are very liquid, or list in the Fortune 1000. Once we do find them, we make sure we control the final piece of technology, so that if they go out of business, no one suffers on our end and we can keep things going.
Playa Solutions strives to be a place where people can learn about the industry and get answers to questions. "We try to educate through articles and newsletters," Tucker lists, "and by bringing solutions to problems that are just about to surface, have surfaced or will surface in the next six months to a year. It's all about giving the end user an easy time getting in, and then a great time once they are in.
"There are no other companies providing the same services," Tucker says of Playa Solution's unique position in the adult Internet industry. "There are companies that provide services, but not one company that provides many that work together as one.
"I don't believe in competition in our type of business. If we can work with a company that has something unique, great; it makes both of our offerings that much better. We are all in this together, so it behooves us all to work together. The industry's method of moving traffic is a great example of that model at work.
"We launched this company with the understanding that we would talk openly about everything we do, as you cannot bring solutions without understanding as many problems as possible."
In the future, new products that will "allow Webmasters and online companies to do things they never thought possible" should be available through Playa. "This industry is in for a real great ride over the next few years. The international market is coming on strong," and as it grows, so will the market, profits, and industry professionals.
"I truly believe that this is the greatest industry to work in," Tucker confirms, "and I feel blessed every day that I get to be a part of it. I wake up each morning and go to Starbucks for my coffee fix, and while I'm in line I look at the person in front of me and the person behind me, staring at their watches and freaking out about the time, the deadline they're under, the boss who's going to ream them for not showing up on time, and who knows what.
?Then I smile, get my coffee, and call my partners... and we laugh out of fear of ever having to possibly do that. It's a true, real life reminder of how lucky we all are.
"If we could send one clear message, it's this: Create what you really want to see, find the people to help you make that vision a reality, ask around to see if anyone else has a way to make it better - if it's us, great! - focus your efforts, and exploit them for cold, hard cash."