Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

Next time I’m late remembering your birthday, realize that it’s really not personal.  In fact, Hop Studios itself had its 5th birthday on May 19th, and I plumb forgot until today.

Five years (and 1.5 months) ago in 1999, I bought the domain “” I’d owned another domain before that:, which I bought on Oct 17, 1995, and sold in 1999. It’s a quirky story, really.

I remember clearly, it was just after a sunny April day, in the middle of a crisp April night.  I know this, because I was in Paris on a dial-up connection, and the rates were much cheaper after 10 p.m.  I wasn’t working at the time, so during the day, I ate crepes and drank espresso. At night, I did all my online stuff.

That night, I got an email from a fellow named Frederic Haubrich.  He said he was creating a site that had to do with children’s education, and he wanted to buy from me. He said he worked for a company called Gtwy Learning.

Little did he know, that Susie and I had been living in Paris off of savings for about 8 months, and we were anxious for any additional income to help us extend our stay.

I was sad to lose my address, though, because “[email protected]” was the shortest email address of just about anyone I knew (the only exception was .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)). And I’d had it since I’d graduated from USC, several years earlier.

I figured I’d aim high—he was working in San Francisco, after all, and in 1999, just after I sold, “” sold for $7 million. So I asked for $5,000.

Was it too little? I retrospect, maybe.  But at the time, it was $1,333 per letter for a domain I’d bought for $40 total.

We negotiated a bit, agreed, I bought a replacement domain——and he wired us the money.

Only later did I find out who I’d sold the domain to:

Hooked On Phonics.

Yeah, I should have figured it out—done more research.  Nevertheless, “Hop Studios” has turned out to be a better company name than “Hop dot com.”

And I enjoyed my extra two months’ worth of crepes.


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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