My Experience At ThinkThank 2009, the Hottest Internet Marketing Event of the Year

October 3, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park  

thinktank-speeddating09Earlier this month, I had the amazing opportunity to go to ThinkTank, DK’s Internet marketing networking event on the beaches of San Diego (not to be confused with the ShareASale ThinkTank version). The invitation-only “conference” normally costs $3,000 to attend, but thanks to a contest organized by Andy Liu over at Inspired Startup, I pretty much had an all-expense paid trip there. Thanks again Andy!

To participate in Andy’sย Startup Challenge contest, all you had to do was write a blog post describing your biggest challenge as a start up. I wrote about finding passion, both in yourself (as an entrepreneur) and in others (your partners), and apparently the post resonated with a lot of people. Check it out: How to Solve the Biggest Challenge For Your Online Startup Business

The article ended up winning first place – and it’s unbelievable how many great opportunities have come my way because of luck my super contest skills! (I won a free pass to Elite Retreat last year through a similar contest as well).

More About ThinkThank

ThinkTank was an awesome experience and I highly recommend it to advanced Internet marketers and entrepreneurs who want to take a nice vacation and network with some of the top players in the industry. The event is run by David Klein (DK), a standup guy who pretty much did anything and everything to keep us happy and entertained. For those of you who don’t know DK, he’s a San Diego chiropractor who runs an Internet marketing company, Purpose Inc (good at Facebook advertising too). He’s also the guy behind pretty cool events like ThinkTank and the Pubcon poker tournament.


As for the ThinkTank event this year, it was a small group of about 50 people. A big tent was set up on the beach – with plenty of delicious catered food, an overflowing open bar, and unique activities (like beach dodgeball, kickball, Jujitsu lessons from Brazilian champion Robert Drysdale, Hawaiian-themed parties and shows, etc.). Some call ThinkTank the “unconference”, a frat party for Internet marketers, and I think that’s pretty accurate. ๐Ÿ™‚



Connections Made

I had the chance to connect with some pretty high profile people whom I have a lot of respect for.

  • Shoemoney held a Q&A session – very insightful as usual and the guy is always willing to help. I recently had some trademark issues for Winning the Web and Jeremy called me up to offer his advice. Not only that but Jeremy is a business idea machine. He knows exactly what he’s doing and is pretty good at execution too.
  • Andy Liu was generous enough to send me to ThinkTank and I can’t thank him enough. He runs huge sites (BuddyTV, Icanhascheezburger, FAIL Blog) and he’s probably the smartest Internet entrepreneur / online business person I know.
  • Neil Patel is hilarious, always goofy, and knows how to make money. He even managed to squeeze out $100 from Shoemoney on a little bet they had.
  • Jim Wang is the owner of Bargaineering, one of the top personal finance sites online. It was great to meet and brainstorm with Jim because I recently bought a personal finance blog of my own – very timely. Jim is a really cool guy, super chill – someone I’d want to be good friends with.
  • Dennis Yu offered to do a live critique of my sites on the spot the minute he met me. He runs his own company Blitzlocal and the amount of knowledge and experience he has is absolutely insane.
  • Scott Skinger of Train Signal gave me some awesome advice for my information marketing business (in the works). Scott sells advanced computer training packages through his site and the insights and encouragement that he provided me have really given me a fresh perspective.
  • Corey Hammond was one of the guys I could really relate to since we’re in similar stages of our careers. We both work as SEO consultants with aspirations of growing our own sites and businesses to the next level. Great talking to you, Corey! ย Let’s keep in touch.
  • Jon Henshaw has a great suite of SEO tools over at Raven SEO tools. His “baby” he calls it. Jon is really down to earth and willing to help. I’m definitely going to check out his tools.
  • Joanna Lord aka the tiara wearing thinktanker was one of the few girls among many boys. She’s super friendly and kickass at what she does – PPC and running her relatively new company, Your Job Stop.
  • I’ve always been a fan of social media experts Brent Csutoras and Chris Winfield and SEO’s John Andrews and Todd Malicoat. Great to finally see them in action here. The sessions that they put on were especially good as well.
  • Aaron Chronister aka The Mad Hat shared some of the shadier things he’s done with SEO – and it’s interesting to see how Google reacts to stuff like this. Also, his Bacon Explosion,ย which literally exploded virally nationwide, is heavenly!

I had a great time at ThinkTank and it’s definitely helped my business, with new knowledge and new connections. If you’re making money online and can afford to pay the $3,000 I’d say the event is definitely worth it.

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Posted in Conferences, Internet Marketing
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16 Responses to “My Experience At ThinkThank 2009, the Hottest Internet Marketing Event of the Year”

purposeinc on October 4th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

It was great to have you. I have been a fan of your website for years, and was thrilled to get to know you. That was a damn fine blog post you wrote there. It appeared to have good spelling, excellent grammar and complete sentences, which is almost unheard of in the circles I run it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Having written a few blog posts myself, I can see how many hours you put into putting this together.

I really appreciate the effort and the positive good vibe you sent out for the event!

Other thinktankers, when you guys roll through here, leave a comment! Dag nab it!

Be catching you at Pubcon Mr. Park!

Gyutae Park on November 11th, 2009

Thanks again for hosting an awesome event. There seems to be quite a few events called “Think Tank”, but yours should be the undisputed champ. ๐Ÿ™‚

Couldn’t make it to PubCon (and your poker tournament) this year, but hopefully I’ll catch you again soon.

As for spelling, you aren’t too bad yourself. ๐Ÿ˜›

john andrews on October 4th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I was glad to meet you as well Gyutae. Pretty amazing you won both contests, but then it has to say something, right? Now the real challenge begins for everyone… accomplishing enough this year to be proud of next year.

Gyutae Park on November 11th, 2009

Luck is a mighty fine thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Another year to put it into higher gear. Love your work, John. You’re one of the few SEO’s I follow. Keep it real.

Donny Gamble on October 6th, 2009

I wish that I could have intended this event it would had tremendously helped me out on some of the new internet marketing tactics that are going to be coming out

Gyutae Park on November 11th, 2009

I definitely recommend it. It’s not cheap, but if you can afford it, check it out next year.

Melvin on October 6th, 2009

Think thank is really a good event although its not for everyone considering its high price. I do hope I can get into there as well in the future.. ๐Ÿ˜€

Gyutae Park on November 11th, 2009

Something to strive for… Or you can be like me and win a contest. ๐Ÿ™‚

Keegan on October 8th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Sounds like an amazing time with lots of connections made! You cant’ beat an open bar and being on the beach. I think that would be worth the money alone! Thanks for the information!

Gyutae Park on November 11th, 2009

Haha yeah, the open bar and beach were great. Definitely had a vacation atmosphere to it – which makes business much more fun.

Mike Huang on October 9th, 2009

Congrats on your experience, Gyutae ๐Ÿ™‚

Gyutae Park on November 11th, 2009

Thanks man.

wisdom teeth removal on October 10th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Had not heard of some of the people in in the connections you made. Thanks for the links and information. Glad to were able to go to thinktank.

Gyutae Park on November 11th, 2009

The people I mentioned definitely know what they’re doing and are worth following. Check them out.

Chris Peterson on December 4th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

This is very good event and thanks for your achievement.

Michael on December 4th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I’ve been running my own online business for years but was not aware of ThinkTank. I guess I’ll have to follow-up on this for 2010. Thanks for your blog post.

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