Origin of the “Hotshots” name: in the late 1990s, a Washington Post editor complained on an online journalism forum that he could not find any “hotshots” to work for him. He wanted people who could write, code web pages, do Shockwave, run servers, guide online strategies, and hand-hold the old-guard reporters into the Information Age. It’s no wonder he was having trouble finding a “hotshot”: at the time, a typical beginning reporter’s salary was about $19K a year. Randy told him there are plenty of “hotshots” out here, but we’re already making one hell of a lot more than $19K/year. He didn’t reply.
Still, the exchange got Randy to think about the concept, and spurred him to create a group of just that sort of person — online entrepreneurs who were running circles around what “old media” had to offer. The group has since expanded to encompass virtually all major online entrepreneurial sectors. The group also has a less whimsical name, the International Society of Online Entrepreneurs, but members all still use “Hotshots” to refer to the group.