WTF happened last night? Oh yea, my server got CRUSHED

Ramit Sethi · November 6th, 2009

Listen, if you tried to access my webcast last night, you probably didn’t get in, and I am REALLY sorry.

I have literally never seen as much traffic as last night — not even when I was on the FRONT PAGE OF YAHOO.COM.

  • At 6:50pm, I logged onto my webcam and finalized everything
  • At 6:55pm, I logged into my blog to add a link to the webcast URL. By this point, my server had slowed to a crawl
  • At 6:56pm, over 1 person/second was trying to access
  • At 7:01pm, we had my webhost on the phone attempting to resolve the issue
  • It took until 7:21pm to completely fix the server problems, leaving me fuming and frustrated

If you’re interested, I recorded a video with more details of what happened.

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Here are some pics from the carnage (look at the time stamps and note that this is OVER AN HOUR later past the webcast’s start)
Picture 15

When I first noticed the problem:

Couldn’t wait any longer…so I went live with what I had:

All right, so obviously this really sucked. Thousands and thousands of you were left out in the cold, and I feel terrible.

3 things:

  • I’m getting someone to help out on the server side so this never happens again. Stay tuned
  • I’ll do the webcast again as soon as that’s set up
  • I wanted to tell you more about the Boot Camp (registration is closing today), but just know that whether you go with my program or something else, make a plan to automate your finances before the end of the year. There’s nothing like starting the year off fresh.

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  1. One word: owned.

  2. Felix Leong

    Being a nitpick, would say it’s partly due to some mistakes in instruction in your part by informing your readers to go to the wrong URL (you mentioned instead of – I only know the real URL thanks to Twitter) and people will inadvertently endlessly click refresh until something shows up (which makes things worse)

    On the sunny side of this experience shows how much of a craze fan base you got yourself :). Great webcast and lots of key take aways from the webcast. Can’t wait to implement a few in life.

  3. At least you know that people are interested in your boot camp!

  4. Thanks for the video. We have 55 days left in the year and I plan to end 2009 strong and begin 2010 stronger! Thanks!

  5. Ok…that sucks, BUT it’s also very awesome at the same time.

    This is a clear example of the difference between good problems and bad problems.

    Bad Problem:
    Promoting a product and then getting nobody to show up.

    Good Problem:
    Being so kick ass at marketing and promoting a new product that your frickin’ server crashes because so many people showed up. Not only that, this will generate more excitement because now all these other people who were thinking about doing it are like, ‘damn, I need to get in on that.’

    Now that’s a good problem to have. Well done!

    P.S. This is not to overshadow the fact that yes, it frickin’ sucks that all those people were left out, but your immediate response and action taken speaks volumes about your character.

  6. Is this a psychological technique to show us how a great mass of people are interested in your bootcamp thus making us worried that we are going to miss out while others are going to get the goods?

  7. Ramit,

    kudos for taking complete responsibility for the problem.
    Unforseen problems get us all but I think your attitude helps you resolve it quickly and postitively and it won’t knock you off track. It seems a model example of how to deal with your own mistakes/problems/whatever obstacles.

    I’m not taking your course as I’ve decided to focus on my priorities for me, the things that attracted me to it are probably not the first things I need to work on – I really hope I can grow a business as impressively as yours. I’m taking my own action and will ensure I completely kick my own ass if I’m in the same situation at Christmas. Best of luck with the course and saving people tonnes of money.

    Josh Forde

  8. Yeah i am sick of people asking for new material when they DON’T USE What they HAVE!
    Keep it up Ramit. Your golden.

  9. Hey Ramit –

    Thanks for the post and the email. Is there anyway you can record the webcast the next time you’re doing it so people who can’t make it can participate? I know 7 pm might not seem late to you but to us East Coast folks, it’s already 10 pm.


  10. Ridiculous.

    Good problem to have though!

  11. Patricia

    Well just goes to show you how much traffic you are generating….and that’s a good thing.

    I won’t be able to do the boot camp – but I just got your book and I am working this weekend on implementing automated system for my finances.

  12. So what are we who were locked out supposed to do?
    We missed a lot of good info!

  13. You mentioned new content in the video and the problem with people wanting “what’s new” when the basics that they really need to be doing have long since been covered. At the same time, I have noticed a change in the feel of I Will Teach You to be Rich after your book and more paid products have come out. There do seem to be less postings dealing with the basic strategies.

    The posts are there, but when things are in a blog format, people don’t necessarily want to start reading through year old archives without any guidance. I probably wouldn’t hurt to cover some of the basics again either with new posts that rehash the old content for new viewers or with new posts that somehow work in more targeted links to relevant old posts (things like money diaries or responses to questions you have received).

  14. Since you’ve become so popular you might want to look into how Oprah does her webcasts. 😉

  15. Based on your advice about using what we have and not looking for the next best thing, we should not be joining the boot camp and just implement what we already have learned so far 🙂 right?

  16. Minority Fortune

    Congrats, Ramit. That’s a sexy problem to have. Sounds like your first bootcamp experience is in demand. With Americans only saving 6% of their income, Lord knows there’s a need for the push! Who says finance management has to be boring?! Can’t wait to hear the results.

  17. I tried to watch last night. Looking forward to the next webcast.

  18. Dominic Pascarella

    I caught some of it. I like the idea. Stop looking for more info and get off your butt and do something.

  19. Danny Davis

    I am not sure if this is a good or bad problem. “My website is so popular that my server crashed.”

    I cleared my schedule for this event, and even though I didn’t get in (sob*) I still gonna clear it again for next web cast.

    We learn more from mistakes than successes.

  20. David Bernal

    Graphs! We need graphs!

  21. Rajesh Kanuri

    show us the site stats..

  22. Craig M. Rosenblum

    I really liked your book, and since then have automated my deposits to a savings account.

    Good luck with your server issues, might not hurt to get a CDN. Or use some different caching plugins for WordPress 🙂

    I use HyperCache and SuperCache, and i create a static domain name,to help with performance…

  23. Eric Poulin

    I was one of the lucky few who managed to stay on and watch the webcast. My favorite part was when you kept saying you were going to disconnect and start over, but the feed never stopped 🙂
    Otherwise, the partial webcast I saw was great. If you actually had that many people on the webcast, in that format, it would have been nearly impossible to run the Q&A part – the chat screen was already a constant scrolling beast – but you managed it well.
    Looking forward to hearing success stories from the bootcamp!

  24. Jermaine Holmes

    That’s a good problem to have actually. I’m certain that you’ll fix the problem, but sometimes issues build great marketing. Heck, you might’ve accidentally created some buzz (not that you don’t already have it).

  25. Was the “screw it…we’ll do it live” an edited rendition of Bill O’Reilly”s “F#&% it…we’ll do it live” rampage seen on youtube? If so, very clever.

  26. jill davis

    Congratulations! In my positive psychology class at Harvard with Tal Ben Shahar, I learned that we fail our way to success….you know the Edison and light bulb stuff….looking forward to see your communications smooth out and holding good energy for you.

  27. Market Timer

    More bandwidth to accommodate hoards is a nice problem to have. Your customers will forgive you, those who are not will be even more anxious to find what they are missing.

  28. Hi Ramit!

    I am one of those who didn’t get on for the webcast, though I stayed up for it (it was 11 pm where I am in Barbados). I have automated my finances finally, as of today (my bank finally got an account with high interest and no fees…praise the Lord!).

    Going to read your book over while I wait for the next cast. Thank you for this, it’s helping my family get to where we want to be.

  29. Have always loved the tips, have read your book and enjoyed it. What I want to know is what happen to the emails. They stopped when your site crashed.

    • Ramit Sethi

      They’re coming back. Just busy working on something else. But thanks for the kind words!

  30. Gloria Thomas

    Well whats that all about 😛