Simon O'Rourke, CEO - DIYHosting
Company Web Site: http://www.diyhosting.com
What did you do before you ventured into web hosting business direction?
Before co-founding EIRCA Internet Solutions, the parent company of DIYHosting in 2000, I worked for our family business, also in the IT Sector. Our family business is in PC distribution and exporting, so my IT roots were sewn quite early.
When was the idea of going into web hosting industry born? What were the factors that influenced your decision to go into this industry?
Being already active in a specifically related sector of the IT sector, we indirectly passed up hundreds of qualified leads for web hosting, be they from other local businesses, or just general family website hosting. I formed EIRCA Internet Solutions with Dean Cahl (still managing director) whilst still involved with the family business, as it proved to be a great lead-in, for us as a whole.
Briefly introduce your company's history and role in the industry?
DIYHosting was announced to our existing EIRCA client base in January of 2003, but the founding and acceptance as an EIRCA Internet Solutions company, came in July of 2003, after extensive research and market probing. We needed to make sure that the plans we had been drawing up, for DIYHosting, for the previous 6-9 months, were 1; Reachable, and 2; Innovative.
Our role in the industry sector right now, and in my opinion, for the last 10-12 months, as been as the innovator in reseller hosting solutions. Everything from our website presentation, to our VAR options has to be unique, or it doesn't make the cut.
There are thousands of other companies. In your opinion, what makes your company stand out? What would be the business philosophy behind it?
Our philosophy is to be like no other company. Whilst not a particularly easy task, this makes us think in 'opposites'. We take what is the general direction of the sector, and go in the other direction. There's many cookie-cutter company websites out there, and without the different domain name in the browser address bar, you would not be at fault for not even knowing what company you were looking at. The 'usual' reseller hosting offering of "X MB disk space and X GB of transfer" is a mindset that I believe we forced many consumers to depart from.
When you put two companies alongside one another, and one looks like a thousand others, but the other gives you a full proverbial platter of services, and a truly unique approach, I don't believe the choice is difficult for the consumer.
Please briefly describe the service(s) that your company offers.
We specialize in business-class reseller web hosting solutions. We don't simply offer disk space and transfer traffic. Our reseller partners are given tools such as the ground breaking DIY Reseller Kit technology, to help them with with the day-to-day running of their business. We laden our offerings in such a way that it is hard not to be successful as a DIYHosting partner.
Have you ever taken a bigger risk in terms of presenting innovative solutions or implementing something no else dared even to try?
Certainly. The build up that was given to the DIY Reseller Kit, almost 9 months of beta's, publicizing, marketing, polling, and generally just getting the word out, put our head on the block, waiting for the proverbial chop. As it turned out, all the effort, work, and development that went in to the making of the DIY Reseller Kit was richly rewarded. We presented the final version to our partners on October 17th of this year, after three previous release candidates, and almost twenty beta's, both internal and external. It was met with great reviews, and satisfaction.
The fact that (poor) imitations have been released during our RC stages, and since, by other companies, just furthers our feeling of satisfaction regarding the reseller kit. One of the main things we try to achieve, is to lead the reseller hosting sector.
How do you help your customers grow their business? Do you offer special tools/assistance that helps them succeed on the web?
As with the previous question, we take every opportunity to further our partners' business in every way that we can. The DIY Reseller Kit, and the numerous VAR tools that we present to our clientele, helps them take their business to the next level. We have made many alliances out of mutual respect between DIYHosting, and other companies, through mutual respect and friendship between the respective companies. These alliances have also helped our partners, as well as DIYHosting, to grow. Such partnerships would include DemoDemo, a TP Marketing company. Together with DemoDemo, we present our clients with a fully branded set of the finest hosting tutorial movies available on the market today.
Our reseller hosting partners are given the tools they need to succeed, along with the performance and stability that has become a corner-stone of DIYHosting.
We partner with only the best companies, as this is what is demanded by ourselves, and expected by our clientele.
Do your customers help perfecting and innovating your business? If yes, what is the level of their role in that?
Without our clients, we're nothing.
Every time a DIYHosting staff member enters into a discussion with a client, it helps us better our service, learn, and generally advance as a company.
Your company's short-term goals?
Primarily, to continue to serve our customers, and maintain their satisfaction levels. Secondary, but almost on a par to this, is to continue to expand, via innovation and stability.
Your company's long-term goals?
Our long-term goals with DIYHosting, and EIRCA Internet Solutions, is to progress, and develop with the changing technology. Our short-term goals will never change, but our long term goals must be adaptable, and capable of turning on the head of a pin. The hosting sector of the IT industry is still taking it's baby-steps, it is our responsibility to our clients, to ensure that we help mould the future of the sector.
The best advice you have for someone who is just starting a hosting company?
This goes both for your approach to your clients, and your approach to your own business. Personally, I have seen too many companies open, and close in the same quarter. The primary reason for this is honesty, or lack thereof. Develop a business plan before launching head-first in to web hosting as a business. Your business plan should not hyper-extend your capabilities, but it should test them, all the same. Customers appreciate honesty, and most can sense dishonesty a mile away.
Is there a fun part in your business? If yes, what would that be?
Sure. I love my job.
Anybody that goes to work every day, with a grimace on their face, should not be in that job. I am a people person, I enjoy speaking to customers. We deal with many different people, every day, from all walks of life, and from all around the world. What other job gives you the ability to learn new things, and to speak to people across numerous time-zones every day? If I didn't enjoy that, I wouldn't be in this business.
The moment in your company's history that you're especially proud of?
From a personal standpoint, it has to be the day we released the final version of the DIY Reseller Kit. It signalled a significant achievement that we had been working toward for so long. Our plans for DIYHosting were mapped out rather early, and a lot revolved around the development of the DIY Reseller Kit, and the furthering our client-suggested slogan of the "DIY Advantage".
It's release set us apart from every other provider. No other provider had gone that far to provide their clients with the ultimate in control, and business development. We set the standard with it's release.
How did you come to choose your company name?
The name of DIYHosting was derived from the approach we had mapped out for the company. A company that would allow resellers to "Do it themselves". Hence, 'Do It Yourself Hosting', was named. Website hosting, in previous years, has not been a service that was easy for a starter company to offer. Our philosophy and core is built around the idea that we do everything possible, to give a company the ability to truly offer this service themselves, to their customers.
When you were a kid, who did you want to become?
I went through a few stages. At an early stage, I wanted to be a fireman. Then, during my teens, I developed my love for interaction, and technology. My job gives me the ability to further these two loves, on a daily basis.
Other than being in web hosting industry, what is the other profession(s) that you would want to attend?
To be perfectly honest, I can't imagine myself in another profession that isn't related to information technology or business management. Most of my life has been centered around IT. My job allows me to travel a lot, and meet new people on a daily basis. I guess the only other profession I could see myself being in, would be teaching. This is what I would like to do in my later years, but it will still, no doubt, be in relation to the IT and business-management sectors.
Many thanks to Simon for taking the time to complete this interview.