Mark Klink, Co-President/Co-Founder - AvidNewMedia
Company Web Site: http://www.avidnewmedia.com
What did you do before you ventured into web hosting business direction?
I personally wore many hats in my lifetime. I was an EMT, FireFighter, Hockey Coach, and was enlisted in the United States Army Special Forces. Almost my entire life, I had a passion for art however. This passion took me into the web design and development arena, which was the initial intent of AvidNewMedia in fact.
When was the idea of going into web hosting industry born? What were the factors that influenced your decision to go into this industry?
Early on, in the development of the AvidNewMedia brand, our intent was to offer a well rounded service offering. This included design and development, as well as hosting for the client sites we developed. Very quickly, we saw an increase in the requests for hosting, as we decreased exposure for our development services. The change was pretty much inevitable. This is when AvidNewMedia Hosting was born as our primary brand and service offering.
Briefly introduce your company's history and role in the industry?
AvidNewMedia was founded in 2001 primarily as a website design and development company. The original partnership was dismantled a few months after AvidNewMedia opened for business, as my original partner and co-founder did not share the same vision for AvidNewMedia that I had. Soon after, a new partner, James Romedy was brought in. Jim deserves a lot of credit and respect. If it were not for Jim, AvidNewMedia would be nowhere near what it is today, business wise. Since then, AvidNewMedia has primarily focused on providing quality, security minded services to our clients, at prices that the everyday consumer can afford.
There are thousands of other companies. In your opinion, what makes your company stand out? What would be the business philosophy behind it?
It has always been my opinion that it is not how you see yourself, that makes you successful, but rather it's the way others see you, that determines your success, or in business terms....how your clients see you. We strive for a creative approach in everything we do, and aim to make every client feel like they are more than a client, or a number, but a member of a family, and no matter how large that family becomes, we know each and every one of our clients by name and need. This puts us in a better position to not only serve our clients, but help them succeed in their online venture.
Please briefly describe the service(s) that your company offers.
AvidNewMedia offers business class shared, reseller, and dedicated server solutions. We have strategically chosen alliances in the industry that helps us provide strong, quality solutions.
Have you ever taken a bigger risk in terms of presenting innovative solutions or implementing something no else dared even to try?
AvidNewMedia has been developing the ANM Reseller Kit. While the concept of a "reseller kit" is not something extremely new, as I said, AvidNewMedia takes a creative approach to everything we do. That creative approach is what will change the way "Reseller Kits" are perceived, and implemented, and create a unique solution for our reseller clients. Many of the features, resources, and implementations of ANM's Reseller Kit are those that have yet to be implemented by any current hosting company.
How do you help your customers grow their business? Do you offer special tools/assistance that helps them succeed on the web?
Again, this would have to be the ANM Reseller Kit. The ANM Reseller Kit is truly a tool that helps our resellers in succeeding in their online business, by providing the resources, and tools needed to achieve success in an oversaturated, and easily failed industry.
Do your customers help perfecting and innovating your business? If yes, what is the level of their role in that?
As any company will tell you, your clients are the lifeline of your business. Without them, you have no business. AvidNewMedia always takes an active, and pro-active role in obtaining our client's opinions, concerns, and needs. We use the information they provide, via numerous service surveys, etc to make our services better for them. We have a close working relationship with quite a few of our clients, and they have helped tremendously in testing new features, and tools, as well as providing intuitive, and unique suggestions that have helped AvidNewMedia keep it's creative edge.
Your company's short-term goals?
The primary short term goal driving AvidNewMedia, is providing our clients with service and a staff they can depend on, in a family-like atmosphere, where clients are not afraid to approach Jim, myself, or any of our staff. They know they will be treated like a person. Whether they are right or wrong, they can feel comfortable knowing that no one at AvidNewMedia will criticize them for it, and will always take the time and make an effort to help them understand, without making them feel foolish, etc. This is the result of treating a client the same as you would your brother.
Your company's long-term goals?
AvidNewMedia's long-term goals are somewhat difficult to summarize, as is with any "creative dreamer." The downside of creativity, is that it opens so many doors that it presents you with the question, "What direction do we want to take first?" Through all of this however, there is one underlining goal in mind....to succeed for the benefit for your business, and your clients. Doing that requires adaptation to technology, and industry events that shape the way our industry works, and operates. Thus, our primary underlining long-term goal is to move forward with these events, for the benefit of our clients, and AvidNewMedia, and hopefully innovating some of those changes.
The best advice you have for someone who is just starting a hosting company?
Find a niche, and stick with it. The web hosting industry is an industry full of success, and full of let downs as well. When you can find the one market that no one seems to be catering to, by catering to it yourself, you will almost lock your success in place, and be able to determine how your company moves forward, without the industry deciding for you.
Is there a fun part in your business? If yes, what would that be?
Of course. There are many downsides and many upsides. If I had to choose one however, it would have to be interacting with our clients, counterparts, and colleagues, and being able to help them. One of my biggest "highs" is knowing that someone possibly accomplished something, because of my help. It feels good to be able to help people, and even better when they accomplished their goal. It gives you a sense of pride, and self accomplishment as well.
The moment in your company's history that you're especially proud of?
We try not to let our past accomplishments get in the way of our future vision. However, I would have to say that the one thing that has made me extremely proud is that AvidNewMedia has never had to rely on any 3rd party investors, or outside capital. We started literally with a budget of $0, and built our company to what it is today, through service, reputation, and attitude.
How did you come to choose your company name?
AvidNewMedia...funny name for a hosting company right? Mainly the oddity of this is that, as mentioned earlier, AvidNewMedia was not intended to be a "hosting company." Our name came from quite a few months of planning on how we can aptly name our new development and design company. It was quite simple, and obvious for us. We simply threw a bunch of words together, that we felt described what we did. Our creativity was borderline insane, as we were doing things no one thought would work, and they labeled it or us (I prefer to think they labled our approach) "crazy", thus the word "avid" came into play. The "new media" portion was almost self explanitory, afterall this is what we did. The brand was simply too strong within our client base for us to change it, when we dropped the design and development services. So, the name stayed.
When you were a kid, who did you want to become?
Sheesh, you have to ask the one question that can bring a tear to my eye. In a sense, I guess you could say, I wanted to become my grandfather. I looked up to my grandfather with unbreakable admiration. He influenced a lot of my current attributes. He was a strong, honest, and hard working man, with a creative side of his own. While most of my friends wanted to be cowboys, police officers, or firefighters, I wanted to be the one person who's personality was a challenge, and the one person I not only admired but love....my grandfather.
Other than being in web hosting industry, what is the other profession(s) that you would want to attend?
I'm also currently in a rock-alternative band, SumSay7. While I cannot see giving up the industry I'm in, I would very much enjoy the success of SumSay7.
Many thanks to Mark for taking the time to complete this interview.