I’ve been fairly busy and quiet for the past few months, I wanted to stop that trend and give people some background on what’s going on. I’m having the time of my life, as some of you know, I’ve been closing down my consulting business, and ramping up ZippyKid. Lately, I’ve been approached by some people with money, who want to give me some money.. let’s call them Angels, or VCs, or for the sake of keeping thing simple.. investors.
The one question I get from all of them is where I see the company in five years, what my plans are with ZippyKid, why should they invest in me or this crazy idea of a WordPress Hosting company, and what about other established players in the field. I’ll try to answer all of these questions here, keep things open for discussion, and hopefully not sound like an idiot to everybody
Focus on your content, not your content management system
ZippyKid is a Managed WordPress Hosting company. The idea of it is not new, or novel, anyone who’s ever worked with WordPress for more than one client, has thought of it. Sure, you can get one click installs and updates from many companies. GoDaddy, MediaTemple, Dreamhost, 1and1.. you can install it yourself if you don’t like those one click installers. If you’re happy with those options, I’m not building a service for you.
If you need a website, and you don’t care what version of WordPress it is, and what you need to do to keep it secure, stable, and fast. You just want your customers to be able to access your website quickly, you want potential customers to find your site easily, and you want to be able to update your content when you want to. Then, we should talk.
What will my $XX investment go towards?
Not, learning the ins and outs of hosting WordPress websites. I’m keenly aware of the “competition” I have in terms of awareness, and I can see them making mistakes that a seasoned sys admin of a hosting company would not. I was hired by a hosting company in 2002, they were signing up 20 people a day, and losing 14. By the time I was done with them they were only losing 2-3 a day, and signing up 35.
If I accept any outside investment, it’s going to be used for awareness, sponsoring, and training. Basically, growing, and attracting more customers. I’m currently averaging 4 new customers/week. This is with little to no marketing, it’s all word of mouth. Imagine what we could do with someone who knows how to market.
Oh, and I’m already profitable…
Aren’t there other companies doing what you’re doing?
That’s always the question an unsavvy investor asks, “aren’t they more established and bigger than you?”.
Yes, they are, or they seem to be. WPEngine and Pagely are the companies most people think will eat my lunch, or are eating my lunch. I don’t think so, I bet they don’t think so either, and frankly, I don’t plan on eating their lunch anytime soon either. I will gladly recommend them to you if you, I have many times on the WordPress mailing lists, and the forums. I don’t see us competing with each other, but rather with GoDaddy, MT, and other “shared hosting” providers, that provide hosting for anything under the sun.
Think of it like the automobile industry, there are Ferraris, and there are Hondas, Ferrari is not competing for the business of someone who’s looking to buy a Honda. The market will decide which one ZippyKid is, though I know in my mind what ZippyKid is in this analogy.
Having competition is not a good reason not to compete .
The market for WordPress websites is finite, the market for Websites is not.
Thanks for the inspiration @gapingvoid
I position the company as a WordPress hosting company, but frankly, that’s because of the tool we’re using to build your website. We’re a website hosting company first, that just happen to do it using WordPress.
The Paradigms in the hosting industry are old fashioned.
In 2011, a hosting plan that limits the amount of disk space, data transfer, or emails you have is ridiculous. The idea
of those limits came about when hard drives and bandwidth were expensive and thus scarce. In 2011, that’s not necessary, you can have a 100GB website on our cheapest plan, I don’t care.
Someone once told me that phone companies aren’t really good at connecting phone calls, but they’re really good at billing you. Ask any AT&T customer, no one will ever tell you that they got their bill late, or that somehow AT&T dropped their bill midway through a billing cycle.. you may not be able to make a phone call, but you sure will get bill for trying. I’m not building another phone company, we’re not in the business of nickel and diming you on overages, I frankly don’t have the stomach or math skills to write programs that calculate overages.
For the companies that shut down your website when you reach the “bandwidth limits” of your plan, I say go to hell.
If you’re my customer, you’re my boss, and my friend, not my enemy, your success is not detrimental to my operations. I want you to grow, I want your traffic to grow.
White Fluffy Bunnies
Lastly, I want to give back to the community, so 10% of all profits will go towards local animal shelters. For the time being it’ll be the local animal shelter to me, but I’m working on a plan that will let customers nominate an animal shelter local to them. Checks will be made on behalf of Customers of ZippyKid.
If you think I’m crazy, delusional, or just plain stupid, let me know, if you want to help me smoke more of whatever I’m on, let me know as well. I’d love to hear from you.