In one way or another, my partner and I have been involved with the web pretty much since it began to rise in prominence. I’m Tim, my partner is Matt, and this is us a long time ago.
We were quite honestly nerds, but we didn’t know it at the time, it was merely the way we lived our lives. Even then, in that quirky picture, we knew we’d work in the IT field in some capacity.
Of course, life has a way of changing things, college, career choices. Eventually, car and mortgage payments sent us both in separate directions, though we’d keep in touch via the net and sometime ICQ. This was way before cell phones and social media made staying in touch easy.
Some years had past when the phone rang, and it was Matt, “How ‘ya been buddy?”, He said in his jovial fashion. It was like no time had passed and we just taken the above picture days, instead of years ago.
After catching up, Matt told me of his plan to start a web hosting business in his basement, complete with a T1 line and would I be interested in helping him? I didn’t expect this, but I felt my career was stalled where I was, and I knew this might be an opportunity worth looking into.
At that time, which was around 1990 the net was a long way from where it is today, there were few data centers, and cloud computing was years in the future. I told him to give me a few days while I thought it over, though my mind was already moving in his direction.
Both of us loved a challenge, his was coding, mine was marketing, but you need both to launch a new venture, and we’d always had fun working together and dreaming of striking it rich on the net. And since we didn’t live in Palo Alto or have access to venture capital, we had to rely initially on family and friends, who were skeptical, but collectively generated enough cash for a T1 line and a server.
Now came the hard part, we had to get clients. It wasn’t that hard, in the beginning, there were only a few web hosting companies in the world, and few people knew the difference between one and another, so I got on the phone and started making cold calls.
Matt in the meantime had put together a beautiful front page for others to see, but somehow the clients didn’t come, and we began to run a little scared. Later we’d realize this was just because the net was new and few people or businesses knew how vital hosting could be to their success.
With a background in video production, I decided I’d buy some time on the local community access channel (this was way before YouTube) and see if I could drum up some business. What began slowly with interviewing a few business owners, then answering their questions about the web, grew into a somewhat larget following. Those were not Twitter followers, just people who tuned in to find out what was happening around town on the internet.
Over about six months we began to garner a bit of success when a local insurance company decided to host with us (they’re still our clients) if we’d build their website for them. Web designers were few and far between in those days.
Of course, Matt said he’d do the job if we could use them as a referral. No issues there, so the site was built and our first client, a prominent client that is, was online.
We’d both sit in his basement and listen to the server humming and whirring, knowing that each sound it made was someone visiting our client’s website which was good for them and us. Those were good days and the future was full of dreams and ambition. If we played our cards right, we could become one of te prominent players on the web
I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say what began in Matt’s basement quickly grew to an office near a nearby college. This led to our bringing in college types to help us run things, which led to them telling family and friends. That led to more growth until we had to merge with a more substantial company who had a data center that set on one of the major backbones of the net.
Over the years we’ve brought in thousands of customers, hosting websites for significant players across the country and in Canada. As technology moved forward, we adapted, changing with the times, hiring engineers, installing firewalls, updating machines and continually growing.
Matt’s coding and my marketing had paid off and as the era of cloud hosting moved in, both of us saw the need to make this service available to both our established and new customers.
The website you’re visiting now is merely an information-based site, sort of like a hobby of mine, posting articles about hosting and helping to keep both our customers and other interested parties aware of what technology has to offer. I hope you find your visit a learning experience.
See you in the cloud,