As LeaseWeb approaches its 20th anniversary, I’ve recently had a quote from Chuck Yeager stuck in mind, “If you want to grow old as a pilot, you’ve got to know when to push it, and when to back off.” As a pilot myself, and someone who spent his early life working as one professionally, this line resonates. When you are flying, there is little room for error. Expertise, teamwork, and precision, mean the difference between a safe and enjoyable flight and one that could place people in real danger.
While the risks in the field of cloud hosting may not be as dramatic as those in aviation, they are no less real. Much like in aviation, deep knowledge of the field and the right team are important. But, expertise and teamwork are not enough in themselves. They need to be brought together in the right way to provide a framework for success.
When we started LeaseWeb in 1997, I could have never imagined what the company would become. The field of technology was quite different. The internet as we understand it today had barely emerged, dial up modems were the only way to get online, and no one had even imagined the possibility of the smart phone. Access to the internet was limited and at times hard to come by. I remember being in Nairobi after a flight with our 747 and trying to find a way to get online. There were actually no local connections, so I ended up paying nearly € 800 in calling charges to South Africa just to get access to the internet.
LeaseWeb started life at humble beginnings, with one server and two enthusiastic founders in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We are now really proud that, since our inception 14 years ago, we have grown into a quality hosting provider for customers in 177 countries worldwide.
A former client of LeaseWeb recently did a posting on one of the hosting blogs, I think it was Web Hosting Talk, in which he fulminated against the fact that one of his clients had choosen to do business with LeaseWeb directly. Several of the reactions on this posting were luckily positive ones on the side of LeaseWeb, but I think it can do no harm to give a bit more of an explanation to our policy regarding resellers and doing business directly.
Is it important for a hosting provider to grow significantly? LeaseWeb is the largest business hosting provider in the Netherlands as well as ranked in the worldwide top 20, and it just so happens that we are growing very quickly which makes that question easier to answer in the affirmative. But believe us when we say that growth in and of itself is not an objective to us; it has a clear reason.