cPanel 2013 Keynote – Hosting Lessons with Christian Dawson

cPanel 2013 Keynote Highlights - Web Hosting Lessons(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – A second keynote address was given on day 2 of cPanel Conference 2013 by Servint COO and i2Coalition board Chair Christian Dawson.

During his thirty minute talk, Dawson reflected on his industry experience, detailing “12 lessons from 18 years in web hosting.”

Below we highlight some of Dawson’s biggest hosting lessons:

-Give it your all, day one: ServInt was founded back in 1995. Dawson wouldn’t join until nearly two years later, however. To push advertising, ServInt founder Reed Caldwell (who actually dropped out of college to launch the company), spent the last bit of company credit card money to push a full page advertisement with Byte Magazine.

-Be about the team and not the individual

-Figure out what you do well and do it more: ServInt tried to explore other areas. However, they failed and decided managed web hosting was what they did best. They emphasized this specialty and reaped the rewards of doing so.

-Partner: ServInt had also tried operating their own data center infrastructure. It proved to be a tough task and that’s when the company brought in a partner to deliver on management. Today the web host has facilities in Amsterdam, Los Angeles and the District of Columbia.

 -Be prepared for anything and expect the unexpected: In the early days, ServInt was initially blamed as the source of an internet prostitution scandal. Inside Edition had traced the IP and zoomed in on the web host as the source. Turns out the responsible party was actually a customer of a customer. ServInt had to explain “how the internet works” to the reporter.

-Learn from mistakes, especially when they’re big

-Learn new tricks and find new partners 

-Love what you do and hosting is worth the fight – Dawson cited his work with the i2Coalition (Internet Infrastructure Coalition) in which the organization has fought for freedom of web speech and opposed legislation including the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act.

-Set reasonable expectations