If you had the opportunity to listen to SoftLayer’s CEO, Lance Crosby, speak at this year’s Parallels Hosting Summit you definitely were able to obtain a key understanding as to his views on building solid companies in and through the hosting space. Some of the key points from Lance’s notes in regards to building sustainable businesses in the space were:
• Have a solid plan in place and use it as your guideline
• Create Systems that are scalable and metric driven
• Diversify the personnel and surround yourself with people that are experts in their functional areas and are sound characters. Don’t be a leader that thinks he is everything to all groups within the organization.
• Stop and look for mistakes, quickly correct the root problem and learn/adapt from those mistakes and repairs.
Lance’s message in his speech very closely aligns with a recent blog I read, “How to Build Your Own $23 Billion Company
1) Sharpen the Sword – Build a plan and stick to it. Don’t jump from place to place. Have a focus and be the best at it that you can.
2) Ride the Right Wave – Seize the market opportunity. As Softlayer was able to seize the on-demand computing/virtualized data center market, ASUS was able to seize their market position in a time that built the foundation for their company to flourish.
3) Choose the right partners – Shih’s message of personnel is fundamental to his long term growth. “You need to really factor in their innate character,” Shih says. “You are going to work together for a lifetime, hopefully, and their character is as important as their technical knowledge.”
4) Recruit the best team leaders at the very beginning – As Lance’s speech mentions, the opportunity to build your company with a baseline of educated, experienced leaders with true functional, front line expertise will shape your organization for years to follow.
5) Drive the right strategy and confront the brutal facts – Not knowing the bad/ugly parts of business can compound these problems into downright disasters. Having people around you that are willing to look at mistakes with the idea to quickly correct these and move on will dramatically propel a company’s opportunity for longevity and growth. Ignoring things that can be addressed can only be negative in the long term.
Here at Softlayer, we have the good fortune to support many of the thriving hosting providers, VAR’s, managed service providers, and other niche based businesses that are gaining in both size and scale in the industry and really helping the hosting industry move from niche to mainstream. Many of these firms have humble roots such as Softlayer or ASUS in the example above. The key to continuing the mass adoption into the mainstream of the hosting space is to ensure that the leaders of the companies driving the growth are fundamentally sound and built on a proper foundation to achieve sustainable growth. SoftLayer’s groundwork has been laid to help support this growth throughout the industry. In our efforts to become the dominate force in the industry we hope that we have the opportunity to support the endeavors of those businesses and who knows, instead of ASUS, we may be talking about your company and how you have become the next $23,000,000,000 business.