Archive for June, 2008

1 Million Sites Hosted!!

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

In the next 2-3 days we will surpass the 1 million sites/domains hosted mark across our network. That is a feat beyond all our original expectations and goals. I would like to have said that it was all in our original plan, but it wasn’t.

I clearly remember a “meeting” between Dan Ashworth (My business partner) and myself to discuss what we wanted out of Bluehost. I am a person that shoots high, but sets reasonable, attainable goals for myself. At the time we ran a free hosting company with a paid upgrade option. We had about 10,000 paying customers. We knew we wanted at least that many with Bluehost and hoped if we really worked hard that we could get up to 20,000 new customers on our (At the time) new platform – Bluehost.com.

Our previous hosting platform relied heavily on a single parter to generate about half of our business. A great day for us was 40 new hosting customers, and a terrible day was less than 20. The big partner (Bravenet.com) eventually started doing their own free hosting and that left us in a bind. In hindsight I am SO GLAD they left. It really was a major factor in the decision to start Bluehost – Thanks Bravenet! Now a terrible day is 650 signups and a great day is 850 signups. Its amazing how things can change in just a few short years.

Thanks of course go to the real people that make it happen day in and day out – The Bluehost/Hostmonster staff. You are all incredible! Our hosting family is what sets us apart from other hosting companies out there.

1 Million down – 10 million to go!!!

Thanks everyone who hosts with us – we appreciate every last one of you!

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Lakers Lose (All is well…)

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

If you want to believe that the CEO of Bluehost and Hostmonster is a mature, controlled individual skip this blog entry :)

Everybody loves to win, but sometimes you lose. Unfortunately this was the case for my beloved Utah Jazz a couple of weeks back. However, to my extraordinary pleasure something almost as good as the Jazz winning happened yesterday.

The LOS ANGELES LAKERS LOST!!!!! YEAH, YES, INCREDIBLE, SPLENDID, STUPENDOUS, SUPERB, DELUXE, FANTASTIC, EXCITING, DELIGHTFUL, DELICIOUS (Only took 10 seconds to come up with adjectives to describe my joy).

I love to hate the Lakers. Images of them winning cause my body to contort and spasm with disgust. Watching the Lakers win is like having 100 chickens pecking my eyes out little by little for the whole NBA season and then throwing me into that pit/monster thing in the Return of the Jedi at the end of the season. Lucky for me I don’t have to worry about this anymore.

Congrats to Pierce, Allen, Garnett and the rest of the Boston Celtics. They truly deserved it this year and I’m pleased as punch that it happened.

Matt Heaton :)

Politics, Taxes, And General Ignorance…

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

If you don’t want to hear another rant from me you can skip this blog entry. As the politcal season heats up towards November’s election day the tax rhetoric is being spouted by the party faithful on both sides of the aisle. By the end of this blog you will clearly understand which side of the aisle I am on and why.

Democrats are talking up the importance of letting many of the “tax breaks” and especially those of the “richest 1%” to fall back to previous increased rates in 2010. While we can debate all day long what constitutes the richest 1%, let me tell you that increasing capital gains taxes (Which will affect more than 100 million Americans) is a HUGE mistake, and increasing taxes on small and medium businesses is a mistake of epic proportions. Heres why.

If you were offered a check for $2500 (Lets call this reduced taxes, but assume it was immediate and you got a check for $2500) but in return taxes on small and medium business was increased 5-10% and capital gains tax increased 5%, would you accept the check? If I was dangling the check in front on you would you take it? Unfortunately 90% of Americans would. I can certainly understand why. People/families are hurting. $4 gas doesn’t help, and unfortunately financial discipline and financial knowledge is a not a resource that most Americans can count amoung their assets.

The issue is that increased taxes on small and medium businesses means less profits, and less profits means lower wages and decreased benefits. This is NOT rhetoric, this is undeniable fact. As these businesses, many of which are already struggling, try to fight competition and increase growth they HAVE to cut costs. Those costs are almost certainly going to make the working Americans life worse in every way. All of a sudden the $75K a year jobs are $65K a year jobs. Those 35K a year jobs go to 28K a year jobs. Those health care benefits go down every year as the cost of those same benefits increases.

It must be the greedy businesses that always want to make more money causing these problems right? In some few cases the answer is yes, but in the vast majority of the cases it’s because they are TAXED TO DEATH and the average American is the one who pays the price.

Whats worse is that all this is done in the name of the “Average American” – to help them, and to help them deal with the financial burdens that are sometimes too much to bear. It does give them very short term benefits (3 months maybe), but then reality sets in when wages stagnate or drop and health care is trimmed again.

Why can’t politicians see this? Why Why Why? There are really only two options. First, they want to pander to the general ignorance of most Americans when it comes to this matter even when they know better – or 2, they really don’t understand and they think that taxing businesses really will help the situation and make the lives of average Americans better. Either way they are wrong. One way, they are dishonest by pandering, and the other they are just plain stupid. There is NO THIRD OPTION!

I have run many businesses over my short 36 year term on this planet, but one thing I have learned having employed many hundreds of people over the years is that when I make money my employees make money. And when I don’t make money my employees hurt as a consequence because there isn’t enough to go around.

QUIT TAXING SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES TO DEATH – IT HURTS EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Bill Gates

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Bill Gates time has come. Next month he will officially retire from Microsoft and turn full control over to Steve Ballmer. This is a significant event for many reasons. In all the ways that really matter Bill Gates is Microsoft. It is molded after his personality and it shows itself for better or worse in all aspects of Microsoft’s business.

I admire Bill Gates and have tried to emulate certain traits that I have identified that I feel made him successful. It doesn’t mean I an an advocate for Microsoft business practices or that everything about Bill Gates is admirable, but it is undeniable that he is/was a technical and marketing genius. I don’t think I have a ton of similarities between myself and Bill Gates, but there is one area that feel I am very similar to him. We both love the technology side of things more, but are better at the business/marketing angle. I am a bit of an enigma in the technology/linux/hosting world that I live in because I am a geek that isn’t a geek (I guess some people would argue that Im 100% geek :) ). Let me explain – Bill Gates is and was a brilliant software engineer. It is his passion and he has a great talent for it, but what really made Microsoft successful was that he could use that technical knowledge to strike business deals. He is an extremely savvy businessman.

Technical expertise almost never goes hand in hand with great business sense. So many technology companies are started by amazingly talented developers, but fail because they don’t realize that a great product doesn’t always translate to a great business. I feel Bluehost and Hostmonster is way ahead of the game compared to so many hosting companies because I have a love of the technical side of the business. In fact, if I could pick any job to do full time (Just for fun) it would be a system administrator. I love to develop software as well but realize that I am only a moderately talented developer compared to the great developers we currently employ.

Technical expertise at the top enabled Microsoft to maneuver quickly and make business decisions based on a solid technical background. I feel the same way about Bluehost. Get ready for a very arrogant comment – Rarely (Never) do I talk with CEOs of other large hosting companies where I feel they have a super strong hands on technical understanding of the underpinnings of linux, system kernels, storage systems, etc. Many would argue that they don’t need to know and understand all the “details”. That is what admins/developers are for right? Maybe they are right, but for my businesses I don’t feel comfortable not being able to work directly with these groups.

If you don’t have a deep understanding its hard to really know what to fix and how to improve. Without that knowledge how do you lead? If you can’t lead, how do you succeed? Bill Gates was the master at this. Conversely, in my opinion, Steve Ballmer is the antithesis of this method. Look at the complete mess Microsoft is today. Microsoft’s top decision makers aren’t the “get their hands dirty” technical guys that used to run the operation and it shows.

Whether you admire or despise Bill Gates you have to respect him and what he has done. He single handedly took down IBM in the personal computing arena against every conceivable obstacle. I salute his incredible accomplishment!

Matt Heaton / Bluehost.com