Sometimes, I get a little nervous about this whole business of web hosting.
Not just nervous about the blank looks I’ll get when I tell pretty ladies what I do, either.
More nervous about the tingling feeling in the back of my neck that someday, perhaps not too far away, the entire web hosting industry is going to go the way of the betamax. Or, perhaps, that some collllooooossssssus will get into it and give it all away for free as a means to “capture eyeballs”.
When this nervousness overtakes me, I try and sit back, have a cheeseburger, and remember there’s nothing to worry about.
And then I feel better. Until I remember I’m probably lactose-intolerant. And then I start to get nervous again.
But hey, I’d rather ruin a new pair of underwear than worry about Google putting us out of business! And I don’t. Why? Because Web Hosting is Hard, and Google don’t want it! Nah, they don’t want it! They don’t want to give customers what is essentially a full-featured computer to run.. they want to give customers cool ajax-y websites that are easy to use and easy to mine for data.
And, even if they DID get into generic web hosting and give it away for free, there’s always going to be a (hopefully sizeable) market of people who don’t mind paying $8/month to know that the company they’re dealing with doesn’t make any money off them other than that $8/month.
So, that’s why I’m not much more afraid of Google than I am an average cheeseburger.
And I eat cheeseburgers for lunch.
But what about the entire industry?! It seems headed the way of the dodo, no?
After all, home and office connections are getting fast! Website-related software is getting better and easier to use. Already, the technically-savvy can host their own websites and email, and as time goes on, the bar to doing so will get lower and lower.
Great, I’m starting to get nervous again.
I’d better sit back, whip me up some pancakes, and relax.
Because, if you think about it.. the only way to have a succesful business is to offer a product or service for less than somebody feels like it’d be worth to do or make themselves. (Or else why pay you?!)
If everybody could pancake a pancake faster, cheaper, and better than the local IHOP, and liked cooking pancakes… there would be no IHOPs.
Fortunately for International Houses everywhere, this isn’t the case. And the reason is IHOP has expertise the average pancake-loving International-ite doesn’t. On top of that, the IHOP has spent capital to bring their cost-per-pancake to a level you’d be hard-pressed to match in the quantities of pancakes you’re likely to consume in a given Sunday morning.
Actually, those are the only two things you can base a business on. Expertise and Capital.
You can do something so well that people pay you for it only if you have more expertise in the field than them, or have spent more capital than them.
And in the web hosting industry, we’ve got both!
You may be able to set up your own servers at home, but can you for less than $8/month? Not unless you’ve spent the capital to be able to divide the costs among thousands of users!
And when a scsi card dies right in the middle of you flipping your pancakes, are you going to know how to fix it? Are you going to want to? Are you even going to notice? Not unless you’ve got a decent level of system administration expertise!
In ten years, thanks to good old Moore, everything we offer now you probably will be able to reproduce at home for $8/month.
But at that point, we’ll have even more expertise and have spent more capital, and it’ll still be worth the $8/month to outsource your web hosting to us, because we’ll have all kinds of cools stuff that ain’t even been invented yet!
And I still go to IHOP sometimes, even though I flatten pancakes for breakfast.