Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Brian Hill

Written by Brian Hill

We’re programmers, designers, security experts, cloud junkies, tech support superheroes, and more — but we’re also real humans, not the faceless robots some people like to imagine us as. The DreamTeam is made up of many hardworking talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our new Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do (on and off the clock), and how they keep DreamHost irreverent and fun — just the way we like it.

DreamHost

This week we shine the spotlight on Brian Hill, DreamHost’s Senior Manager of Technical Support. Brian has been with DreamHost since 1999, when the company was only two years old! When you’ve been with the company for that long, it’s only natural to have stories and photos that not many other employees would know or even have access to. Luckily Brian took some time to share those amazing photos from the DreamHost vault, as well as his personal story of how he went from being a goofy young pizza manager, to a much-respected, knowledgeable Tech Support BOSS. Read on! 

DreamHost, pizza and pooping in gold diapers!

DreamHost

DreamHost office, summer of ‘99

 

Alright, I want everyone to gather around, and listen up!” Josh Jones, co-founder of DreamHost (the hottest web hosting platform of late 1999) yelled, as he motioned like a carnival barker.

“I have an important announcement and I want everyone to hear! I’ve come up with a magic number, the target we’re going to use, going into the year 2000. This number will have us all driving Ferraris and pooping in gold diapers!”

And with the flick of his wrist, he scrawled it onto the whiteboard quickly, but deliberately: one, eight, zero, zero, zero. He paused for effect, then blurted out: “This is the number of domains we need to host! If we get to this number, we’ll be driving Ferraris and pooping in gold diapers!”

DreamHost

Aforementioned whiteboard (if you squint, maybe you can see the number!!)

1.4 million domains later, I HAVE YET TO SEE MY FERRARI OR GOLD DIAPER!!! CURSE YOU JOSH!!

When I left my promising and lucrative career at Domino’s Pizza in the summer of ‘99, I had no idea what was in store for me. I knew it could potentially turn into a career, I knew it would be exciting to work with a bunch of college kids on computers, but I really didn’t know what it was that they actually did. Founder Michael Rodriguez was keen on hiring smart “friends of friends”; He had a vision where you could train anyone to do this work, but he wanted to work with cool, like-minded people.

Well, when I got there, I was a bit out of my element, but the place was a frikkin’ mess. So, for the first 2 weeks of my employment, I shampooed every carpet in there. I was determined to make an impact on them, even if I was an ultra newb. 

Luckily, a coworker, Ralph, took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of tech support:

DreamHost

(Suge Knight was a Tech Support person for DreamHost!)

 

Not exactly the bastion of welcome wagon …. ness ….  but he actually ended up being a super huge goofball and one of my closest friends after all these years:

 

  … that moment when your boss does dumb stuff and you’re super embarrassed ‘cause you know, you’ll include this in your employee spotlight 15 years down the road


… that moment when your boss does dumb stuff and you’re super embarrassed ‘cause you know, you’ll include this in your employee spotlight 15 years down the road

Despite my limited knowledge of actual technical stuff — and extreme pizza/carpet cleaning expertise — somehow, I ended up being part of the team:

 

DreamHost

DreamHost Team circa February 2000 | (What’s interesting about this picture, is that, out of the 19 employees shown here, 7 are still here, 3 of which are founders)

We worked really hard, and were obviously, very professional:

DreamHost

This is Dallas and Dan! Dan wasn’t part of our team back then, but would later come to work for us and our spin off, Inktank!

Honestly, I’m not sure how we managed to turn into a “real life” company, but, here we are, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it. I’m sure it had something to do with these four dudes driving us to be the best we could be!

DreamHost

The DreamHost Founders!

Thanks Dallas, Josh, Michael and Sage for taking a chance on a goofy 23 year-old pizza manager, my life certainly has been improved for the better since becoming an employee and friend!

About the author

Brian Hill

1 Comment

  • I had the pleasure of meeting Brian recently in a professional setting, and the experience only drew me to DreamHost and it’s team even more. Serious yet laid back & makes you feel instantly comfortable. Fellow gear head as well!