Web Hosting Interview - pair Networks March 2004

Web Hosting Interview - pair Networks March 2004

CEO and co-founder Kevin Martin of pair Networks

Pair Networks CEO and co-founder Kevin Martin talks to Hostsearch about his firm's history, new site look and the ''Customer Site of the Week.''

  • HOSTSEARCH: Tell us about yourself and your day-to-day role with Pair Networks.
    KEVIN MARTIN: As CEO and co-founder of the company, I'm involved in overseeing day-to-day operations, research & development, and determining the company's future directions.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Can you give us a brief history of your company's development since establishment, and explain the role the company plays in the industry?
    KEVIN MARTIN: Pair Networks was organized in August 1995 and first offered services on January 11, 1996. The Web hosting industry was very small at the time, and we feel we've set a lot of standards from that time forward. There are very few "old growth" Web hosts still in operation; most have either folded or been rolled up by acquisitions.

    We've set our pricing in a fashion that emphasizes the value of the services we provide, while allowing for the continued growth of the company. This has given us the ability to build our own datacenters, purchase premium connectivity, and develop major projects such as pairNIC.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Your site says you recently re-launched the pair Networks site. How is it different, and how's the feedback?
    KEVIN MARTIN: We worked with an outside team to bring a smoother presentation of our material to the new site. The new site is more usable, easier to navigate, and provides quicker access to the information customers seek most often. We feel it reflects our corporate image quite well.
  • HOSTSEARCH: I see you are now featuring a "Customer Site of the Week" section on your homepage. How do sites qualify to be listed as CSOTW?
    KEVIN MARTIN: We accept recommendations from customers, but to have the best chance of being selected, a site must have broad appeal or significance. Once selected, each site remains on the list and may be featured again in future weeks. This feature helps keep our site fresh and demonstrates the variety in our customer community.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Market prices for hosting continue to drop dramatically. What are your plans for coping with this?
    KEVIN MARTIN: As I mentioned before, our pricing is set according to the value of the services we provide. Lower pricing typically requires a different business plan--one that cuts corners instead of focusing on quality.

    When we originally launched, our pricing was significantly lower than most hosts, as the industry had no idea where pricing should be. Over time, we haven't changed the pricing of our core services, but have expanded the features and allowances included with those services.

    Bargain basement hosting companies come and go, usually pretty quickly. Our customers know they are paying for quality and stability.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Your company seems to be steadily growing since 1996. What's the secret of your success?
    KEVIN MARTIN: We are focused on shared Web hosting and managed, dedicated servers. We only adopt new technologies or services once they are thoroughly tested, and we never follow fads. We're always focused on long-term success and that focus has rewarded us with short-term success as well.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Tell us the main reason a customer should choose your firm over other hosting companies in the market.
    KEVIN MARTIN: Not only do we provide high-quality services and reliability, we do so in an honest and straightforward fashion. For example, service outages are always posted on our site (and promptly corrected, of course). We are among the most experienced hosting companies in existence, and have proven our commitment to remaining independent and successful.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Where do you see yourself, pair Networks and the industry as a whole in five years time?
    KEVIN MARTIN: Pair Networks will continue to expand its customer base and services, without losing focus on quality. We are likely to open additional datacenters, for new services as well as redundancy.
  • HOSTSEARCH: What is the first website you visit when you turn on your computer and why?
    KEVIN MARTIN: Usually our internal status pages and network graphs. My second most commonly visited site is probably Yahoo.

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