HOSTSEARCH: I was surprised in reading your webblog at BobParsons.com in how human it is; that it's more than just an ad brochure. Is that kind of personal touch something you try to bring to GoDaddy?
BOB PARSONS: Thanks, yes it is. We try to be direct and honest with our customers.
HOSTSEARCH: How many staff do you employ, and how many customers do you have?
BOB PARSONS: We employ about 700 people and have over 3 million customers.
HOSTSEARCH: How did GoDaddy make the decision to advertise in the super bowl let alone purchasing 2 ads?
BOB PARSONS: We have from 20-30% market share on a given day and we asked our marketing people why more people didn't use us. They came back and told us that that not everyone knew about us and we had to advertise in a new way to reach the people who don't know us. The Super Bowl is the most watched television event of the year with more than 40 million viewers so we decided to do it. Go Daddy has an ad in the fourth commercial break in the first quarter and the second commercial during the final two minute warning.
HOSTSEARCH: Can you tell us about your new survey tool?
BOB PARSONS: Our survey tool allows users to design their own surveys and then link to the survey where they want and it also gives response tracking and customizable reports. It's also free to all of our existing customers.
HOSTSEARCH: How does GoDaddy handle customer support?
BOB PARSONS: We are a very customer-centric company and we average response times within a couple of hours as opposed to our competitors who typically average a couple of days if they respond at all. Also, we don't outsource our support. Our support team is integrated with our technical staff and are here on location with us.
HOSTSEARCH: As the hosting industry becomes more and more competitive do you think there will be room for start-ups in the future or do you see the industry consolidating?
BOB PARSONS: I think it's the nature of business for things to consolidate. For example, there used to be hundreds of car manufacturers and now it would be almost impossible for a new company to start-up in that industry.
HOSTSEARCH: How did you come up with the name "Go Daddy" for a web hosting service?
BOB PARSONS: In 1997 we started up as JoMax technology which was named after a dirt road I used to pass by on my way to work but we felt like it wasn't really memorable so in 1999 we renamed the company GoDaddy. The name just fell out of the sky and we liked it. We decided to stick with it for 2 reasons; one, it makes people smile and two, people remember it.
HOSTSEARCH: In your blog you list your personal rules for life and one of them is that things which are measured will naturally improve. What kinds of things do you measure at GoDaddy?
BOB PARSONS: We measure everything. We measure the number of phone calls we get everyday, we measure sales, daily profit, what our expenses are for the next day. Everything.
HOSTSEARCH: China is about to become the world's largest ecommerce market. Do you have any plans to do business internationally and step into the Chinese markets?
BOB PARSONS: About 15% of our business is from international customers. We've looked at it though and we've got a very tight organization here with engineering and customer service and we just felt like it would be tough to meet the same standards in another language at an overseas location in Peking.
HOSTSEARCH: What can we expect from GoDaddy in 2005?
BOB PARSONS: We're about to release a new feature called Brand Catcher. This is used for brand protection. Search engines actually only search a small percentage of the web but our brand catcher will crawl the web and find out how and where a brand name is being used and it will find out if someone is misusing it. We offer this feature for $14.95 a month while some companies offer the same type of thing for up to $5,000 a year. Beyond that we expect to release more great tools and have a really good year.
For more information see the GoDaddy website's hosting page: https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/hosting/shared.asp