Web Hosting Interview - HostMySite January 2004

Web Hosting Interview - HostMySite January 2004

Lou Honick, CEO of HostMySite.com

Meet a man behind the success of LNH Inc., a company that operates aggressively in all hosting sectors with multiple-brands strategy.

  • HOSTSEARCH: Hi Lou, can you reveal a little about yourself and your day-to-day role with LNH Inc. ?
    LOU: Well, I'd say I'm somewhat of an idealist who thrives on challenge.  I believe very strongly that if something is worthy of being done, it should be done right.  People should be able to hold us to that standard.  That's my challenge—setting the standard. Within the company I wear a lot of hats but a good deal of my time is spent improving operations.  My focus is split between bettering customer service and creating a work environment that attracts talent.  In the end, it's all about people.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Can you please tell us a brief history of your company?
    LOU: LNH Inc. started as a remedy for frustration. I'll explain.  In 1997, my partner Neil Heuer and I were hosting various sites and had a real problem getting service.  Everywhere we went it was the same story—no phone numbers to call, inexperience staff, excruciating hold time.  It was terrible.  We started LNH Inc. because we believed that it was possible to provide excellent service at affordable prices.  Given our tremendous growth it appears the consumers agree.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Can you please tell us what brands that your company is operating.
    LOU: Right now we are operating HostMySite, SmarterLinux, and MyValueHost.  Each was created to satisfy a specific set of customer needs.  Excellent service a common thread, but the brands themselves are as unique as the people who use them.
  • HOSTSEARCH: There are some players in the market that use one-brand strategy. What are your comments on that? What was the thinking behind the decision to employ a multi-brand strategy at HostMySite.com?
    LOU: Both strategies serve a purpose.  Our business plan called for diversification. The multi-brand approach just seemed the better fit.  Creating multiple brands allow us to compete in several different market sectors simultaneously without diluting the message or focus of any one brand. We can be extremely targeted in our marketing while addressing some very diverse consumer needs.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Can you please highlight the strengths of each brand at LNH Inc.?
    LOU: HostMySite is geared toward providing excellent customer service for any level of hosting.  You can get hosting for anything from a small personal site to racks of servers hosting applications for large corporations.  HostMySite is certainly our hallmark brand and without a doubt is the customer service leader in the web hosting industry.  SmarterLinux caters to the UNIX enthusiast and offers the same full range as HostMySite, with an enhanced focus on technical sophistication.  MyValueHost is our economy hosting solution geared towards being simple and inexpensive, but very robust.   The MyValueHost offering includes prompt and helpful email-only support which helps us keep costs down for our customers.
  • HOSTSEARCH: What is your best-selling product, shared, dedicated, or reseller?
    LOU: In terms of sheer numbers, shared hosting is our best seller.  This isn't surprising given the low cost of entry and the millions of people out there building websites.  Our sales strategies are actually more geared toward finding the resellers and the dedicated server customers.  Our reputation for service makes us very competitive in those areas as well, but the demand for quality shared hosting is huge.
  • HOSTSEARCH: How do you see the trends of web hosting industry in the next 2-3 year period?
    LOU: Consumers in this market are becoming more informed.  As this trend continues and technology for migrating websites improves I think a great many hosting companies are going to find themselves facing harsh realities.  The instant feedback and global sharing of information made possible by the Internet makes it easy to find a good deal. Buyers are also beginning to see that a good deal rarely has much to do with how much disk space is available. Good service is becoming more available and those who are not on the band wagon will wake one day to find that half their customer base has pulled up stakes.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Thanks for your time Lou.
    LOU: Thank you for the opportunity.

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