We are honored to receive the "Good Guys of Web Hosting" badge from Web Hosting Search. In this interview, Karl Zimmerman, Owner/CEO of Steadfast talks about the future changes in web hosting and the future plans of Steadfast.
It’s been a while since we handed out the “badge” Good Guys of Web Hosting to anyone, but what better way to start out the series again than with presenting it to Steadfast.
We’ve had our eye on them for quite some time now and they’ve never let us down. We decided to contact Karl Zimmerman, President of Steadfast Networks, to ask him a couple questions about Steadfast and the future of web hosting.
WHS: What is the story behind SteadFast? Why did you decide to start a hosting company? What’s your background?
Karl Zimmerman (KZ): This company started when I was 14, 15 years ago, as a shared hosting company. I started it because I loved the potential of the Internet and had a passion for it, that it was actually a business was somewhat accidental. Before Steadfast I had a webmaster resources site, helping people develop their web sites, getting people online in general, other than that I was a relatively typical high school student.
Web Hosting Search (WHS): Can you explain a typical workday at SteadFast?
KZ: It is hard to define a typical day, as at this point in our company we have the different departments and each department is working on their own things as each division is headed by an experienced manager that can get the most out of their team. During the day we can be very focused and intense for hours if there is high ticket volume or we can spend the whole day just talking through long term projects and having some fun.
WHS: We’ve noticed that being green is important for you. Can you tell us more about this project?
KZ: We simply know that energy and resource efficiency is necessary for long term success. Certainly, the goal is to be good to the environment, but the goal is also to just be in the mentality to always use resources efficiently. The actions we have taken to reduce unnecessary packaging on server shipments doesn't just help the environment, it saves us time in unpacking the servers and disposing of the boxes. Being in a location that is good for public transit also increases the amount of exercise our staff gets and reduces the number of parking spots we need. The affects of these decisions is much greater than a short term environmental benefit.
WHS: What sets you apart from your competitors?
KZ: What differentiates us is the level of service and flexibility we provide, with a focus on building long term relationships. We have the scale of a national player, but can provide the personal attention of a local company. Our goal is to develop long term relationships with our customers, to work with them to help them grow, not to try to squeeze every dollar out of them.
WHS: Do you see any major changes in the future of web hosting?
KZ: The number of things that people outsource and move to the "cloud" is just going to keep growing. People are just getting comfortable with outsourcing now, so we see huge demand for a growing number of application hosts and SaaS providers. Your typical "shared web hosting" plans are going to become a small sector of the overall market.
WHS: What are your plans for Steadfast in the future? Do you plan to open more datacenters?
KZ: We're keeping focus on our core business, IT Infrastructure (cloud hosting, dedicated servers, colocation and disaster recovery), but looking to expand geographically. Right now, we're working on a new site in the New York/New Jersey market to expand into providing our full array of services out of the market while also building our sales and marketing presence. Over the coming years we'll likely end up being in 3-4 US cities.
WHS: Who is your typical customer?
KZ: We have customers all across the board, from a small hobby site to a billion dollar publicly traded company, there really is no typical and we feel we can work with customers of all sizes to get them the solution that is exactly right for them.
WHS: Can you describe SteadFast in 3 words?
KZ: Steadfast. Always There.