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EXECUTION Progress Thread - End Of Shared Hosting

rpeck90

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Shied away from posting this type of thing for some time (don't want the pressure of having to meet others' expectations and my brain is pretty much f*cked up with ideas of grandeur).

However, I feel the time is now right to do it. Probably should put it in the Insiders' forum, but don't see the value to be honest. If I'm going to get copied, I'll get copied.

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I have been working on a series of new innovations over the past 24 months. Most of my money has been tied up in these innovations, and I now feel it appropriate to highlight progress.

As with all things in business, the goal is sales. Business is sales and everything you do needs to contribute in some way to their continued growth. In the capitalistic system, you're rewarded for growth (not innovation)... which is why most companies are brain-dead.

Whilst innovation is obviously a bonafide way to achieve growth, it doesn't get you paid on its own. You still need to create a valid offer, provide buyers with an obvious benefit, and generally work on doing something that people are willing to pay for. This I hope to highlight with this thread.

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The product I've been working on is a "cloud" VPS deployment system.

It is a tool which allows you to provision, manage and extend the use of "cloud" VPS servers running on the likes of Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Engine, DigitalOcean and others. I have extensive experience using all of these platforms, with my DigitalOcean account being ~3 years' old on its own...



In terms of the product, what I am going to explain in this post (and likely thread) is the process of creating a new solution and getting it adopted by the market. I don't know whether it will be successful, but I do know that this is the type of thing you need to be looking at when considering a new product, especially in the tech space (you're selling an "offer" - not the product itself).

I will use the following post/thread to explain how it works...

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Shared Hosting Sucks.

When you create a "website", what you're doing is installing a series of software applications onto an Internet-connected computer. The way in which these software applications work is known as a "stack", and the present web has a 3-tier stack (HTTP/Application/Database) (most hosts run LAMP/LEMP):


Courtesy of Cloud66...


Courtesy of RubyGarage...

The "computer" you operate is known as a "server" and is generally operated by a "hosting company" (although there's nothing stopping you running it from your house).

Whilst there are many types of hosting, they ALL use the same technology (a stack as above).

What differs is how they provision the various software applications required to get the server operating. This is where "control panel" software comes in - most prevalent being CPanel, or Plesk.

My goal is to create a new "CPanel", but for the "cloud" VPS market.

-

The problem with CPanel, Plesk et al is they're local software systems.

Local software means that it has to be installed directly onto the system (similar to "desktop" software). Whilst secure, they are not extensible (you can only run 1 server with 1 instance of CPanel).

My solution comes with two immediate benefits to this setup:
  1. Web-Centric (platform agnostic) -- my skill is centered around "web" centric applications. Allows us to provision servers across 1,000's of different accounts. The downside to this is that it will be centralized, meaning that it's vulnerable to attack or downtime. The upside is that it's centrally updated, completely extensible AND (importantly) can run from a single API (think Stripe).

    The benefit of the API is important - it means the provisioning, management and integration of "cloud" servers can be externalized into applications. Say you had a system which managed Wordpress... you could integrate your account into the platform, and boom you have a system which works on cloud VPS without the need to provision + manage servers. Further, if you can make the system a legit part of the business process, you've won.

  2. Software ONLY -- both an adv + dis - we will control zero hosting. The user is responsible for providing their own hosting accounts, through which we will ONLY manage their software stack (above). The benefit to this is that it allows us to track servers across ALL VPS providers (not possible presently), as well as giving people the ability to integrate a more extensive array of hardware into their fleets.

    The biggest benefit to this is that we get to compete at the deploy level. As mentioned, it's a race-to-the-bottom with the hardware (you'd be an idiot to compete with AWS), but being able to provision and manage a wide array of servers has mileage.
Whilst this may sound interesting, it ISN'T going to make money unless it provides a business benefit to the end user. This business benefit is partly why I felt it applicable to make a post publicly on here (not many can replicate our process)...

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Why Cloud?

"Cloud" VPS technology is nothing special - the big difference lies in how compute resource is allocated:


Courtesy of HowToGetOnline...

AWS is widely considered the originator of the paradigm, although it's been a thing for a while.

The way it works is simple - a hypervisor is used to create virtualized compute instances across a myriad of physical servers. The "myriad" quotient is the most important element here - "traditional" hosting solutions were always tied to a physical server (hence "shared" hosting -- your account is 1 of 1,000's on a single server).

As seen above, the various ways in which the physical server resource was allocated determined the type of hosting you were using. Most Wordpress websites could be happily run on "shared" hosting - which is why the price for their provision has dropped massively in the past decade.

The price you paid for hosting was determined by how much server capacity you were allocated. A shared hosting account was mixed in with 1,000's of others, making it cheaper to run. A dedicated server was entirely for you, hence the cost.

"Cloud" VPS hosting gives you a virtual server, running across 100's or 1,000's of physical systems. Whilst it can cost more than shared (especially if you consume more resource), the key point is that the cost is NOT tied to physical boxes... but pure compute resource.

This means, among other things, that there is a plethora of opportunity in the apps which can be integrated into this sort of system. People use "web hosting" for Wordpress (NOT for the likes of video/graphics rendering, large-scale calculations, etc)... "cloud" VPS resource has the ability to extend the depth of provision that web-centric services can provide; allowing businesses to integrate a LOT more functionality into their processes (what Wordpress did for the "front-end", it can do for the "back-end").

This is what I want to focus on (explained below).

I believe the key to success - particularly in technology, but in ANY arena - is to have a bold "vision" of what you're hoping to create. Yes, this opens the door to many possibilities & tangents, but if you really want to revolutionize a market, and create HUGE amounts of wealth, this is the type of stuff you need to be doing...

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Promotion / Demand

The core of all business is demand.

If you can control who needs your product, you will have a chance of monopolizing its supply.

This forms the core of the "blue ocean" ideal which is how all big businesses grow. Since I pivoted into wanting to build a new Microsoft/Google/Oracle in 2011, I have been focused on imbuing this ideal into anything I do.

The "secret" of a "blue ocean" is results (I actually have a post I wrote last year which expounds on this - I will ask MJ for permission to publish it soon).

In other words, you're not selling the "thing", but what the "thing" actually does. Tesla don't sell EV's; they're selling a "better car" (which is "free to drive"). Thus, with this stuff, what I've been focused on is how a system like this would deliver a better result than anything that's come before.

This is what gets you paid.

In terms of this, it is essential that this stuff should NOT be seen as "web hosting".

That ship has long since sailed. There needs to be a "killer app" which justifies the adoption of the solution, and I believe I have it. It's also not an "app". It needs to be a legit business service that some oldtimer CEO will happily pay for. Ukulele music on some shitty video is not what we're going to be doing.

Get 'em paid or get 'em laid...
  1. Enhanced processes - system needs to be presented to business owners/operators as a means to make more profit. Quite what this entails is yet to be seen, but that's the market -- I'm more eager to talk to factories than some shitty "Wordpress agency". Companies like Unilever.

  2. Sold in physical box - adamant on this although most will call BS. If I'm targeting business-owners (many of whom don't even have social media), I want something they can quantify value against. It's a similar deal with Antivirus software -- boxed software is the shit because it gives them something tactile to play with. It's actually a strategy Frank Kern made up called the "Big Ol' Box Of Stuff".

    The other MASSIVE deal with a physically boxed product is that people are buying the product (NOT the "hosting"). Hosting isn't valuable... but if you have a boxed "widget", you can EASILY make it $99.95, $295.95 or even $595.95, depending on what it's meant to do.

  3. Brand backing - The product is developed and sold by the company I founded almost 10 YEARS ago (Frontline Utilities LTD). Yes, the business took a massive hit when I put all my money into a product, but I weathered the storm and kept it alive. Now I can legitimately say it's been trading for a decade (100% true).

  4. BOLD plays - I'm not bothered whether this is majorly successful or not, but I'll tell you now that I'm not here to play silly games. It's different here in the UK to the US; less opportunity and things move slower. But I'll tell you this - I'm here to win and win I will. This isn't some brain-dead blog/product. I want to sell into governments if the opportunity is there.
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Product/Solution/Offer

I'll detail the product more specifically when I have further information.

For now, I will explain several core points:
  • SSH Powered
    The core of the product is the ability to provision servers.

    This means installing & maintaining the various software packages the server requires to operate (listed above). This is not that big of a deal, but ensuring the server runs 100% smoothly, without glitches etc, is. Fortunately, I have not only a strong retinue of experience in this capacity, but I also have a large number of configuration options which I can deploy to the servers themselves...

    One of the best parts of CPanel is its rock-steady ability to keep a server running (and allow you to manage the various resources it may have such as domains etc from a central command panel). As mentioned, it only works on physical servers and is tied to the server itself.

    The solution I've been working towards works on its own. It's a web service (similar to Stripe etc) which uses SSH to provision servers for users. Not the most efficient way, but the most robust.

    The system connects to users' VPS instances, installs applications which are required, updates ones presently installed, and automatically ensures that Apache/NGinx as well as other configuration is working correctly.

  • App Extensions
    This will be the killer. If we can somehow create an extensible platform through which other applications can integrate with the service, it will win.

    For example, perhaps you want to have a warehousing system that integrates with some CRM system, or a logistics provider or whatever. The system should be able to integrate data from third party sources, and manage how they interface with the various servers.

    I don't know how this will happen, and it certainly wouldn't be part of an MVC -- but it's essential to get through to the businesses I want to target. If I can create some system which allows a business to run smoother, it will achieve adoption.

  • Deployment Pipelines
    Basically how Heroku works -- take inbound GIT repo's and have them deploy to X number of servers. This depends on a number of criteria, such as having a valid GIT repo set up on the server (which I can do thanks to having SSH access), and the ability to build the applications properly.

    Heroku uses its "buildpacks" feature to do this (as well as building apps on its own server). Because my service will manage many different servers, I will need to create a solution which can be deployed as required. I think I know how this needs to be handled.

    Ultimately, a "buildpack" is a simple bash-level script called by the git post-receive hook (somehow, Heroku has bound it to pre-receive). The script will take the inputted GIT repo, determine the necessary "buildpack" based on various patterns, and install the dependencies as required.

    The difference with my solution will come from how the user determines how their "build" will happen. Because we have granular control of the server, we may be able to introduce some sort of "recipe" type service (basically what capistrano does). This would allow the likes of Wordpress to be backed-up at the push of a button etc.

  • Platform-Agnostic Provision
    The ability to provision servers on "all" platforms. Because it uses SSH to connect to the servers, this should not be an issue (unless the daemon's IP gets blocked).

    I can explain this further, but the core of it is that the user gets to choose where their servers are hosted. Maybe they want a DB server on Rackspace, but their web front-end running in DigitalOcean. This service would allow for that - primarily because it's exclusive of the process (rather than inclusive as in the case of CPanel).

  • Endpoint Manager
    Along with the app extensions, an "endpoint manager" needs to be created.

    This is an ode to my programming experience, and should fix digital delivery for a HUGE number of businesses -- rather than focusing on "web pages" or even "web services", emphasize the deployment of endpoints.

    Endpoints exist both at the domain level and application. They're the equivalent of email, subdomains and addon-domains etc - allowing users to "access" your compute resource.

    Whilst this stuff is quite elementary, one thing that most people have no concept about is how "endpoints" work at an application level. For example, if you're running an eCommerce store, you only need ~3 "endpoints" for it to work -- /products, /cart & /order.

    Everything you "see" on these endpoints is dependent on the type of data you're serving.
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Competition

Obviously, the market has competition already. This is a given.

As mentioned, none of the following services are that appealing to business. They are good pieces of technology, but horrible in terms of offering a reason for companies to adopt (pay for) them.

Regardless, there are issues with each:
  • Heroku (founded 2007, exited to Salesforce for $212m+)
    Heroku is similar to what I'm looking at doing, except it's built on top of AWS only.

    It's a pure PaaS play - basically allows you to push GIT repo's to their infrastructure and their system will create a "build" of the app, deploy it and have it running on an EC2 instance.

    The problem with Heroku is several-fold:

    - They are locked into AWS (no provision for other services).
    - Beyond their free tier, too expensive ($50/mo in many cases).
    - Unable to manage servers individually ("x.herokuapp.com" domain always present).
    - No flexibility in server deployment (apart from "buildpacks", no choice of server use).
    - "App" = "Sever" (no way to manage individual server resource).

  • Nanobox
    Very good technology but poor delivery - targeting developers to try and get them to use the system to deploy large scale apps. Probably more akin to Chef/Puppet than others.

    - Containerized (no individual server management)
    - Inaccessible ("request demo" etc - instantly makes ineffectual)
    - Very good at what they do, but not that accessible if you're not in the "developer" bracket
    - Not known too well outside US

  • Cloudways
    Who the f*** is that guy? Highly focused on Wordpress; whilst their system works well, it's nothing that I would consider that big of a deal.

    Further, they're billed as a "hosting" service. As explained, that Pinata has been beaten to death already. I'm interested in opening the door to more enriched business processes.
All of the above are aimed at developers.

Developers aren't my focus; businesses are. Where money flows, I want to get in front of it.

I want to sell this stuff to the local company reliant on warehousing + logistics. I want some shipping business to gain advantage out of it. I want to make sure that whoever ends up using the system is able to see an uptick in sales because of it. That's the level I'm aiming at... whether it gets there is something else entirely (yes, I am fully expecting failure).

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In case you haven't figured yet - the main reason for making this public is to give me a record of the sales process. I can code (and would consider myself quite good at it)... but I'm not a "coder". I get stuff sold, and this thread is my attempt at - perhaps - recording how it's done (for posterity).

Feel free to follow along. I would have written on a private blog, but the audience is here already.

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Finally, I do this my way. I'll accept criticism but it has to be legit. If you want to talk to me discreetly, my email is rpeck@frontlineutilities.co.uk. Whilst I'd prefer to keep myself under the radar, I want to grow this year and will have to bite the bullet and become more "public" I think.
 

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OverByte

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What is the actual need you're solving to business owners? Software developers understand why shared hosting isn't ideal but you said the market isn't software developers. What's the pain point you are solving for a business that isn't developers? You mention your product is most similar to heroku but dev teams use heroku not non-technical business owners... several of the "pain" points to heroku you mentioned (like what type of server) are irrelevant in my opinion particular with containerization now fairly mainstream (the servers will almost certainly be linux based and docker is well supported here).

You mention an app integration system - What apps is your target market running? If they don't have a dev team they are almost always going to want a hosted solution (like wordpress on shared hosting, shopify hosting - even better for non tech, etc).

So what is your target market currently doing / running? Blogs, e-commerce, custom apps? Are they currently on shared hosting, VPS, AWS/GCP?

I don't understand this paragraph:
"I want to sell this stuff to the local company reliant on warehousing + logistics. I want some shipping business to gain advantage out of it. I want to make sure that whoever ends up using the system is able to see an uptick in sales because of it. That's the level I'm aiming at... whether it gets there is something else entirely (yes, I am fully expecting failure)."

How are those companies going to benefit? They have different needs and likely need custom software, from what I can tell you are pitching a platform for businesses (that have no dev teams) to use? Am I misunderstanding something here?
 

404profound

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Man, as someone working on a Node app I was planning on deploying to Heroku because of their pricing structure. It sounds like like a big edge you'd have on those solutions is a lack of boot time. Heroku has delayed ignition when the server sleeps for more than 30 minutes (again, thanks to shared hosting and trying to gain efficiencies at the expense of the customer). If you have responsive ignition that is a massive value proposition, especially for people like me who have to grow slow and can't afford a dedicated server off the bat. Excited to see where this goes.
 

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With the little I know about server infrastructure / hosting, I think this is a smart approach @rpeck90.

Maybe I'm off, but what it sounds like you're making is a user-friendly version of Docker, where non-technical users can create / run 100's of containers (or vm's...is that the right term?) using a graphic UI instead of SSH.

At least from a semi-technical background, I could find that useful.
My old setup was to deploy on Vultr (which are shared I believe)...

But if you can create a user-friendly way of deploying VMs (with the performance improvements that come with it), then It'd be cool.

Developers aren't my focus; businesses are.
I want to sell this stuff to the local company reliant on warehousing + logistics. I want some shipping business to gain advantage out of it. I want to make sure that whoever ends up using the system is able to see an uptick in sales because of it. That's the level I'm aiming at... whether it gets there is something else entirely (yes, I am fully expecting failure).
I have to agree with @OverByte. Warehousing + Logistics...what exactly is this supposed to mean? If you're at liberty to share, I'd like to hear a use case.

Have you sold this technology to said customer? The #1 thing that will affect growth is that if it's targeting business owners...this technology needs to translate into results for a company.

I think you're on the right track with that, however. I'm not a technical user so this won't make much sense to me, but wanted to give feedback since I may be in your market.

Cheers,
Mike
 

OverByte

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Why wouldn't you use a VPS if just starting out and don't need scale? It would cost you like 10-15 per month. It would be trivial to deploy a node app.

Man, as someone working on a Node app I was planning on deploying to Heroku because of their pricing structure. It sounds like like a big edge you'd have on those solutions is a lack of boot time. Heroku has delayed ignition when the server sleeps for more than 30 minutes (again, thanks to shared hosting and trying to gain efficiencies at the expense of the customer). If you have responsive ignition that is a massive value proposition, especially for people like me who have to grow slow and can't afford a dedicated server off the bat. Excited to see where this goes.


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rpeck90

rpeck90

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Heroku has delayed ignition when the server sleeps for more than 30 minutes .
Only the free tier - if you pay, you don't have that problem -


What is the actual need you're solving to business owners? Software developers understand why shared hosting isn't ideal but you said the market isn't software developers. What's the pain point you are solving for a business that isn't developers? You mention your product is most similar to heroku but dev teams use heroku not non-technical business owners... several of the "pain" points to heroku you mentioned (like what type of server) are irrelevant in my opinion particular with containerization now fairly mainstream (the servers will almost certainly be linux based and docker is well supported here).

You mention an app integration system - What apps is your target market running? If they don't have a dev team they are almost always going to want a hosted solution (like wordpress on shared hosting, shopify hosting - even better for non tech, etc).

So what is your target market currently doing / running? Blogs, e-commerce, custom apps? Are they currently on shared hosting, VPS, AWS/GCP?

I don't understand this paragraph:
"I want to sell this stuff to the local company reliant on warehousing + logistics. I want some shipping business to gain advantage out of it. I want to make sure that whoever ends up using the system is able to see an uptick in sales because of it. That's the level I'm aiming at... whether it gets there is something else entirely (yes, I am fully expecting failure)."

How are those companies going to benefit? They have different needs and likely need custom software, from what I can tell you are pitching a platform for businesses (that have no dev teams) to use? Am I misunderstanding something here?
True.

One of my problems is I get quite fantastical about things. This should change when I post what I've got - I still need to get something sorted before showing, but it's not without motive.

The opening post may have sounded arrogant, but it was to outline an overall strategy. I fully expect to fail, BUT I want to try to focus on a new type of client. I don't want to go after the dev crowd because they've seen it all before, and plus I can't compete with AWS, Rackspace or Microsoft. If it's a question of competing with those companies, I should quit.

I also forgot to mention this, but Microsoft's "Azure Monitor" is more akin to what I'm trying to look at (NOT Heroku). Heroku is good but highly restrictive -- I used Heroku as an example for the deployment pipeline (IE push to deploy). I'm not a developer at heart and would never be able to compete on a purely technical level. Maybe if I get someone in, but I'd need more money for that so we'll see. My proposition was more to do with the offer & targeting.

Azure focus on providing extensibility in the backend, which is what I'm interested in:



The type of customer I want is the the "business owner" who'd pay for something like Kajabi, ClickFunnels or some other Internet-centric app. I don't know exactly what I can offer, but my hope is to get to a point where they'll be willing to buy into my platform because of its ability to integrate a number of technologies (or something similar).

Perhaps being able to integrate all their digital infrastructure into a single platform (so they're able to track analytics, CRM, ERP etc at the server level). I'd rather go in with something completely off the mark, re-work it and come back with something more befitting than just go and ask them (tried that and it doesn't get anywhere).

The big point, as you've pointed out, is that if someone knows they can use Heroku, my service is not likely going to be effective. I don't want guys coming with a nodeJS app. I want business owners who want to extend their digital infrastructure and are eager to explore the possibilities of integrating with their CRM, front-end & back-end into a single management platform. Again, how that works, we'll have to see.

They have different needs and likely need custom software
Absolutely -- they'll likely have all of that, but I don't know about it and I just want to get something done so I can go out and see what's what.

I don't really care if they don't use my tool - if I have an excuse to go talk to the likes of a Mclaren, Rolls Royce or Unilever, I'll be happy. Getting in to see those companies is extremely difficult and I would value gaining connections - particularly for my brand/business. This is what I'm really interested in, and wanted to keep track of with the thread.
 
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rpeck90

rpeck90

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Man, as someone working on a Node app I was planning on deploying to Heroku because of their pricing structure. It sounds like like a big edge you'd have on those solutions is a lack of boot time. Heroku has delayed ignition when the server sleeps for more than 30 minutes (again, thanks to shared hosting and trying to gain efficiencies at the expense of the customer). If you have responsive ignition that is a massive value proposition, especially for people like me who have to grow slow and can't afford a dedicated server off the bat. Excited to see where this goes.
We use Heroku as a staging environment. You can get full VPS servers for $3.50 from Vultr and €1.99 from Scaleway. Scaleway is only in France, though, so that's something to consider. DigitalOcean are giving away $100 credit to get set up on their service...



Hetzner also do a good deal for 2.49 per month on their lowest tier. Having spoken with both Martin Hetzner and his chief engineer for this project, I can honestly say they are one of the best hosting providers in the world. Only problem is they're local to central Europe.

I recently deployed a node app on Vultr and it worked well. Only problem was they recycled the IP, and seems that it was previously used for a Japanese porn site or something.

Of course....... you can't just plug-and-play with these services. You need to know what you're doing. I have a config I can use to get you set up if you want (rpeck@frontlineutilities.co.uk I'll just set it up real quick if you need it):

 

404profound

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We use Heroku as a staging environment. You can get full VPS servers for $3.50 from Vultr and €1.99 from Scaleway. Scaleway is only in France, though, so that's something to consider. DigitalOcean are giving away $100 credit to get set up on their service...



Hetzner also do a good deal for 2.49 per month on their lowest tier. Having spoken with both Martin Hetzner and his chief engineer for this project, I can honestly say they are one of the best hosting providers in the world. Only problem is they're local to central Europe.

I recently deployed a node app on Vultr and it worked well. Only problem was they recycled the IP, and seems that it was previously used for a Japanese porn site or something.

Of course....... you can't just plug-and-play with these services. You need to know what you're doing. I have a config I can use to get you set up if you want (rpeck@frontlineutilities.co.uk I'll just set it up real quick if you need it):

I will likely end up paying someone to handle deployment once I've got everything built and tested. I don't mind paying to get that part right haha.
 

lludwig

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Being I've been in that industry for over 20 years, not a fan of any business in this space.

If I did enter this space I would make sure it is massively funded by others (at least a million seed round) and 5-10 million in first round funding.

The margins are low and the cost to execute is high.
 

lludwig

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Let me add..

If you want to speak to me directly about this I would be more than happy to discuss with you over the phone and tell you my thoughts on this industry.

Just contact me below.
 

zeros-only

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Interesting. I develop quite a lot on Rails and I had the exact challenge you describe - "how to provision quick, secure Rails ready servers for my apps". Although I can somehow get down and dirty in server devops, I knew I needed a convenient dashboard akin to Heroku without the hefty price tag. So far am using Hatchbox.io which is pretty good and quite pocket friendly. Considering the activity that happens on their Slack it could be a viable business.

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rpeck90

rpeck90

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Interesting. I develop quite a lot on Rails and I had the exact challenge you describe - "how to provision quick, secure Rails ready servers for my apps". Although I can somehow get down and dirty in server devops, I knew I needed a convenient dashboard akin to Heroku without the hefty price tag. So far am using Hatchbox.io which is pretty good and quite pocket friendly. Considering the activity that happens on their Slack it could be a viable business.

Sent from my STH100-2 using Tapatalk
Hatch is very similar to what I'm going to be doing in the backend (how they provision servers etc).

Chris is a great dev, and GoRails makes upwards of $15k per month. I actually bought RailsHosting.com for the reason above, although I couldn't sell as a physical package because of trademark issues...

trademark.png

I didn't put them as a competitor because they're only focused on Rails. Rails is good but it won't last - they're also focused purely on the development community. I don't want this - I want hospitals, factories and warehousing operations.

When I detail the product and what I hope to do with it, it may become clearer. I think the allusion to Shared Hosting may have painted an incorrect picture. Thanks for the input either way.

--

In regards the Slack content - you have to understand genuinely "nerdy" guys LOVE new stuff. Anything with novelty they'll swarm over. Whilst Hatch might seem good now - their price is too high for what they're offering.
 
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rpeck90

rpeck90

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Being I've been in that industry for over 20 years, not a fan of any business in this space.

If I did enter this space I would make sure it is massively funded by others (at least a million seed round) and 5-10 million in first round funding.

The margins are low and the cost to execute is high.
Thanks Larry. I am so sure I've seen your face somewhere online before.

Shared hosting, yes. But I'm not doing that - I'm writing control panel software for cloud VPS servers. I take none of the responsibility for the hosting, only make sure the servers are running correctly.
 

lludwig

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Thanks Larry. I am so sure I've seen your face somewhere online before.

Shared hosting, yes. But I'm not doing that - I'm writing control panel software for cloud VPS servers. I take none of the responsibility for the hosting, only make sure the servers are running correctly.

I understand I've done VPS hosting as well. It's just a tough business to be in all around. The vendors you are working with either are really small and won't have much money (mom and pop) or the large conglomerates (which I would try to focus on more) but have their own systems more than likely.
 

sinj

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There's a product I have used in enterprise environments that allows you to deploy VPS and have visibility to all your infraestructure running in different places such as in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and even their own private infraestructure running in platforms such as OpenStack and Vmware Vcenter. It is called Cloudbolt. I think is much more close to what you are imagining rather than the examples you have posted before.

Definitely I don't think this kind of solutions are for mom and pop places. For example one of the places I have worked with this have been on 200+ employees with tons of developers in the payroll, and I think you are correct that the people that would use this kind of stuff would be either developers and even IT operations people (sys admins and the like)
 

CareCPA

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As a business owner, you lost me about two sentences in describing what you were doing. It sounds very technical and complicated, but as has been mentioned earlier, it's like a foreign language to me.

It sounds like you understand that you need to sell the benefits if you're going straight to business owners. If you start talking tech or specifics at all, you're going to lose most of us.

I am genuinely curious what type of business needs the extensive tech you are developing, that isn't outsourcing their tech needs? It seems like if your needs are that complicated, you probably have "a guy" for that. This is most likely why these companies target the developers instead of the business owners.

I'm still going to happily follow along. I'm guessing there are pieces that I'm just not seeing yet that are going to make the lightbulb click eventually.
 

rogue synthetic

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Glad you finally put this up. I'm keen to see how this goes for you.

Having moved away from the whole cPanel shared hosting mess for VPS services years ago, I can testify that there's no going back.

But -- we've discussed this before, and others mention it above -- there's still the question of how to sell this and what it's going to do for the audience you've got in mind. I have no doubt there's a good story to tell here, and it seems like that's going to be your biggest hurdle to cross up front. Good luck!
 

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