May 29, 2018

9 min read

Being more than a blinking cursor on a distant server

Written by

Vippy The VPS

Once, in a Hangouts meeting between CEO Matt Connor and myself, one of us said something along the lines of, “We need to to be more than a blinking cursor on a distant server.”

I can’t tell you which of us said it. This happens a lot, especially when we think big, say something meaningful, and then put it on the backburner for six months while I think it was me, but I tend to think I’m more brilliant than I actually am.

Of course, the who doesn’t actually matter here.

No, wait, the who really does matter. Okay, let’s take a step back and talk about the problem that inspired that little gem of wisdom.

The problem of a blank product

In case you aren’t familiar with what we do: We sell virtual private servers (VPSs), which are a terminal-only instance of the Linux operating system. It looks like this.

server provider ssd

That’s our product. We can add other things on top of that, or build a fancy dashboard (which we’ve done already) to administer that server, but at the end of the day, that’s the experience we’re selling. A blinking cursor on a distant server.

There are dozens and dozens of VPS providers out there. We’re all selling more or less the same product. Our infrastructures and underlying technologies might be different, but customers only really care about that end product. They care about the cursor.

That brings us back to the quote in question. How do we get people to think of us as more than a blinking cursor? How do we convince them that we’re something more? How can we be both a low-cost provider and a trusted provider? These are the kinds of questions that get Matt riled up and ready to build. The only problem is that, sometimes, we’re not sure exactly what that should be.


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