Adventures of Snappy
As our dear Snappy rings in his 13th birthday, it’s a time of great joy and merryment at Hostgator offices across the world. Celebrating his birthday the team looks back at the last 13 years and ponders over all the great things we’ve learnt along the way
It seems like only yesterday, Snappy was just a little hatchling learning the ropes in Brent Oxley’s basement. Growing to the gynormous size, him and with the whole team have picked up a few key learnings along the way. These are our yardsticks, our lessons, things that keep us grounded, things that allow us to grow, to look beyond and to continue Eating the competition.
Let’s take a look at 13 Lessons we’ve got to share:
1. Strive for Happy Customers: At the core, we believe in truly caring about the customer’s experience. This probably is our biggest driving factor. Starting from our revamped Support Center to Interactive Guides in the control Panel, a significant amount of time is allocated in figuring out processes & products that will help make our customers HAPPY!
2. Be Available: One of the things about providing good support and making customers happy is just being there for them. It’s really that simple (or that difficult). We learnt a long time ago, we’ve got to be there for our customers, at all times.
3. Become a True Site-Kick: Ok, we admit it. We just had to get Site-Kick in there. 🙂 but in all honesty, that’s where the idea comes from. We had to be more than just a hosting provider to our customers, we wanted become their Hosting partners, a Site-Kick if you will.
4. Work Hard, Play Hard(er): Work Hard, Play Hard this adage holds true for Snappy and the team here. It’s critical to stay focused and that much more important to take time to blow off steam – All work and no play, does make Jack a dull boy
5. Be Humble: We couldn’t agree more with the folks at Zappos on this one. Despite all the awards and accomplishments under Snappy’s belt we see the need to stay grounded. Success is great but being Humble is the way to go.
6. Progress, not Perfection: Learning never stops for us at Hostgator and there’s always room for improvement. With that in mind, we say, forget about perfection, aim at bettering yourself everyday.
7. Change is the Only Constant: Things change. We learn, that’s pretty much how we sum it up.
8. Honesty is Indeed the best Policy: Sure, it’s easier said than done. But in the long run, honesty does get rewarded. Our customers deserve the truth and we believe in giving it to them. Non Sugar-coated.
9. Have your Ear to the Ground: Adding Value to your customers begins with first understanding what they need. We believe in having our ear to the ground, listening to what customers are talking about. If Support needs to be fixed, fix it. If a new product is needed, add it. Listening to customers ranks fairly high in our books.
10. Evolve: Snappy sure has evolved over the years and he’s made sure everything else did too. Keeping up with the times, we’ve made our business to add products that support the ever-growing needs of our customers. This has been one of our core strengths and an area we actively focus on.
11. Connect with the Customers: We believe in truly connecting with your customers. We learnt about their challenges, we experienced their hurdles and then we developed solutions that helped them overcome those challenges.
12. Stay Local, Stay Focused: We wanted to be where our customers are, we are a global brand in the we are so much more local. We are where are our customers are.
13. K.I.S.S. We want to make Going Online, Simple. That’s what it all comes down to in the end, everything we create, we do is with a clear intention of helping customers go online.
I am writing a blog piece for the first time, I just wish, i’m able to do justice to its cause.
This is all about Project “Dharavi CAN”, but before I tell you about that, let me introduce you to the place – Dharavi.
If you simply type Dharavi in ‘Search’, the immediate answer you get is ‘Slum area’ and It’s true! It is probably Asia’s largest slum area in suburban, Mumbai – The commercial capital of India.
But is it just a Slum? Well, you’ll get to know.
‘Dharavi CAN’ an initiative where Ulhaas foundation, a Mumbai based NGO and HostGator India, one of India’s largest web-solutions company, envisioned providing a basic website presence to those thousands of un-imagined and unnoticed but successfully thriving businesses in Dharavi. This attempt was to make them realize the promise and potential of web and what it can do to grow their business.
I arrived Mumbai, on the evening of 25th April. A little apprehensive, little overwhelmed and overall naïve, about how Dharavi would welcome me. How the activity will go.
Next morning , Prashanth, the Trustee of Ulhaas foundation picked me up and we started journeying towards Dharavi. Somehow I found the morning view of Mumbai – beautiful, yet a little too sunny. To my amazement, everything at the venue was planned beautifully. The place – Ganesh Vidya mandir welcomed us with huge banners as a backdrop and steering volunteers. I was excited to see over 60 volunteers all geared up to join our stride in making a dent in the universe.
We addressed the team, spoke to them about the activity, why are we doing it and how would attempts like these augment the bigger goal of building a sustainable and thriving web ecosystem in India. After about 10 minutes of talk, the volunteers were clear on what all they had to do. Fully armed and excited, we started storming the streets of Dharavi. This was to start a journey that aimed to change perspective and brighten lives.
All the volunteers were divided into 8 teams, 4 members in each. 1 member from each team was carrying camera to capture every approach, they also carried the giveaways for business owners; Books, Pens and Promotional pamphlet to complement our efforts.
The first business we addressed was a leather products manufacturer. The owner of the business, Rahim almost agreed in no time to get a website for his own business. Fully aware about online shopping websites, he has always had a dream to have one of his own. Rahim even offered us cold drinks, gave all the required business details that we needed to take the business online.
Having similar and varied experiences, we covered Dharavi over a period of two days. In this initiative we met some real interesting people like Mr Chandra who earns a six digit monthly income from his business, the most famous potter in Dharavi whose clay-work mostly adores the million dollar farmhouses of Mumbai. They all had one thing in common, their love for Dharavi. It felt as if their identity had somehow melted in to the ghettos and the by-lanes of Dharavi. Beyond this they could not see any hope.
It was almost evening now and on the back seat of a two-wheeler I started my way back. With some most profound experiences and the contentment of having touched so many lives.
As I raised my last view towards Dharavi I had a very satisfying view, which is hard to express here. All the businesses we were passing by had HostGator logo which daringly said ‘ NOW ONLINE’. This was the promise we made and somewhere fulfilled it.
Now sitting and looking back at everything its hard to tell what all did we achieve. We touched over 1100 micro/small businesses, gave basic online presence to most of them. But what we truly achieved is not in numbers. We made some difference to lives, it was not just a website for these people, it was their sense of hope, it was a belief which would connect them to the Outside world, it was a bolstering confidence that ‘DHARAVI CAN’.