The core principles AppliedI was founded on, and why.

9551770000Hi, I’m Jess Coburn, CEO of Applied Innovations. As CEO of the company you’ve partnered with and rely on for your online business success, I think it’s important to share what makes Applied Innovations different. So each month as part of the newsletter we’ll include a letter from me personally, ranging from our business philosophy to current trends and topics related to online business and then post this to the blog.

This month, I thought I’d let you know why I decided to start Applied Innovations. Like many of our online business partners, I started developing websites as a hobby and quickly realized I could make a little ‘fun money’ doing this. So I started developing HTML sites for friends and friends of friends. I put my engineering background to use and learned HTML for web page design and PERL programming to build CGI based applications (this was long before today’s modern languages like ASP.NET, PHP and actually even Javascript!) One of the first sites I built was an ecommerce website for a jewelry company with a full shopping cart solution. I had turned over this client to a local ISP to host it for my client and he was simply being taken advantage of—both in terms of exorbitant hosting fees and being offered very little in the way of service. It wasn’t uncommon for a server to be offline for hours a day, or for an ISP to charge every time they touched the server, and it was definitely not uncommon for them to be abusive to their customers. It was clear to me that customer service meant absolutely nothing to these businesses and that depending on who you were, what you paid for hosting service was a sliding scale.

So I took my new understanding of web servers, web development and server administration and decided it was time to start a hosting company based on a few simple philosophies:

  • We would charge a fair price for our services. It may be priced a little more than our competitors but we will offer significantly more value to the customer. That value may be in the form of included features that were normally an add-on, or a higher level of service. And we would market these services only to customers that understand the value we offer. Quite simply, I didn’t want to be the low cost leader. You see, when there is no other service differentiator then it comes down to price. Instead, we make it a priority to add new ‘innovative’ features to our hosting offerings to avoid the low price game.
  • We’d concentrate on specific niches around particular applications. We’d identify high potential applications and partner with the software developers. We’d learn the common pitfalls and issues associated with these applications and proactively work to help customers solve these issues before having to go back to the developers. This is a much higher level of service than is normally found from a hosting provider. Because of this we often refer to ourselves not as a web hosting provider, but instead as a “web application service provider.”
  • We’d provide the high quality customer service we’d expect to receive ourselves. You see, my father owned and operated his own electronics repair service, and before him my grandfather operated his own restaurant service. So I come from a long line of service oriented businessmen that knew if you offer a good value and great service you could build a winning business.
  • Finally, I knew that companies coming to us would be looking for more than just a client-vendor relationship. For many of these companies, they were trusting their entire business to us and needed to count on us as a partner, not just a vendor.

About this same time I earned a series of Microsoft Certified Professional certifications, including my MCSE, and decided that it would be a unique differentiator to launch an exclusively Windows based hosting service. Thus Applied Innovations was born. Today you can speak to our customers, look at our hosting plans, Bing reviews (or Google if you must) and comments on our reputation and see that we’re still very much that same idealistic company we were founded to be in 1999. Just a little bit bigger, a little more experienced and I believe still just that much better than the rest of the players in the market.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about Applied Innovations, why I decided to start a hosting company and the business philosophies we’ve been built on. I’d love to hear your comments and feedback and especially would love any requests for future topics.

All the best — Jess

About the Author

Jess Coburn

It's Jess's responsibility as CEO and Founder of Applied Innovations to set the direction of Applied Innovations services to ensure that as a company we're consistently meeting the needs of our customers to help drive their success. In his spare time, Jess enjoys many of the things that made him a geek to begin with. That includes sexy new hardware, learning new technology and even a videogame or two! When you can’t find him at the office (which admittedly is rare), you’ll likely find him at the grill or in front of his smoker getting ready for some lip-smacking ribs to enjoy with his wife and two kids.

10 Comments

  1. Thanks Joe. It's because of you and all the great customers just like you that we do it! Believe it or not, every day I come to work with a smile on my face because I know we're going to get to work with and help people like you.

    Speaking of which, I hope you're taking it easy (as easy as a workaholic like you can) and recovering Joe!

  2. Jess,

    The people in your service and support teams are, and always have been, the best in the business. That's the number one reason we've stayed with you for a decade now, and why I go out of my way to recommend you to others.

    Of course, it doesn't hurt that you have good taste in cars. 😉

    Chris

  3. I concur with Joe Kitt (above). We changed many providers until we found you. It is been years (if I am not mistaken, more than 10 years) that we have been with you.

    Keep up the good work:).

    Another Joe:).

  4. Joseph (maitreya), that's right! You've been with us since the early days of when it was just me on support and we had one or two servers running NT Server 4.0!

    Hard to believe we've come from there to being one of the largest (if not the largest) hosted Hyper-V deployments today! Don't worry we'll be carrying you (smoothly) right into the cloud too 😉

  5. Randall, you may not know this but you were actually one of our very first few reseller accounts and have always been one of our biggest supporters. The appreciation is all from this end, Thank You.

  6. The web sites we develop are all pretty simple because we are a small ad agency and mostly content people. You guys usually make us look like we know what we're doing from a technical standpoint, too. How cool is that?

  7. Hey Mark, I hear 'the season' has hit in Naples and seasonal residents are returning! Thanks for the kind words. I should have mentioned we also try to make all this technology easy to manage and easy to utilize. Thanks for pointing that out! We try.. Jess

  8. Jess, this is why we have partnered and stayed with you folks for all these years. Good people, working hard and being fair. Thanks for all you do! I look forward to many more years!

    -Joe

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