GoDaddy.com founder and CEO, Bob Parsons, shares his insights into entrepreneurship, the future of online media, and the power of risk taking.
Interview conducted by Nathan C. Kaiser on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 in Scottsdale, AZ.
We decided to target this market because it seemed overpriced and underserved. We made the commitment to become a registrar. It ended up taking over a year and one million dollars to implement. After we sold our first domain name in November 2000 the company still didn?t take off. We were burning cash at a rate $300,000-400,000 a month and it was all my cash since I was the only investor. At that kind of burn-rate and since the business wasn?t taking off I decided in early 2001 to close the company. I ended up taking a trip so I could spend some time deciding how I wanted to close the company; severance and creditors, liquid assets, all that sort of thing. While I was away I decided that that?s not what I wanted to do and that I would see the company through even if it meant that I would go broke.
The way that Parsons Technology came about was simply from having been a computer hobbyist since the first Apple PC became available and then when the first IBM became available in 1980. Being a CPA by education I ended up writing a money management program to take care of the finances for the family.
Yeah. If it makes sense to me. There have been other things that I haven?t done and have been glad about it later, because I didn?t feel that it was something for me to do. I don?t run down every alley. Just run down the ones that make sense. We had the opportunity to get into the downloadable music business a few years ago and we avoided that.
It did. It paid off wonderfully.
Well you know in some ways there are. We call them blogs. Many people have blogs, but it remains to be seen whether everyone will end up developing their own website. I know we certainly see that happening but who knows which way it?s going. I do know that there is a trend towards everybody having more of a presence online as opposed to less.
Exactly. We are excited about what we do and we want somebody that?s excited about being part of our team.
I?d say the most exciting trend is the ability for all of us to communicate important facts quickly. Things changed in the current Gulf War when soldiers can blog and email photos taken from their cell phone to friends and family. The fact that we are so wired and that information is shared so quickly it?s almost as though there?s no state secrets anymore. And I think that is very exciting.