cPanel CEO J. Nick Koston opened cPanel Conference 2015 with a a keynote that was so eloquent, so stirring that we decided to share it with you all! See the full transcript below.
This is Paul. He and his wife, Olivia, live in Australia. They are full-time volunteer educators who teach personal development, budgeting, and spirituality to at-risk youth around their country and in parts of Asia. In the evenings, they run their boutique web business, Pioneer Websites, to support their travels, adventures, and mission.
…is Waleed. He’s a 16-year old from Pakistan who enjoys playing cricket and learning about new technology. He also spends his time tinkering with software and, for the past two years, has been developing his own hosting business.
These two people, who live rather disparate lives, have one thing in common: they’re both cPanel customers. They use our product to run their company, side business, or passion project. And, just like the people in this room, they make up a tiny part of the cPanel ecosystem.
…is Gillian. Born and raised in Uganda, she enjoys painting, knitting, and spending time with her grandchildren. On any given weekday, she sits down with a team of incredibly hard working customer service and technical support staff to help people like Paul, Waleed, and so many others discover viable solutions for their business.
It’s people like Gillian and a host of other staff members that work hard to resolve issues and keep you, our customers, happy every time you submit a ticket or a request.
Well — it looks a little like this…
And one of my favorites, a client that so eloquently described how his experience with Nathan, one of our customer service representatives, went…
I mention customer service only because they’re our front line. They’re the people that our customers interact with the most. They’re the first members of our team to find out about any issues that may be preventing our clients, partners, and integrators from enjoying the very best of cPanel.
However, their same desire to help and solve problems is prevalent throughout the entire company.
And it all started here….
In the back bedroom, among sci-fi and algebra books was cPanel’s first headquarters.
In 1996, this is where I, instead of focusing on my studies, spent my free time working as a freelance system administrator.
To mitigate my workload and allow more time for actual homework, I spent time developing a series of scripts that would automate some of the tasks I was responsible for completing.
Many months later, the end result was a script library that allowed me to create emails, manage domains, and set up databases with just a few commands. It was a tool that gave me more time for myself while allowing me to provide faster and better service to my clients. Little did I know that one day they would ask me, “Hey, could we buy this thing from you?”
And that’s how cPanel started; so people could spend more time doing the things that really matter. For me at the time, it was schoolwork. For many others, it is growing their business.
As the months went on, a one-man operation morphed into a growing company. Our expanding operations prompted us to move from my childhood home in Delaware to a duplex in Pennsylvania and, finally, to our current home in Texas, with a few stops in between.
The more we grew, the more I learned about the power of people. And as an individual and a business owner, I learned that hiring is the most important thing.
It’s the people who make the brand. It’s the people who make the culture. It’s the people who make the company. And it’s the effort we’ve put into filling cPanel with the “right” people that has enabled us to consistently deliver the product you’ve all come to love and depend on. It’s also why we were recently named one of the top workplaces in Houston, an honor we don’t take lightly.
So, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge my amazing team. Please, if you could all stand.
From customer service and technical support to accounts, marketing, product and internal development, operations, and employee support, I would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication to creating an experience and a product that millions of people rely on around the world.
Thank you. You may be seated.
Each of you represents and upholds the cPanel brand with integrity, respect, collaboration, and unwavering follow-through. And it is through your efforts that we have identified these traits as our company’s core values.
Integrity is a quality that’s very important to cPanel. We stand behind our products and services. If something isn’t right, we work hard to find a solution.
Respect and collaboration are also key to our work. As a developer, I think I can speak for many of us here when I say that sometimes it’s a lot easier to speak with a computer than it is to speak to an actual person. But innovation doesn’t happen in a silo.
Last, but certainly not least, is follow-through. Our capacity to conceptualize and create would mean very little if we weren’t also committed to regularly pushing out new improvements to our customers.
As a company, we’re determined — but we’re also empathetic. We understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned, but, with a little help, we can always find a solution. We do that with each other and we do that for our users.
So whether or not you’re a paying cPanel customer, if you’re using our product, then we want to help you, get to know you, and make your experience better.
Connecting with people is how a humble startup became a recognized brand, synonymous with web hosting. It’s also the reason that we host cPanel Conference, an event that produces no profit, annually. We want to meet face-to-face with the people who help us empower businesses every day. And I’m delighted that, after ten years, this conference has grown into a staple event of the hosting community.
Even though this year’s event has just begun, I’d like to personally invite everyone in this room to Portland, Oregon for next year’s cPanel Conference and to each and every cPanel Conference thereafter.
I invite you to continue growing with us and joining in our efforts to make a better product and a better Internet.
Most importantly, I’d like you to understand that this isn’t just a hosting conference. cPanel Conference is a conference of people, with disparate lives and interests, who share a common love for hosting.
So, while you’re here, I encourage you to get to know one another. Get to know people like Waleed, who use the product every day, and chat with people like Ken, our Director of Product Development, who spends long hours working to make cPanel & WHM great.
If you see a team member walking around, feel free to ask them a question or give them a high five.
Talk to someone about fast update servers, but also talk to them about your favorite places to travel. Talk about the projects your company is working on, but also talk about your pets. Share contacts, but also use this event to create shared memories.
Because the next few days of cPanel Conference are not only meant for learning and networking. They’re also intended for celebrating, commemorating, and just enjoying—the company of people.
Please, stick around until 11am to hear from our Director of Product Development, Ken Power. He’ll be sharing the exciting new updates our team has made to cPanel & WHM in version 11.52. You won’t want to miss it.