The trope of the tech nerd turned internet rockstar is one we’ve heard time and time again in the past few years. However, in the case of one of our own cPanel & WHM users, Aaron Hiatt, this storyline seemed to happen in reverse. Migrating from lead guitarist of a rock band to the frontman of his own digital and print agency, Hiatt and his company, Scared Rabbit, truly illustrate how diverse (and interesting) the cPanel ecosystem is, and that success isn’t just about hard work, but about following your passion.
In the late 90s, around the time of the dot-com boom, Aaron Hiatt spent the majority of his time delivering an eclectic array of music throughout central Indiana. The band was a collection of well known local artists, and dubbed themselves Scared Rabbit. In an effort to grow the band’s presence and fan base, Hiatt took it upon himself to get them on the ever-growing internet. He began teaching himself software like Adobe Photoshop along with HTML, CSS, and the basics of static web development. While he knew that the knowledge he was gaining would be pivotal for ushering his band into the next millennia, what he didn’t realize is that the skills he was developing would soon land him a job with one of the world’s largest building control manufacturers.
During his time in the corporate world, Hiatt refined his skills by reading, completing tutorials, and traveling for week-long training courses in Chicago and Indianapolis, sponsored by his employer. Soon, what was once the side hobby he used to promote his band eventually became his life. He went on to teach technology courses at the local community college and began creating filters, scripts, and other tools for fellow developers. All of this culminated into the beginning of a business that was serving clients internationally right out of the gate. It was time to put that Scared Rabbit name, that had personal meaning to Hiatt, to good use.
Now in 2016, Hiatt leads a whole new Scared Rabbit. Switching gears from a band of musicians to a team of web and digital professionals that manage the media and web hosting for clients such as Purdue University, branches of the US military, credit unions, and county government. With a suite of offerings from graphic design to printing and web development to web hosting, Scared Rabbit is committed to being a one-stop shop for all of their clients’ needs. They have even developed their own feature-rich CMS called JackRabbit. When asked about the secret to his company’s growth and longevity Hiatt explains, “We try to treat every client the same. Whether it’s a huge client that’s spending thousands of dollars a month or a client that just wants a single website. It just comes down to customer service.”
And as far as music goes — well, it is still an active part of Hiatt’s life. With an 8 year old daughter that’s beginning to take on the role as the family musician, he explains that he couldn’t imagine his life without music. He continues to write and record music, with hopes that soon he and his daughter will be able to create together.
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