If you’re reading this post, you’re probably curious as to why a company decided to change it’s name after nearly three and a half years of operation. As the founder and CEO of the company, I wanted to share our reasoning behind this name change and what it means to you, and the rest of the “WordPress Hosting” marketplace.
First, some interesting bits of information.
ZippyKid – Pressable is still owned, operated and led by Vid Luther, of San Antonio TX. The team has grown, and there are plans to grow even faster in 2014. We have not been acquired, we have not bought another company, nor have we merged with anyone else.
We are profitable, with over 1200 customers, and over 1 million dollars in revenue per year.
Investors like 500 Startups, Automattic, and other icons within the hosting industry have backed us with venture capital, but more importantly are providing valuable advice and resources that are unavailable to anyone else in this space.
This is not just a redesign and rebadge. This is a calculated decision to change the game we’ve been playing over the past four years or so.
Why did we decide to change the name?
I love the name “ZippyKid”. It’s easy to spell, it’s catchy, and memorable. But it’s time to grow up. For those who are not familiar with the origins of the company, the idea to build a hosting company specifically for WordPress websites came about because of frustration with services from companies like GoDaddy, Rackspace Cloud Sites, 1&1, Hostgator and other generic hosting platforms. While these companies have made the process of getting online a lot simpler than it was back in 1996, what a business could do or expect after that was still abysmal.
The name ZippyKid was a play on the word “SlowDaddy”, the nickname I had given to GoDaddy. The idea came from a serendipitous exchange between a customer and a vendor. It did not, however, convey my serious and grown up goals for the hosting space, and how I planned on changing it forever.
The first person to suggest a name change was Todd Morey, a friend and coincidentally, one of the co-founders of Rackspace Cloud Sites. Later, Mat Ellis the CEO of Cloudability, brought up the idea again of a name change in 2012. At first. I ignored this idea. However, I respect both of them and knew they wouldn’t say this unless they saw something I didn’t. As the company grew, I kept thinking about it more and more. I would dance around the topic with co-workers, investors, and sometimes customers. Some people loved the name, others were ambivalent, and some absolutely hated it. However, the name didn’t affect how much they wanted to do business with us, based on our reputation for being the best.
In early 2013, I found out that my wife and I were going to have a baby. I don’t care how “lean and agile” your company is, you haven’t done a “pivot” until you find out you’re about to become a parent.
Things came into perspective. While the company was going through it’s growing pains, I knew that my current lifestyle is not something a child should be subjected to. I needed to grow up, and that meant so did the company. I started having more frequent conversations with investors and advisors. With the mentorship of people like Nick Longo, Pat Condon, Dirk Elmendorf, Graham Weston, Alan Weinkrantz, and support of the entire team at Pressable, and my wife, we decided in June 2013 to make drastic changes.
We worked with Stephen Darby, a local branding expert, and decided upon the name Pressable in late July. Fun fact: the name was finalized during WordCamp San Francisco. The conversations around the conference also strengthened my resolve, and confidence. I’ll have more on that later.
What does the name mean?
Press: As my friend Alan Weinkrantz has reminded me countless number of times, while I may be solving a technical problem in my head, the people who benefit from this solution, are essentially publishers. Content management systems like WordPress are nothing more than digital incarnations of the original printing press.
Able: One of the definitions of this adjective in the dictionary is “not prevented from doing something : having the freedom or opportunity to do something”. Matt Mullenweg and the WordPress team provide us and other publishers with a powerful tool. My team has built a platform around this tool that enables publishers to do things they weren’t able to with the other players in the market.
Along with the name change, we’re also announcing sweeping changes to our pricing. It’s been three years since the niche market of “managed WordPress hosting” took off. It’s a shame that the lessons learnt over the past three years aren’t available to the masses. Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to focus on thanking the majority of our customers by letting them take advantage of this new pricing structure. I believe this is the first ever pricing change that has impacted the majority of customers positively.