In 2006 we started a web design company in Central Europe. It was not a unique idea, but it was (and still is) profitable.
We wanted to offer full service solutions including web hosting from the beginning. At that time virtual servers were not a "thing", so we purchased a physical server, picked a datacenter and found a linux administrator.
It was a lot of work and having to code our own admin panels did not help. The cost of offering hosting was much higher than the revenue from it. We were constantly losing money.
We went through a lot of issues, including failed drives, servers, hacks and downtimes. During those times we were not even making backups, since we could not justify the costs of a separate server for them.
As we were constantly working on improving our hosting solution, we realized that offering web hosting is not a side project. We had to make the hard choice: pick one thing and excel in it. We decided to halt the web design business and invest all our resources to web hosting, which scales better.
We saw new web design companies around us facing the same problem with web hosting that we had in the beginning - where to web host clients? Dedicated server - too expensive and too much work, VPS - still too expensive and too much work. We thought it would be nice to have a PaaS (Platform as a service) which would take care of everything when offering web hosting and is pay-as-you-go, so even new web design companies could offer a high quality web hosting solution without losing money.
We beta tested the idea of reseller pay-as-you-go hosting and it was a success. Web design companies loved it. We quickly realized that if nothing like this exists worldwide and it's working, we should make it big and global.
Building a global startup from a small country did not seemed like a good idea so we relocated to the USA and opened a new datacenter location here.
All these years of troubles, hard work and development of our own systems gave us a competitive edge and differentiations that are hard to copy. Today we are proud to be the global leader in pay-as-you-go web hosting.