You have the power to make the whole world happier

So, finally our civilization managed to build a world of prosperity and surplus where access to food is granted to almost everyone. When quantity is not a problem, many focus on quality – there is demand for eggs from happy hens and milk from happy cows. Go type “eggs from” or “milk from” on any search engine and...

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The a-maze-ing lesson

We can learn something from each person we meet in our life. Literally anyone can be our teacher... Even a little child playing with a pencil and a sheet of paper, trying to find the way between two cartoon characters...

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The new era of sales and marketing

When I started my web hosting business back in the year 2000, I had already had seven years of experience in the IT field - creating, selling, and supporting business-oriented software. By that time, life had already taught me that...

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Free web hosting services for educational institutions

A few months ago, I saw on the news that my old high school was asking for donations. I used to donate to my school, so this public appeal captured my full attention. The message relayed that The America for Bulgaria Foundation was going to build an innovative center for high achievement in natural science and ecology, and would donate...

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The Power Of Community

Long ago, back in 2000, when ICDSoft was just a startup, I got an e-mail from a prospective customer in Australia. He was very polite and explained that he was an Indian student in Sydney who was running five web sites hosted elsewhere, and he was in trouble: his hosting accounts were due to expire within 24 hours, he was unable to pay on time and his web host was threatening to suspend all web sites. He asked me if I could...

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The Trust

Someone said that money make the world go round. Actually, it is not the money, but something that I literally call "The Trust". Money is just one of the many faces of the Trust. If no one trusts anyone else, everyone will lock in their shells, and really, nothing will go round.

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Remuneration

Money is usually the main reason one goes to work. While money cannot buy happiness, it plays a vital role in our lives. For every employer, it is important to keep employees satisfied. However, the level of satisfaction depends not only on the size of the salary, but also on the expectations, the financial literacy, and the financial discipline of the employee themselves.

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Bureaucracy | or how "interesting" business life can be

It is not enough to be good in a certain field to run a successful business. No matter what your business is, you have to take care of accounting and pay taxes. In some cases, just keeing accounting and paying taxes is not sufficient. For example, if it happens that the product or service you are providing is a subject of regulations (food, pharmaceuticals, defense and many others), the bureaucratic burden may be a nightmare.

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Competition

Life itself is an endless competition. Even the tiniest seed is programmed to grow as fast as possible, so that it gets more sunlight, water, carbon dioxide, and other resources. If it fails to grow big quickly, others will overshadow it, and it may die.

Many people believe that this applies to businesses too. Perhaps I am the only one who does not share this belief. There are millions of small shops, restaurants, workshops, run by generations of a single family for ages, serving their neighborhoods, and these small businesses will outlast many giants.

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Responsibility

By definition, you cannot choose your own parents. Still some people have more luck than others, and I definitely drew the short straw here.

I was born in 1969, and my parents were a young couple who had a common interest of having an easy life without any obligations.

After changing a few jobs within year or so, they found their dream job - a newly-built small mountain hotel needed staff. The work at the hotel involved a three-month high season during the summer, 10 days of work around New Year, and eight and a half months of low/dead season...

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AI | Artificial intelligence

Several months ago a friend of mine shared with me a great trouble he got into - his bank account was drained by someone else. Completely. Imagine how suprising such an event could be - he went to withraw money from an ATM and found that no funds were available in the account. As the ATM was just in front of an office of this bank, he went inside to check with a live person what was going on...

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Observance

Being observant is always an advantage, even if you are not a detective.

Many years ago, I had a housekeeper that had no luck with vacuum cleaners - once per month she was leaving a note “the vacuum cleaner got broken, please buy a new one”. Shopping is not my thing, so I was passing these notes to a colleague whosetasks include supplies for our office, or the housekeeper was contacting him directly when I was out of the country. Years passed, with more and more vacuum cleaners failing...

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Downtime

The date is July 24, 2018. Here is the message we had to deliver to our customers:

"A power incident at Cyxtera caused some network devices of CenturyLink to go out. There was a UPS/power maintenance at the datacenter, and due to an incident during the maintenance, some power lines were unavailable for a short period of time. Some of our power lines were also affected, but as servers are connected to multiple power feeds, none of our equipment went out. However, network devices of CenturyLink were affected. It took nearly 60 minutes the power to be restored and these devices to boot and return to operational state."

 

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Follow your dreams or sponsor those who dare

I just got an SMS from my bank that a vendor charged me $199 for something I have not used for years. That vendor has been charging me annually throughout those years of zero use. I just smiled and closed the message, without taking any action, just as I did last year. If I were to deal with it, I would spend at least 30 minutes communicating (or trying to) with them. Writing this article is a much better use of those 30 minutes...

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Fairplay

When I was 10, I still believed that our perfect world is built on fair grounds, and everyone gets exactly what he/she deserves. With this belief in mind, I had my worries whether I am smart enough. The reason: my best friend and a classmate seemed to be a genius, and despite all my efforts, I still had some B marks...

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Boss

We just had another company meeting. As many of us work on shifts, company meetings are the only option for the whole team to meet, so people are excited to see each other. With four minutes left till start time, but three of us not present yet, I decided to entertain the rest, so I told them an anecdote...

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Disaster recovery

Friday 13th: I take disaster recovery so seriously that most people that know me think I am crazy, or at least a profound pessimist. When hearing “disaster recovery”, what comes to most people mind is related to server backups, and how the servers will be set back up in case there is a disaster at the datacenter. While this is also important of course, my opinion is the following: It is much more important to make sure that your operations center and your support team continues to work.

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Hardware

This is a story from my school days…


The last school lesson for the day seemed very long to me. Once it ended, I ran to the airfield. At the age of 16, skydiving was my passion, and I did not want to miss a jump. Just arrived and saw that my friends are ready to board the plane, and there was one seat left...

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Do we read your emails?

Once in the past, when a prospective customer was on a mission to determine whether or not he wanted to transfer his websites to ICDSoft, he had no choice but to ask us several pre-sales questions - as there was not much information about ICDSoft available on the Internet at that time. For privacy reasons, I’ll just call him “Mr. Smith.” Mr. Smith executed the mission by asking us these questions in separate emails - a bonus test in itself to make sure we had a fast response rate. The support guy who received his very last email came to me, unsure of the best way to answer Mr. Smith’s question: “How can you assure me that you WILL NOT read my emails..."

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Multi-domain hosting

Often, there are customers who ask for a multi-domain hosting account. These customers get the explanation that we allow one site per hosting account, along with multiple parked domains pointing to the same site. If a customer needs a separate domain with a separate site, they would have to open a separate hosting account.

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Is the Customer always right?

"The Customer is always right." We are used to reading and hearing it everywhere. But does the fact that someone holding a dime they are willing to spend make them right, no matter what? How much does our dignity cost? As my colleagues do not have to worry...

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Backup of customer data

Loss of customer data is my biggest nightmare since the day I decided to provide web hosting services. To prevent data loss, we run hundreds of backup servers, and each of them holds as many hard drives as it could get fit with. Also, they usually come with the biggest capacity which the industry is able to produce. The customer data is protected first by using RAID6 arrays and then by copying the backup date on separate servers. So, the data redundancy is n+2.

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The price tag

One day I came to the office and noticed everyone was quite nervous. It was one of those hard days when we were implementing and announcing a price increase. A price increase is usually a dramatic event, as my colleagues have always been very afraid that it would cause customers to run away.

 
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Developers

At ICDSoft, we had no luck with developers for the first 12 years of our company history. Since day one we were missing a Software Architect: someone with abilities to foresee, plan, and manage other developers in order to create an integrated system that serves all customers and company needs. This...

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System Administrators

My decision for purchasing my first own server and being a web host myself had strong emotional grounds. At that time, the decision was very premature: I knew almost nothing about server administration, so I had to find someone to do it for me. I found a guy who was very smart, with good knowledge on...

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Health

Being completely healthy is of utmost importance to every human being. Illness disrupts the balance of all aspects of your life. You become totally inefficient. Imagine a car or an aircraft with a defective part: if it keeps running disregarding the problem...

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The Lesson

Today I visited my hometown to meet an old friend. On my way back out of the town, I stopped by the cemetery to pay my respects to my grandparents...

 
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The Client | In memoriam to my Army Commander

I had the best army profession an 18-year old guy can imagine: a paratrooper in a special operations unit. Although the two-year army duty was obligatory, it was such fun that these 730 days flew by. My schedule was so busy with military exercises...

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Customer support service at ICDSoft

Customer support is our #1 priority. I know that its sounds like a cliché, but I really do mean it. Now I will reveal one of my secrets: The support service is what made ICDSoft very successful. One of the biggest problem of modern society and nowadays people is that there is no one...

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How BIG?

Everything in business matters, size too, and each business has its ideal size. So how big a web hosting company should be? To answer this question, we must consider what we need to run the business. Let's see: we need certain departments, and each department needs a certain number of members...

 
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About

My story starts with a single customer who was not happy with the service he received. In 1999, I was an ordinary internet user who needed to host a few hobby web sites; naturally, my local ISP hosted them. The quality, uptime, and attitude of the provider towards customers were unfortunately...

 
 
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