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. That price increase affected customers whose websites are hosted in Hong Kong. Hong Kong experienced a price boom in the previous years; all prices, including colocation and traffic, had skyrocketed. While our monthly bill ten years ago in Hong Kong had been about $10,000 USD, it was $38,000 USD at that time - despite the fact that we had moved 16,000 customers to our US data center and there were just below 10,000 customers left in Hong Kong.

This fact reveals another phenomenon: customers from China use way more resources, especially space and traffic, so the customer density within our Hong Kong based servers is three times lower than usual. And yet, the price of traffic in Hong Kong is 12 times higher than the price in the USA or elsewhere. I had no other option but to decide on another price increase - the second one within the last six years. Looking for an economy datacenter, shaping traffic, overselling, and overcrowding servers - these are never options for ICDSoft. Losing money is not an option either, as the company needs each and every one of my colleagues. Our customers depend on it. We've been around for 18 years and tens of thousands of customers rely on us. When a pilot flies a thousand miles straight and traffic control requests a turn, the pilot adapts - no matter how unpleasant the turn of direction feels - and that becomes his new comfort zone. In fact, it must become his new comfort zone - otherwise he risks crashing. Under my management we seldom do turns, but when they’re necessary, I order them without hesitation.

“One-dollar-hosting” amazes me as much as the craft of a very talented magician. At such magic shows, I fail to explain what I’m witnessing and don’t even attempt to find an explanation for fear that the beautiful feeling of magic may be lost. So $1 guys, keep your magic alive, but allow me to remind you of some words of the great writer, Maxim Gorky: “Mankind - how proud it sounds!”. If mankind really was proud, we would not be going after the $1 services because we’d have more self-respect. I hope you treat your elves-pardon-colleagues with respect. I hope they are happy with their jobs and with their salaries, too. I hope your customers feel respected by you, and I do hope they respect themselves, too. Lastly, I hope your colleagues and customers respect you. I believe I’ve managed to achieve all this, but selling a service for that infamous, single digit? This is something I will never achieve because I will not try. Call me “not brave enough.”