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Bootstrapping a Web Hosting Company to $60 Million: Christopher Aker, CEO of Linode (Part 6)

Posted on Sunday, Jul 13th 2014

Sramana: Can you talk about your experience of trying to build an executive team and scaling a company with a larger footprint? Also, where are you building the company?

Christopher Aker: When the company had just three people, I moved back to New Jersey and that is where we established our offices. We are about 40 miles outside of Philadelphia.

Sramana: Do you have any operations in Nashville today?

Christopher Aker: No, we don’t. Everything moved. The only operations we ever had there was myself and my laptop.

Sramana: When did you make the move to New Jersey?

Christopher Aker: We moved in 2007.

Sramana: From 2003 to 2007, did you run this business on your own?

Christopher Aker: I ran it largely on my own. I worked out of my apartment in Nashville. My first two employees, who are still with the company, were teleworkers. My team was virtual.

Sramana: Between 2003 and 2007, with your lightweight organization, how much revenue were you able to generate?

Christopher Aker: We did $2 million from 2006 to 2007. We moved into our offices in 2007.

Sramana: How did you build your team? You started with a small three-person team. How many people do you have working for you now?

Christopher Aker: We have 55 people working for us today.

Sramana: At what point did you cross the threshold of 10 people?

Christopher Aker: I believe that happened in 2009. We probably had $5 million in revenue at that time. We were growing in our offices very quickly. We are now in our third office as a company. This time, we pretty much leased the entire office and we have empty space knowing that we are probably going to hire more people.

Sramana: I am always interested in what has become known as ultra-light startups. I am always interested in learning how far you can take that business model.

Christopher Aker: We have never taken on any outside investment. We are completely privately owned, which is extraordinary.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Bootstrapping a Web Hosting Company to $60 Million: Christopher Aker, CEO of Linode
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