Sramana Mitra: Talk to me a little bit about WordPress versus DreamHost. WordPress is also open source. It’s also extensible. It’s extremely popular. What’s the distinction between the two?
Simon Anderson: DreamHost is the platform upon which WordPress runs. We are a contributor to WordPress code. Members of our team participate actively in the release cycle of WordPress. We have WordPress specialist developers who, for various releases, have taken a leadership role in terms of the community release of the next version. The relationship between WordPress and DreamHost is we actively participate in the WordPress community. We are a well-known platform to run WordPress on.
In a simplistic sense, WordPress is an application. We are a platform. A lot of our customers want to spend more and more time managing their blog and then content as distinct from configuring WordPress on a platform for performance reasons. So, we are increasingly taking more and more of a role in simplifying performance, security, and making decisions for our customers whereby we manage a lot of those aspects. A good example would be about a year and a half ago, when we launched a managed WordPress offering, which is more of turnkey solution called DreamPress. It runs on top of our virtual private server platform. As far as the customer is concerned, all they do is say, “Give me a DreamPress.” Within a couple of minutes, their DreamPress is provisioned. Immediately, they’re in the WordPress user interface and start to set up their blog or website. They do not have to worry about caching or security issues in terms of security updates. We handle all that in the background.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s lift ourselves to the 30,000-foot level. Let’s talk in general about cloud-based content management tools like WordPress and DreamHost. What are the key trends in the industry?
Simon Anderson: One trend is that there seems to be a general view out there that cloud is mature and everything’s been done in cloud. We absolutely disagree with that. We think we are very much in the beginning of what really cloud will become. Ultimately, it won’t even be called cloud anymore in 10 or 20 years. What we see as the macro trend is that essentially, IT is truly becoming connected micro-services on a global scale. Right now, you have these pockets of IT. You’ve got SaaS, which is really applications that are running on the cloud. The customer doesn’t even have to worry about any of the aspects of the delivery of the application. You have cloud computing which is serving enterprise where their main driver is agility in terms of getting their developers the ability to develop and test applications much more quickly and not have to wait for computing and storage resources to be allocated to them. They can just request them through their admin interface and within a minute or two, they’re available.
Then you have true long-tail entrepreneurs and developers who are leveraging these early iterations of truly publicly available compute storage that’s just consumable no matter where they are in the world. You’ve got these big things that are happening. We believe that the next 10 to 20 years is going to be an incredible time not only for software developers who are working in this area of cloud infrastructure and continuing to increase performance and security, and enable simpler systems for the end user.
We’re really going to be in a world where whether you’re an individual entrepreneur who happens to be in China who’s got a great idea for a website or application, or it could be a great idea of connecting this service to this service and making an entirely new service overlay, or whether you’re an enterprise that needs to expand capacity for your proprietary application because your customers or your employees are spread all over the world, we would leverage these global micro-services which we now know as cloud that are readily available and that can be provisioned instantly. Our vision is to be a part of that dramatic transformation which is akin to the industrial revolution. This will change the world. We believe that from this point going forward, there is a lot more change to come in that nature, which will enable all sorts of growth and development and economic prosperity and ability for individuals as well as enterprise to build the thing that they’re most passionate about and test it out quickly.
Sramana Mitra: Great! Thank you for your time.