Ep53 - Gary Brooks, CEO of CloudAccess tells us his story
This is a special Google Hangout edition of the podcast with my special panel of guests on the show talking about the open source business model and the pros and cons of various open source platforms including WordPress, Drupal and of course Joomla.
We talk about how to sell yourself, get into the professional services business in regards to Joomla and much more.
It turned into a little bit more of a controversial episode that I thought it would be but it was a fantastic debate and conversation between us all.
At the end is also an open question and answer session as well.
Gary Brooks, CEO of CloudAccess joins me on the podcast to talk about the growth of CloudAccess.net, how he started it and how it has grown over the years.
He took his company from a small hosting company based in his basement to a global web hosting company and helping the Joomla Community in return.
He leaves few take away points that you can implement into your business to help it grow.
This week a listener's question. This is what Bostjan asked in regards to Andrew Eddie's comments about distributions for Joomla.
"I wanted to say that in my opinion it is bad idea, very bad idea, to have several distributions of Joomla. Don't put complexity to Joomla.
To the person who meets the CMS (not just Joomla) for the first time it needs to be simple as possible. It has to start simple and be simple all the way. The first problem arises for the first-timers which distribution to pick. And then latter on problem arises (as I have noticed from first time Joomla users) what is a component, a plugin and a module. Not to stop here, an extension can be all of those. Say what? The person who is not a beginner any more, he knows well everything already, well he will use just one distribution. It is hard for me to describe where I see the problem. I'll try to give an example: comparing Microsoft's and Apple's operating system. Which edition of a version do I need, want? These are available."
You can read Bostjan's full question in the show notes of episode 50 and listen to Andrew's interview about distributions in episode 47.
I give my response in regards to how distributions can work. In an ideal world we can see this being quite useful and helpful but in reality it might not work in the Joomla eco system.
What do you think in regards to Joomla distributions and how it could possibly work?
Join the Joomla! distribution working group.
Andrew's Joomla! Community Magazine article about Joomla! distributions.
Interview with Gary Brooks
Gary started his IT career when he started building dial up networks and started up his own ISP.
He started building Joomla websites for businesses and updating their Google Place listing. From there he found the Joomla! community and embraced it open arms by volunteering for the Joomla! Resources Directory.
He found an opportunity in the Joomla! community where the demo site wasn't really working for the community and the people using it. He came up with a great idea of creating individual virtual demo sites for everyone that was looking to start building with Joomla. That way every demo site was unique for the user and they could really sink their teeth into a demo and get things working.
As well as having the demo site for the end users, sign ups to the hosting as an end result would also bring in some revenue to the Joomla! project.
As soon as Gary got the contract he had to scale up his company that started in his basement with just one server and himself to a team of 15+ people and multiple servers to handle the traffic and load.
Gary was lucky to have his start up business start with a stream of customers from the say that he was ready to launch having to deal with 800 signups per day!
Over the years CloudAccess has paid back over $300,000 in regards to commission back to the Joomla! project as well as sponsored many Meetups, user groups and JoomlaDay conferences around the world.
Gary instills FOSS and open source ideals inside of CloudAccess making sure that all of his employees understand the ideas behind Joomla and open source software in general. CloudAccess has now grown to four offices around the world, from India, Poland and two offices in the United States.
Take aways points from Gary Brooks
Form partnerships with other people and other businesses. The easiest way to grow in the tech space is to form partnerships. Find a need or pain point in the market and team up with someone to leverage the opportunity and grow your business.
- Give back to the community, the community is what made his business possible and without it, his company wouldn't exist. Giving back keeps it going helping to create new possible opportunities.
Reviving Joomla! Juice!
Peter Russell, one of the original co-founders of Joomla! started one of the very first Joomla! podcasts back in 2006 and has given me access to his archive of podcasts.
I'll be releasing snippets and archive episodes that Peter has created over the years as a part of the Joomla Beat Podcast.