For as long as I can remember, I have loved technology and always wanted to be an entrepreneur. In mid-2002 I co-founded Memset® Dedicated Server Hosting with my brother Nick. Nick provides the deep technical skills we need such as for our key product, Miniserver™ Virtual Machines, a virtual dedicated server solution based on the powerful Xen technology. He is our Technical Director, and I run the company day-to-day as Managing Director. Memset® is now one of the UK's leading Web & IT hosting providers.
In case you are thinking "what on earth is hosting?", all Web sites and Internet services have to be hosted on a physical computer (a server) somewhere. What Memset® does is provide those dedicated servers (in our Reading data centre sites) along with the connectivity and services such as firewall & DoS protection, security vulnerability assessment & scanning and 24/7 proactive service monitoring necessary for our customers to host their online applications.
From when I started the company with £3,000 above my Mum's garage in 2002 Memset has gone from strength to strength. Today we are a multi-million poind business and continue to grow at over 30% compound per year while remaining profitable and debt free. I attribute our success to our simple customer value proposition: we are demonstrably the cheaper, greener and better than all other hosting companies in Britain - and highly secure too!
Before you say "yeah, right", we are currently the cheapest provider of virtual servers in the UK (cheaper than Amazon EC2 as well), and we have been voted the UK's Best Web Host for the last six years running by PCPro magazine!
You might wonder how have we managed to be cheap and good, certainly a feat few companies manage. I believe the answer is simple. Memset® is owned by its founders (my brother Nick and me) not profiteering shareholders. Further, we are not venture-capital backend so are not pressurised into bleeding our customers for every last penny and only employing the cheap-and-stupid. Second, Nick and I both have backgrounds in software design and have instilled a corporate philosophy of "automate everything". We only recruit smart people, since when you give a smart person a dull, repetitive task, they automate it. Third, we are green, which means we are efficient, which means our costs are reduced. We take advice from the likes of Romonet on data centre cost and energy-efficiency.
CipherMine is a virtual company currently listed on the LTC Global virtual cryptocurrencies stock exchange which specialises in cryptocoin mining (Bitcoin and Litecoin) as well as high-performance computing. The company predominantly mines Litecoins, however they regularly consider the profitability of their rigs and divert the scrypt and SHA256 clusters to other cryptocoins should it be more profitable.
Formed in June 2012, CipherMine was established by leading British IT entrepreneur Kate Craig-Wood in partnership with Giles Russel the man behind EvilMiners, Ross Martyn and Simon Weald two systems administrators from Memset Ltd, and Jan, a DevOps specialist.
What started out as a hobby for Craig-Wood, has seen her set up a virtual company whose stellar debut grabbed headlines around the world as shares soared 500% following their initial public offering on June 24 2013 on the virtual stock exchange, LTC Global Exchange.
Recognising that there was room for an alternate cryptocoin, CipherMine believe that LTC is that alternate. They believe that its difference to LTC (the fact that it is designed to be less GPU-intensive to compute) is its strength.
By creating a solid company in CipherMine, with known, visible, reputable backers and a clearly articulated plan of action, the team believe that they can encourage LTC and LTC Global to become a main stream cryptocurrency and exchange with similar value explosions to that witnessed with BTC and shares on the BTC Trading Co exchange.
Historically LTC’s value has risen and fallen in proportion to BTC, with BTC clearly being the “master” cryptocoin. However, recent events have seen LTC’s value starting to move independently from BTC for the first time, further proving that CipherMine have backed the right virtual currency.
Although Memset® is my primary focus, I do have various other business interests and ideas. Some fall within Memset® 's umbrella, such as our new automatic backup service, SquirrelSave while others are more "spare time" business activities.
Free Twitter services (backup, deletion and fun!)
Memset purchased the URL shortening service is.gd in 2009 and have now launched v.gd, its successor. V.gd is designed to be the first URL shortener that is guaranteed to be run in a completely ethical manner. This is something we take pretty seriously and v.gd is fully carbon neutral, free of third party advertising and doesn't collect or track your personal details. We have pledged to support it indefinitely as a free service.
For the time being, Memset® is my primary devotion, but I have no doubt that within a few years I will be looking for a new challenge. My hopes are to be a serial entrepreneur since I can think of few jobs more rewarding than nurturing and breathing life into a small company which then goes on to provide employment and contributes to the UK's business success.
As well as my interests in computing and information technology, I have an abiding fascination with Biomedical science and one day hope to return to that field or even perhaps combine the two in a new business venture.
Thanks to my success I am privileged to hold a number of positions helping to represent the interests of Britain's high-tech sector and drive forwards my advocacy of green ICT, as well as some more personal charitable interests.