Founders: Aaron Weller, 26 Ijan Kruizinga, 29
Head Office: New South Wales
Industry: Information technology
Aaron Weller started Crucial Paradigm out of necessity when he was at university, offering web design services to make ends meet.
Weller soon realised he was on to something.
That’s when he brought Ijan Kruizinga on board as a partner in 2007 and they relaunched the business, offering hosting products with a focus on virtual servers.
Weller aims to help businesses succeed online by offering not just web hosting and virtual servers, but also dedicated cloud servers and strategic partnerships.
He found starting up most challenging as he had no business experience.
“I had to learn basic time management, finances, managing relationships with customers, vendors, and a business partner. Uni doesn’t teach you any of this, so I learnt it all from trial and error,” Weller says.
He quickly took to his new venture: “The exciting part is, not a day goes by without learning something new – and that’s why I love to run a business!”
Kruizinga says the company came closest to failure in 2007, when it lost three major customers within a few months.
“One customer was a social network which was in a major legal battle with Facebook; the other two were social blogging sites who were suing each other,” he says.
“Unfortunately for us, combined they were responsible for 80% of our revenue and without them we not only had huge operating costs but we were losing money fast.”
As a result, the company diversified from high-revenue, low-volume clientele to increasing customer numbers and solidifying the turnover of the business.
“Our plan was executed successfully and now we cater for all parts of the customer spectrum, ensuring we have minimised the risk of such a scenario occurring once again,” Kruizinga says.
As part of the refocus, Weller and Kruizinga cut costs and launched an Australian brand, changing their target market and releasing new products no one else was able to offer in Australia.
“Once we turned the business around we were stronger than ever, and learnt a few important lessons,” Weller says.
Kruizinga says entrepreneurs must realise that “you learn from failures not from your success”.
“Plan for the worst; hope for the best. You will always be in the best position if you follow this rule,” Weller says.
Crucial Paradigm is releasing new products that its founders say will have a major impact on the web and cloud hosting markets.