DISCLAIMER: I will generally not comment on the happenings and decisions of my employer, here. More so, the thoughts and opinions on this blog are my own and do not represent or, necessarily coincide with, those of the company. However, I wanted to speak out on this one.

Yesterday, GoDaddy purchased MediaTemple, the premium domain hosting and website services company that targets website development professionals. This is the 6th (7th?) company GD has purchased in the last 15 months. Each of these obtained companies adds something beneficial for the user, specifically, the small business owner. Adding Media Temple to the list now adds the more advanced Web professional to the list.

The public response to the acquisition was less than stellar with the usual decrying of elephant killing, SOPA support, misogyny, etc. (Check out the comments on the related Tech Crunch article.) This is a familiar call from those on the side of loving to hate GoDaddy. A far more fair and balanced view is the article on CSS-Tricks, which lists the main complaints and offers a response.  Here are the arguments as the author accurately reports it:

People generally love MediaTemple. People generally hate GoDaddy. People hate GoDaddy for a variety of reasons:

  1. Their (ex)CEO killed an elephant.
  2. They use attractive women in their advertisements.
  3. Their UI is kinda crappy.
  4. They try and upsell you so much it’s ridiculous.
  5. Their hosting kinda sucks.
  6. They initially supported SOPA.

I must say that it’s pretty frustrating to hear these responses in every article I read on GD, since while these are common thoughts on GD, they are ALL conditions of the past, and yet the views have not changed.

  1. Yes, he did, and no one was happy about it. But that is one individual’s actions and he’s no longer our CEO; there’s a new fellow at the helm, if you haven’t noticed. Plus, whether or not you believe that that incident helped anyone, I strongly defend all the amazing things that man and GD have done for the innumerable needy organizations over the years.
  2. We don’t anymore. Stay current, folks, GoDaddy Girls are a thing of the past, which is stated in every interview by our New CEO. JCVD is the new GD spokesperson, if you haven’t yet seen it.
  3. Our UI is constantly improving, across all apps.
  4. Purchase path is totally altered with far less upselling.
  5. Not anymore; we’ve made awesome changes over the last year and it’s lightning fast and stable.
  6. Briefly, yes (like just a couple days if memory serves). But ultimately, we took a closer look and did/do not.

I was thinking that hopefully, people will eventually catch on to the changes and see us as a very different company, but maybe they’re oblivious to such changes, as they’re  still yelling about George Clooney’s Batman performance, Marissa Tormei winning an Oscar, Kerry/Edwards losing the election, and even Jethro Tull besting Metallica in the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance. That’s for living in the past.

The truth is, as my friend and co-GD-worker pointed out, perception change takes time. At GD, we all know the changes that have happened because we live and breath it everyday. We listen to every word that our CEO says. Our users and potential users don’t and won’t. Actually, I’m not sure how true that last point is; I’m confused about how these commentators seem to have a finger on the pulse of technology updates and news (knowing right when GD makes a purchase), but seemingly fail to see the  other changes going on with the company. I assure you, GD is a very different company, both internally and externally, than it was a year ago, and we’re only getting better.

I realize that people tend to resist change and, even if they don’t hold a grudge, remember the bad for quite a while. I have little doubt that the overall view of the company will change for the better. But, it will take many many more fair/thoughtful articles, news bits, and non-sexy ads  for perception to change. It will come though… as long as we keep our current track and keep focused on our customers.

All I can say to those looking to quickly jump ship is to just wait it out and see. Give it a chance. I believe GD’s on a steady course (and has been for quite some time). But even if you’re right  and we’re on course for a Titanic iceberg, have faith that the course will be redirected. There’s no need to unjustifiably take off in a dinghy.  As a commentor on the CSS-Tricks article put it:

Regardless of what is true or not about GoDaddy, it seems pretty clear that from a public relations and brand perspective that (GoDaddy + MediaTemple != good fit). It’s like a hipster finding out that their local coffee shop is now owned and operated by Starbucks.

Mmmmm, iced SB double-shot with soy.