Interview with Cassius, Senior Account Executive/Co-founder of 7L
Posted on June 29th, 2012
7L Networks is in the business of relationships above anything else. Our focus lies on customer satisfaction through superior service and constant availability. Dedicated, creative, and simply awesome team members are making sure that our customers get the exact support they need around-the-clock.
To embrace great team work at 7L, this blog post is the start of a series of interviews with the 7L staff. They aim to introduce the amazing team that makes sure your websites are always up and running
What is your role at 7L Networks? Please tell us about your position and responsibilities!
Officially my position is Senior Account Executive. However as a co-founder of the company, there are countless responsibilities that keep me busy. Everything from sales, marketing, graphic design, content writing, analytics, SEO, web development, db admin, customer support, billing, product management…. I’ll stop there because this list could go on and on. I have a role in just about everything the business needs to function.
What do you like about the web hosting industry?
What I love about it is that, in essence, we are a small piece of the Internet. Without the web hosting and server aspect, the Internet wouldn’t really be anything other than a bunch of fiber lines and network cables connected to each other consuming a bunch of electricity. Every Internet website anyone has ever gone to is delivered by a data centre somewhere. 7L is one such data centre. We make online transactions and communications possible for thousands of businesses around the world and I think that’s very cool.
Let’s talk a little bit about you. Please tell us some fun facts about Cassius Adams!
Well for a little about me…
I’m a cyclist and don’t own a driver’s license (I let that expire in 1999). My daily commute consists of a 20 minute bike ride into the office along Toronto’s Queen St West to Queen St East. I average 4 days per week at the gym. My first passion is a toss up between programming and 3D modeling/animation, both of which I’ve been doing now for over 20 years.
“Everything I know I learned from watching Star Trek”.
As for some fun facts…
My nickname is “Crashius Cassius” because I have an uncanny ability to crash any machine with extreme ease. Don’t think of my use of the word “machine” as just computers either. It makes me the ultimate beta tester.
I was quite the evil genius when I was younger. For example when I was 12 years old I hacked together two bicycles and hooked up a gas lawnmower using a hockey puck (Canadiana, eh!) to transfer the lawnmower’s spin cycle into bike movement. It was so fast that multiple calls were put in to the police by neighbourhood residents. They paid a visit and ensured that I dismantled it all.
Around the same age I made a stun-gun and nearly blew my cousin’s hand off. Didn’t quite get the power capacity right on that one. I take comfort in the fact that he volunteered “in the name of science” as he put it. He has the scar to this day.
Or the bright idea to create indoor heating in a fort I made with some friends – in the middle of a forest. I’m sure you can guess how that turned out.
It’s not that I was a destructive person by nature; quite the opposite actually. When I was young my innocence and quest to invent and learn blinded me to the negative possibilities, even though those possibilities often became realities.
For these reasons, and others, my 7L Networks business card reads “Cassius Adams: Co-Founder and Destroyer of Worlds”.
What kind of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a tech company?
If you’re not completely passionate about what you’re doing, don’t do it. But I assume that if someone is going to start a tech company it’s for of the passion. Be ready to fully commit yourself to your company. If you have a spouse you need to be aware of the very real possibility that he or she may not truly understand why you want or need to spend so much time working on something that likely won’t produce much return at the beginning. For me, such relationships have had to be put aside so that I could maintain focus.
Don’t believe the “overnight success” stories. They’re usually a culmination of 5+ years of hard work before they ever become an overnight success.
Be nimble, quick, light on your feet. Iterate often. Remember that you’re always working – 24 hours. Listen to user or customer feedback with an open mind. If people are using your service or product in ways you didn’t expect, pay very close attention to this fact! Use it as a guideline and go with it; don’t fight it, you’ll lose that battle and may miss the opportunity to do something great.
Unless your product or service is a game-changer, build for current technologies. Tech changes fast and sometimes in unexpected ways.
Learn some SEO.
Obsess over details but not to your detriment. Be able to step away from a problem and come back to it later. I’ve made the mistake of pulling many all-nighters trying to solve a problem only to fix the problem in minutes after some sleep.
Don’t spend money up-front if you don’t have to! Grow organically and desperately try to have the business live within its means.
Consider that, unfortunately, building a better mouse trap doesn’t always result in the end of older mouse traps. People can get comfortable with things and resist change. The greatest app in the world isn’t so great if nobody knows or uses it, or finds it confusing.
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. So plan as much as you can but be ready to revise when you need to.
But my #1 tip would be to find a common problem, regardless of how seemingly simple, solve that problem with technology, then spread the word.
What is your vision for 7L Networks? How do you go about realizing the company’s vision?
Like our Vision Statement says, to be a globally recognized leader in comprehensive IT hosting solutions.
My personal vision is for 7L to supply the infrastructure needs of some large scale web applications. I can envision future “twitters” and “facebooks” taking advantage of our capacity.
To approach this, we really need to keep our eyes on the forefront of new applications, find the ones we see potential in and do everything we can to help them succeed. Our customers’ success is our success.
Great, thanks a lot for this interview