Interview with Łukasz Gawior, CEO of GetLark
If Lukasz Gawior had to encapsulate GetLark in one word, he’d say ‘simplicity.’ We had an opportunity to learn more about this Polish hosting platform and discovered how they put this belief into practice while at the same time provide a feature-rich product for both web developers and a wider audience.
HA: Tell me a bit about your background and how you became the CEO of GetLark.
Sure. For many years I worked in the field of web services, initially with a small company where I dealt with many customers in a customer service role. At the same time, I was exposed to learning a lot about business communication with clients from many different industries. During this time, I met with people from large companies and they offered me the opportunity to become involved in their business. I chose to become involved in companies that I saw a future with. In addition, I spent two years in the Netherlands and gained a lot of experience with clients.
In the last two years I realized that I wanted to be independent. The prospect of working for a big-time web developer and his clients was exciting, as well as the opportunity for me to bring my own product to the industry.
I became a co-founder of GetLark with two others: Konrad Keck and Michał Kokoszkiewicz. I’m responsible for business development and marketing, while the others are responsible for building the platform itself and providing an appropriate level of service to our customers.
At this point in time, ModulesGarden (owned by our co-founder Konrad Keck) is the largest integrator of our product in the world with more than 50 employees and custom projects around the world.
HA: GetLark believes that “the future of web hosting is simplicity.” How is your product designed to encourage simplicity?
We’ve known for a while now that simplicity is key, so we work hard to remove all unnecessary functionalities. We consult with people who aren’t developers and have no knowledge of the industry at all. This is important to us because we want people to be able to use our web service in about 20 seconds without any configuration whatsoever.
That’s why it’s very important for us to build this product intuitively.
HA: You’re a Polish company. How do you see yourselves in the web hosting space in such a competitive market? What is the extra value that GetLark offers your customers?
We are focused on the international market. While we are proud that we are from Poland, we don’t want to limit ourselves to the Polish market because it's a small market for our product. We also think customers from the USA are more open to our new products than people in Poland, so it’s easier for us to build our customer base in the US than in Poland.
We offer a competitive solution compared to other companies, with our unique advantage being that our web developers are able to receive access to client data. This is a common problem that our clients have – that and getting access to their data.
We want customers to judge us solely through the prism of the services we offer. Our unique advantage is the functionality that allows webmasters to receive extra levels of access to their clients' web hosting to eliminate the common problem of getting access to data. In addition, the web developer can activate free hosting for the time of developing a website for the client, and then easily transfer the rights to this hosting to the client simply by entering his email address. Remember that for every hosting recommended in this way, a developer receives a commission, so this makes it possible to build a solid revenue stream.
HA: Please take me through your product offerings. How is each product catered towards a different type of customer?
Our product is built to handle two different customer groups. We try to implement a lot of functionality for web developers to improve their work, but on the other hand, we try to maintain the maximum simplicity of the platform, so that web developers can manage their services without problems. We think the dashboards of our competitors are far too complex.
We focus on providing functionalities for web developers because we want to be their first choice for a hosting company. We are driven by the need to make our platform as simple as possible. We believe that the work of a web developer is complicated on many levels and there is no reason to complicate it even more. We just want to make the web developers’ job easier.
On the other hand, we want to offer web hosting for everyone. While a lot of features we would like to develop are dedicated to web developers, we know that the average person won't use it. That's why we are also developing a control panel for the clients of web developers to use without hassle. We believe that the web developer’s client shouldn’t have any problems using our platform, and that’s why we are aiming to work hard on the simplicity of the control panel.
HA: What kind of customer do you have? Can you give us a breakdown of the geographic location of your customers?
We have both medium-sized and larger clients that we currently have big project with, and we are very lucky to have them, since we've only been on the market for a few months! The pace of our development is amazing. Our customer base is predominantly in the USA, UK and India.
Here is a breakdown in terms of percentage:
|Geographic Region||Percentage of Customers|
HA: What are your future plans for GetLark?
Our goal for the next month is to increase our customer base over the next 6 months from the launch. In other words: We want to get our platform on the market. Once we know which marketing strategies work the best, we can scale it in the future.
In addition, we are already thinking about accelerating our development in the future. We have a lot of ideas on how to improve our workflow with developers, with the product itself. Simply put, we want to avoid the mistakes of our competitors, and we feel that the way to do this is to focus on web developers. We want to have a simple web hosting platform of the future, so we're building it with the idea of top functionality for the web developer.
I think the most common mistake our competitors make is that they develop a product that is too complicated. They want to build a product that has an over the competition, with new features for the platform, but it ends up being too complicated for the majority of their clients. For example, Amazon. It's really complicated, with a complex control panel, and they focus on very complex solutions. We feel that a simple platform with good pricing will be chosen over the others. A good example is DigitalOcean.
HA: Where are your headquarters? How many employees do you have and where are they located?
Our headquarters are in Poland, with one office in Krakow and another is in Rzeszow. Together with ModulesGarden we have more than 50 employees at the present time, including system administrators, developers, and designers. Our team is working 24/7. We are very lucky to have such a talented staff.
HA: Can you describe the company culture?
All customer interactions with our company (including support, dashboard, marketing, etc.) must be as simple and accurate as possible and must provide concrete information.
My requirement also is that our employees communicate simply with our clients. Everything needs to be simple.
HA: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, thank you very much for the opportunity to talk with HostAdvice. We really appreciate the coverage for our startup.
I'd also like to encourage our readers to try our platform for free for a few months. We have a very simple registration through Facebook!