When should you position your company away from your startup founding story (looking back) to your big, long-term vision (looking forward)? This is a question that all fast-growth companies face. It’s especially true in SaaS companies, selling business-to-business solutions, where the expectation for vendors is that they offer ‘platforms’ that scale, expand, and innovate.
At Dyn, for the first four or so years of our current Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy, launched in early 2009, we focused exclusively on our ‘founded in a dorm room’ beginnings, connecting Internet users to content with our Dynamic DNS Remote Access technology. Offering products to home users for seven plus years at that point, and how that global prosumer scale helped us launch an enterprise class Managed DNS & Traffic Management solution, was a story that resonated with the market.
But, our evolution got fast tracked in late 2012 when we announced our $38M series A funding round from North Bridge Growth Equity and Borealis Ventures. We thought the ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ (IaaS) space would be more welcoming, but the analysts made it all about cloud hosting: storage and computing. Our positioning was certainly more of an “in-the-moment” attempt at where we saw ourselves in the industry. We were no longer still living in a dorm room, but we weren’t necessarily ready to think towards the future with the aspirations that would be necessary for long-term relevance and viability.
For us to truly be a standalone, independent franchise, we needed to think bigger, longer, and with more focus. We started to really look to the future on a five to seven year horizon—if not 10 years—which is very hard for entrepreneurs, especially first time ones. This brought us to late 2013 and more so our brand and corporate positioning relaunch in the fall of 2014. Dyn became “Internet Performance. Delivered.” and set the stage for our next generation of maturation and scale.
We had the evolved product portfolio around Internet intelligence and traffic management with a business value proposition around infrastructure availability, security, performance, and costs. The market tailwinds around cloud adoption, BYOD, IoT, globalization, user experience, and mobile were all at our backs and helped shape a long game view we could confidently message.
Our corporate story is now up-leveled and pushes us towards a future world where the Internet is the de facto home for information, commerce, and relationships—a long way from the college dorm room.
‘Switzerland of the Internet’ was born as a key differentiator for us and it means we don’t serve content, store it, run transit, get in the commoditized battle for bits… we are the neutral 3rd party demystifying the Internet and making it more usable for all, from this agnostic viewpoint. Dyn aims to become the Internet connectivity tissue that provides end users entry into this complex infrastructure world that exists behind their favorite websites, applications or networks—and enables the operators building, scaling, and sustaining a volatile Internet-accessed world, the tools they need to be successful.
We’re excited to continue to push this story forward and execute on a narrative that sees Dyn influencing the way in which we all engage with the Internet, while helping operators deliver experiences end-users demand.
Kyle York is Dyn’s Chief Strategy Officer and has been a long-time executive, having joined in 2008. Over the years, he has held go-to-market leadership roles in worldwide sales, marketing, and services. In his role as CSO, Kyle focuses on overall corporate strategy, including: positioning and evangelism, new market entry, strategic alliances and partnerships, M&A, and business development. Outside of Dyn, Kyle is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and advisor in several startups. Follow Kyle on Twitter: @kyork20 and @Dyn.