Last Friday, I had the honor of being invited to speak at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.
The topic was covered at the request of Arjen Schat, one of the founders of The Next Web and a Dynect Managed DNS client, as he was certain that more people should be made aware of the power behind global premium DNS and the tricks that can be played by the technology. We couldn’t agree more.
‘The Secret Behind High-Performance Websites – Rock-Solid DNS’ was the official session title, but in typical Dyn fashion, the presentation took on a life of its own. We are firmly committed to spreading the gospel of what we do to the world, but we’d be very naive to think a three-letter acronym resonates with all people right away. This is exactly why we focus every chance we get on the day-to-day uses of DNS, customer case studies and solutions solved and the intangibles that we think makes Dyn so great and unique.
Understanding Your Audience
The tricky thing about speaking at shows like this one is the very diverse attendee list and the obvious desire to keep all entertained. For me, the key is never how many people attend (I’d say there were around 60 or so), but how many get up and leave mid-talk. There is nothing worse than losing an audience by not connecting. You need to know how to read a room at all times and engage each person one-by-one to make them feel like they’re really a part of it.
I tried to balance the hardcore tech talk with anecdotes and stories about our company, some humor, our history, who I am and why I care, our branding, messaging, culture, approach and more. The highlight of this experience to me was my pre-polling of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for what they thought the secret was to high-performance websites.
Needless to say, not many said DNS and there was a real divide between the answers of marketers or sales types who follow @kyork20 and the technologists who follow @DynInc.
I spoke deeply about being a rare breed of company that was in essence a start-up twice, founded initially in 1998 when the company was formed (well, in 2001, we were officially incorporated through 2008, focused entirely on consumers/SMB through an e-commerce site) and then again in 2008 when we refocused on the enterprise marketplace and truly scaled the business, revenue & profits — all while building a corporate identity we could be proud of.
There were competitors, partners, prospects and clients alike in the room who listened intently on an overview of how the Internet actually works, how you encounter DNS everyday, what people think really makes a site ‘high-performance’, how a company thrives offering a technology often compared to plumbing or electricity, how Dyn clawed upmarket from consumer focus to enterprise legitimacy, how we foster a work hard/play hard, accessible and genuine staff and company culture, how we get our customers to love us and deliver some phenomenal customer case studies (Twitter, CNBC, 37signals), why DNS IS SEXY and why your business should turn primarily SaaS by saying ‘Goodbye Hardware‘.
Thanks to the founders of The Next Web (Boris, Patrick, Arjen) for inviting me to talk, all who made their way to Amsterdam for the show and undoubtedly saw the Dyn logo everywhere and especially to those who attended my session and asked questions. I hope we connected and now you feel let in on our little secret.
View or download the presentation on Slideshare.
Kyle York is the VP of Sales and Marketing of Dyn, an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) company that features a full suite of DNS and email delivery services for enterprise, SMB and personal users. Follow him on Twitter: @kyork20 and @DynInc.
Kyle York is Dyn’s Chief Strategy Officer and has led the corporate growth, branding, communications, demand generation, positioning, business development and overall go-to-market strategy behind Dyn’s rapid and aggressive scaling since 2008. Outside of Dyn, Kyle is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and advisor in several startups. Follow Kyle on Twitter: @kyork20 and @Dyn.