GoDaddy has been rebuilding its brand steadily under CEO Blake Irving, who joined the company just over a year ago. In that relatively short time, GoDaddy has updated its website and branding, cleaned up its commercials and marketing message, and through many acquisitions has expanded its small business capabilities.
In the second keynote on Tuesday of Parallels Summit 2014, held in New Orleans, La., GoDaddy CEO Irving talked about innovation and how to predict disruptive technologies through mashups – a concept that commonly refers to combining different types of music to create a new genre.
Irving started his presentation by giving a bit of background on himself and his career trajectory. Irving actually started his career in technology as a typographer. In 1992, he started working at Microsoft in various capacities and he talked about how some of the early technology that he used in his career were products of mashups, including the Xerox Alto computer.
“Some of the biggest technological failures have been miscalculated mashups,” Irving said, using the examples of the Microsoft Bob and The Newton.
Some of the examples he used of current technological mashups that are successful include IBM Watson, which essentially mashes up machine learning and Siri. Waze, a traffic app, mashes up predictive analysis and GPS technology.
While Irving didn’t talk too much about GoDaddy, he did use some of GoDaddy’s new services as examples of technology mashups. For example, GoDaddy GetFound, a service it launched in January out of its acquisition of Locu, and mashes up cloud services and one-click.
“I’m not going to talk a lot about GoDaddy but I will talk about the customers we serve and how we honor them,” Irving said.
GoDaddy has 3,500 customer care people in its organization, and Irving said they are critical in helping its SMB customers run their businesses. In the US, 75 percent of businesses are sole proprietorships, according to Irving. This is the demographic that GoDaddy has continued to focus on, most recently reflected through its SuperBowl commercial where one GoDaddy customer quit her day job to pursue her small business making puppets.
“All of these little businesses we’re talking about are incredibly passionate about what they do,” Irving said. “Please do all you can do to help these people get off the couch and do their own thing.”