$45 Million So Far--and No End in Sight

This $45 million web-hosting company has grown at a breakneck speed--and it all started in an apartment with no outside financing.

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Description: Web-hosting and data center infrastructure provider
Founders: Christopher Faulkner, 37
Location: Bedford, Texas
2004 projected sales: More than $45 million
http://www.cihost.com

What's the Score? C I Host commands some impressive figures: 210,000 customers, as many as 5,000 new customers every month, 8,000 resellers around the world, a 37,000-square-foot data center and 9,000 servers. Another interesting number: 15. That's the age at which Christopher Faulkner started his first business selling baseball cards and sports memorabilia out of a small storefront in Bedford, Texas. Now he helps businesses like that one get online.

From Fanzine to Business: There have been a few stops along the way. "I've started 201 corporations, and 197 of them failed miserably, which is a life lesson that I learned. To be successful, you have to fail along the way," says Faulkner. He built his first website as a fanzine for the band Pearl Jam in 1995, and by the end of the year, he was running a fledgling version of C I Host out of his apartment.

Growth Spurt: C I Host soon outgrew Faulkner's apartment and today has offices and data centers in Bedford, Texas, as well as Chicago and Los Angeles--and soon, London. And Faulkner has done it all without the help of VC financing or loans. "We're debt-free," he says. Bootstrapping and growing at a breakneck pace aren't the easiest things to reconcile.

The Host With the Most: Faulkner keeps the ship sailing smoothly by maintaining 15-hour workdays. Busy as he is, he always has time for his customers. How many CEOs do you know who conduct their own weekly internet chat for all comers? Faulkner's experience and business savvy belie his age. Fortunately for C I Host, he could be at the helm for a long time to come.

Related Topics

Starting a Business

How to Manage Cash Flow for Your Home Pet Business

The new book, 'Start Your Own Pet Business,' explains how to manage critter-based cash flow.

Living

Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Business Ideas

How to Make Thousands of Dollars on the Side As a Virtual Assistant

Apply your skills and experience to create a lucrative virtual assistant side hustle or full-time business.

Business News

Disney Will Layoff 7,000 Employees to Save $5 Billion in Costs. "I Do Not Make This Decision Lightly," CEO Bob Iger Says.

The announcement, part of a massive corporate restructuring effort at the company, caused shares to surge.

Business News

Police: 82-Year-Old Woman Found Alive at New York Funeral Home After Being Pronounced Dead

The woman was found breathing almost three hours after she was pronounced dead.

Innovation

The Greasy, Glamorous Rise of Mascara

You won't believe the grimy gunk people used to smear on their eyelashes -- and still do.