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What's Going on with NexusBytes?

NexusBytesA while back, a company named NexusBytes appeared in our community.

They had very good prices and their marketing was pretty sharp. Instead of just “X GB = $X” price listing, they presented some attractive “family” offerings.  The idea was that if you signed up with them, you got a lot of bonuses – things like free DirectAdmin, free Blesta, free migration, free Windows Server, NAT backup VPS, DNS hosting, email hosting, discounts on new orders, etc.

I thought this very smart because retaining customers is tough.  I remember a seedbox company that gave people extra GBs of space every month – not much, but psychologically you hated to leave and lose your “bonus space” because it was “free”.  NexusBytes was providing some really valuable things to people and they were very popular during our Black Friday events, etc.

We did an interview with the CEO.  Subsequently launched a separate entry-level line and they bought SmallWeb and really seemed to be moving from strength to strength.

In 2020 they were voted by the community at #2 on our Best Provider Awards and additionally were voted Most Reliable.

And then…things started to go awry.  @seriesn dropped off LowEndTalk and for a while there was no response on anything from NexusBytes.  People started to post about not getting support.  Eventually, Jay from NexusBytes posted a long explanation.

The root cause is not novel: NB was a two-man show, one man left, the other man couldn’t handle everything.  There’s more details about how Jay caught COVID-19 and some other issues, but it’s the classic one-man-band story in the LowEnd world.

The redemption message was in November 2021.  No one has seen NexusBytes since January.  Negative reviews are piling up.  And even one of LET’s long-time NB fans (@jsg) seems to have thrown in the towel, commenting that “it seems that NexusBytes is marching towards and is close to involucration.”

Lessons Learned

I think there are several things we can learn from the NexusBytes saga.

First, I can think of several other hosts off the top of my head that were once great but the only guy behind the curtain got sick/in trouble/had family issues/house burned down/whatever and he couldn’t work on his business any more.  Hosting is not a garage mail-order shop where it doesn’t matter if you fill the orders on Thursday night or Friday morning or maybe wait until Saturday.  It’s something that needs 24x7x365 attention.  It very quickly goes from “hey, I’m online all the time anyway” to “oh man, I got the flu and then there was a flood and haven’t had time for the business”.

Second, you can have an awesome, borderline innovative marketing plan, but ultimately it’s a service business.  If you can provide the service, no perks will compensate.

Third, people in the LowEnd community will cut you slack as long as you are transparent.  NB has ceased being so, and people are fleeing.

Fortunately, there are a couple good websites where you can find a new provider.

 

4 Comments

  1. RG:

    Most of us who have had hosting for many years will have been through this multiple times. Often things start off well, but after a couple of years the problems begin. Once it gets to the stage where tickets aren’t being answered, it is time to go. And this is why you should never pay a year in advance. Unless it’s a relatively small amount that you can afford to write off.

    I’m sorry that the owner is having issues. He seemed like a nice person. However I didn’t believe the long explanation. It reminded me of the Fawlty Towers episode where Basil explains why the chef can’t make a waldorf salad.

    July 14, 2022 @ 3:15 am | Reply
  2. George:

    So they took over SmallWeb not long ago, a potentially stable establishment, and now run that to the ground so all customers out in the lurch

    July 14, 2022 @ 9:01 am | Reply
  3. Mike:

    I hope that NexusBytes survives all of this and stays in business. I really like their brand.

    July 15, 2022 @ 8:56 pm | Reply
  4. My condolences go out to the owner for their difficulties. It was clear that he was a kind guy. To be honest, I didn’t buy into the lengthy justification. It made me think of that episode of Fawlty Towers when Basil explains to Manuel why he can’t prepare a Waldorf salad.

    August 17, 2022 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

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