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By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2005-10-27 Print this article Print

But 1&1 is not for sale. Business is too good. "I make high profits, and I cant spend it all," gloats Gauger. Whats he going to do with all that money? "Next year I will have more time for hosting world domination," he jokes. 1&1 plans on looking carefully at Eastern Europe and Russia, and perhaps even Asia. "Asia is difficult," Gauger says, pointing to cultural and political issues that may keep him from investing in that region. In Germany, 1&1 is the second biggest DSL provider and the biggest registrar. Nearly half of German households will have DSL in a few years, and the company already has nearly 500,000 users of its VOIP-based telephony service. However, the company will probably not offer high-speed IP access in other countries because the company doesnt have a strong enough brand internationally to overcome a lack of a physical networking plant.
Gauger leaves the door open, though, for a possible MVNO play in Germany and elsewhere. "Maybe well do something in the mobile space," he muses. But WiMax isnt on the radar, again because 1&1 would "still need an infrastructure to put up the senders and receivers."
In the Web hosting business, the top five players in Germany have nearly a 60 percent share. The United States is still wide open, but Gauger sees that changing fast. "Microsoft and Google will enter the market," Gauger predicts. "The domain registration market has been waiting on Google for a year." When these two giants come in, they will probably "offer some kind of free hosting, with advertising, and will sell domains for free." He also sees them attacking eBay and Amazon as well. But Gaugers not worried about large companies competing with him. "All the competitors are not bigger than I am," he insists. "I have more customers than they do." Gauger also thinks that the domain registration and Web hosting market is just too small to become a strategic business for large companies. Its a $500 million business, he says, "and thats not a big deal for Microsoft." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in Web services.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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