On January 30th, 2010, James Cordrey and Eric Pettersen decided to take the leap and launch a web development and hosting business. For several weeks prior to that, they spent time drafting up plans, working on a design and theme idea, and coming up with a name. An offer had also been placed with Stephen Rowland, a long time friend of both of the owners, but he declined the offer.
The name “Qiwi Trails” was inspired by “Kiwi Feet”, something that a friend had come up with. Originally the plan was to us “QT” as a pronounced form of “cutie” in the advertising, with a cute little kiwi bird in a business suit running around. With a handshake, the business was born, and it was time to find someone to do the initial artwork for the website.
The initial Qiwi Trails logo was done by a friend that was met through an online video game. Commissioned at the beginning of February, it was done quickly and effectively, delivered only two short weeks later. It was the artist’s idea to use an old, elegant windmill instead of a newer, more high tech one that is used for power generation. Qiwi Trails was, (and still is) using a data center that offsets their environmental impact by buying wind energy credits. That too was going to be a central focus of the hosting business for years.
The initial business standard was, “Green Hosting made easy”.
Over the years, a few things changed. The site went through several permutations that focused on giving the right information in the right places. Images were drafted, modified, and eventually scrapped after a while. New plans for hosting solutions were developed and thrown by the wayside, and all the while background work was being done to offer new services and new features.
Eric had been working on two different pieces of software that were designed for use with an online game. These were brought into the Qiwi Trails system, as well as other Software Development projects that were worked on independently. This was the start of Qiwi Trails moving beyond web hosting and into the software development and consulting business. While this was happening, efforts were made to scale back the web design portion of the business.
In 2012 Qiwi Trails Hosting brought a new partner on. Stephen Rowland accepted a new offer to join the company, bringing his years of hardware experience to the team as well as his fresh perspective on networking and server structure. The original plan was to expand the hosting business to local infrastructure, building and supporting servers for local businesses, and boutique PCs.
Later that same year, members of the QT staff were involved in the planning stages of a Kickstarter for a game. Although never formally brought on as consultants, some of their plans helped shape the entire focus of the Kickstarter.
Instead of hosting local servers and hardware, however, Qiwi Trails started offering Virtual Private Servers that were quick and easy to spin up for businesses. They were also significantly cheaper for businesses to manage, and could be offered to anyone around the world.
In September of 2012, the company decided that they were going to try Networking at a local gaming convention called SPRINGFIELD G.A.M.E. This convention would become part of Qiwi Trails’ DNA, and it has become a tradition to attend and work with the vendors and groups that attend. In 2013 and 2014, Qiwi Trails was a proud vendor at the event, performing a panel on player retention and helping people understand how much they could benefit from a website and through using technology. In 2015, Qiwi Trails decided to forgo a vendor booth and instead signed on as a sponsor for the event.
Shortly after deciding to go to Springfield G.A.M.E. the first time, Eric, Steve and James got together and wrote a quick beginner’s guide on web hosting. It was published on Amazon for the Kindle as “Web Hosting, a Beginner’s Guide” and released on September 29th, 2012. Later, in 2014, after James gave three different talks on using Technology to keep gamers returning to the table, he sat down with Eric and Steve to turn it into another eBook. For the cover, outside photographer Loreli Adams was tapped to take the pictures, and she had an idea for using a lot of gaming paraphernalia along with a little technology to help bridge the gap. Once the cover was completed and the book written, it was handed over to Jenn Treado, who edited quickly and offered lots of factual and insightful advice. The eBook, titled “Player Retention” was published to Amazon’s Kindle Platform on November 3rd, 2014.
In 2013, the team sat down with Keith Baker at Springfield G.A.M.E. and had a long, in-depth conversation about Kickstarter, crowd funding in general, and game design. In 2015, Qiwi Trails helped the Springfield G.A.M.E. team design their perks plan so that they could raise additional money for the 7th year of the convention.
In 2015 Qiwi Trails decided to move into an Open Source Direction, putting the first of many projects into GitHub so that others could begin offering insight. At the beginning of the year, they started developing more of their time toward developing in an agile environment, working with a Kanban board and focusing on keeping projects flowing. More projects should become Open Source in the future as well.