136: The Power of Building the Best Product in Your Market with SiteGround’s Tenko Nikolov

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For as long as he can remember, Tenko Nikolov has been obsessed with computers. From his very first computer at the age of 7, he fell in love with the simple green and black screen and was fascinated with all that this technology could offer.

Of course, he also got into some trouble, even accidentally hacking into a large US corporation’s network with a friend at the age of 13. After a few days of fun messing with their systems and bragging to their friends, the duo eventually sent an email to the company letting them know what they did and how they did it.

The next few days were agonizing as they waited for a response, petrified that an FBI agent would be showing up to his doorstep in Bulgaria. To his surprise, however, the company reached out, thanked them for finding a security loophole and even asked them how much they’d like to be paid for finding it in the first place.

“I realized that I can actually be paid for the thing that I love to do most,” Nikolov says.

Instead of asking for payment, Nikolov asked for his own server that he could play around with. After getting his first taste of entrepreneurship, he began seeing how far he could push the limits of computer technology. Looking back at it now, Nikolov pinpoints this as the exact moment that led him to develop SiteGround, a web-hosting server and provider.

But what makes SiteGround stand out from the thousands of competitors out there, is Nikolov’s dedication to innovating.

In this week’s episode you will learn:

  • How to build a product that not only learns from its customers, but also continuously improves
  • When to give up on perfection and focus instead on shipping
  • How to survive as a bootstrapped company for 13 years straight
  • How to read the trends and stay one step ahead of your competitors
  • What it takes to go from a company that nobody’s ever heard of to a major player in your industry
  • & much more!

This podcast episode was brought to you by FreshBooks.

When it comes to finding the perfect service to help you manage and track your invoices, time, and expenses, you can’t overlook FreshBooks. Designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs who don’t need full-blown, double-entry programming, but still want to keep their finances in check, you can’t go back once you start using it!

  • Elena

    Thanks Natan, great interview. You seemed surprised that all this came from Bulgaria but in fact Bulgaria is the motherland of some of the best mathematicians and computer and IT specialists in the world and the first computer was invented by a Bulgarian – these ARE the experts. Also, Mark Zuckerberg is half Bulgarian.
    Kind regards,
    Elena Petrova

  • Simon Nung

    wow, I never knew this company was fully bootstrapped! Amazing achievement and love what they are doing.

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