Anna Love, Director of Marketing, Bravenet

Tell me something about yourself. What were you doing before starting Bravenet? What are some of the other milestones in your life?

I arrived at Bravenet on a sunny afternoon in February, 2002 while working for Xerox. I had heard that a rather decrepit copier was recently purchased by, so I paid them a sales visit. I left feeling as though I had just been interviewed for a job, and two weeks later joined the Bravenet team as employee #11 – and the first female. Since then our company has outgrown three office spaces and currently employs over 50 people. That’s an average of one new employee per month since I started.

Please provide us a brief history of your company, including the source of the unique name?
Bravenet was founded in 1997 by Dave Shworan, a dentist, and Brad Knorr, a florist, both of whom were hobby webmasters. The Bravenet name derived from two unique thoughts: 1.) “Brad and Dave on the Net”; and 2.) “We love the movie Braveheart”, which was a fairly recent release at the time. They were collaborating on putting together a website for a group they belonged to, and couldn’t find the tools they needed… so they developed them. Bravenet was born, and has been growing and developing new and better tools ever since.

What is the core focus of Bravenet?
We have a twofold focus:
1. To provide the best, easiest to use tools for websites.
2. To do it for FREE.

What makes Bravenet different from other companies in the industry?
Our commitment to our membership and our staff – we have just an incredible team. We’re committed to the continued release of FREE Webtools and building the webmaster community that IS Bravenet. To do so, we have a dedicated, hard working team that handles all aspects of our business in house.

Tell us a bit about your relationship with your customers.  How are you planning Bravenet’s customer support to expand and where do you see the challenges in the communication with your customers?
Bravenet’s commitment to our members stems from the community appeal of the site. Some time ago we realized that email and content forms were making customer service too difficult so we developed a product called SupportClient, which allows us to better ensure that we help resolve our customers’ issues by keeping information easily at hand. Plus, true to the community nature of the site we offer Help Forums, and a Members Helping Members section. This coupled with the fact that our support team is the largest component of our company and is available 24/7, ensures that we have very quick support turnaround times and are meeting the needs of our membership.

What is the future of the free tools and free web hosting?
In a nutshell, continued growth. New ideas emerge every day, with more in the works all the time. With the widespread interest in user friendly services and the increase in online traffic, free and paid services will only grow.

How do you see the challenge of increasingly lowering of the prices? In the end, which type of web hosting company will be surviving and prospering? 
Prices are only one component of the purchasing decision. At Bravenet we offer both free and paid versions of all tools, including hosting, that we develop in house.  We are a “one stop shop”, with our growth arising from meeting the needs of our membership. With over 7 million members, over 25 tools, 24/7 support and free versions of all services, we’re experiencing very strong growth. Approximately 4,000 new members per day join the Bravenet community. Continued growth will come from providing appropriate tools as the Internet evolves, and from being flexible enough to meet the demands of the membership. We’re a “small town” company, and we take our members and our advertising clients seriously, with a customer service based mentality.

Bravenet provides an amazing array of tools. How did you decide to develop the tools?
Great question. -:) Most often new tools are developed based on one or both of two factors: market trends; and requests from our membership for specific applications or unique features. Our support team submits weekly “feature requests” to our developers and the cycle begins from there.

How do you see the future of advertising for the company?
Bravenet relies on viral advertising for our members. As long as we continue to please them, the viral growth will ensue.

How do you see the development of the Web Hosting Industry in near future?
In my estimation we’ll see continued growth in steadfast, client focused, customer oriented companies. A focus on flexibility and the client/member experience are imperative. Free components help too. :-)

Where do you see Bravenet’s role in the industry in 10 years?
Ten years online is a lifetime, so that’s a tough question. :-) New, exciting high volume applications are presently in development, and I think as a start you’re going to see us entering some new market spaces. Online, I am positive a climb from a 432 Alexa ranking (today) to a much higher position is definitely in the works.

What are the technologies advancements of the company of which you are most proud?
I am proud of every aspect of this company. Each individual at Bravenet is committed to the long term growth of this project. If I had to be specific about the projects undertaken specifically by our development team I could write you a novel. All Bravenet tools, services, hosting, ad serving, support – all aspects of our business – are created by our talented team of developers, refined by our content department, and are usually the brain children of Sales and Marketing.

What are the most important skills in the leadership and how do you optimize your time management?
It’s important to take pride in your company, its achievements, and the achievements of your departments and their teams. My door, and the door of every director at, is open to each person we employ at all times.

And finally, what was the most recent book you read?
This Little Piggy, which I read to my one-year-old daughter at bedtime last night.