07-13-09 | Blog Post

Lessons Learned from the Second Rackspace Outage

Blog Posts

When a market leader like Rackspace fails, it hurts us all – but valuable lessons from the experience can be taken away as well.

Lesson #1 – Transparency Builds Trust.

I’ve learned this over the last 15 years and last 3 companies I’ve built. Transparency with customers, employees and investors is fundamental to trust. I applaud Rackspace’s transparency about the problem. As a public company, their CEO’s video post was an excellent response to keep the customers and shareholders informed about the problems they’re having at Rackspace. Very well done.

Lesson #2 – Control the Conversation in Social Media.

Perhaps our marketing team at Online Tech was a little too enthusiastic tweeting to Rackspace customers that were openly looking for an alternative. While we gained several new customers by reaching out to them, the Rackspace employees spanked us on twitter and the blogosphere for it.

Frankly, I’m impressed with the size and rapid response by Rackspace’s marketing team on how quickly they moved to control the discussion across the social media space. When the CEO’s video was posted to their blog, Rackspace employees tweeted and retweeted literally hundreds of tweets about the post – pushing the older posts with complaints and negative comments right off the pages.


The combination of transparency about the multiple outages at Rackspace, and the volume of employees they use to control the conversation across blogs and other social media, impressed me. We’ll continue to view Rackspace as a formidable, well respected competitor – and focus on the personal attention we give each of our clients as one of the differentiators that helps us continue to win business.

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