Story Series Part 1 : Frogfoot

From the Story series..

From the Frogfoot website: The Frogfoot Story

I re-published it here to make sure I keep a copy:

The Frogfoot Story

Our History and Legacy

 

The Setting

Frogfoot was founded in July 2000. Abz and Joe met at Stellenbosch
University in 1997, where they both spent lots of time tinkering with Linux
and mountain biking in the mountains around Stellenbosch.

Before Frogfoot was a Business

Abz and Joe were busy developing an e-commerce site which would sell wine at
the time. They had an analog leased line (32Kbps) to the student house where
they lived. Which was really cool, for that day and age.

With the e-commerce venture coming to an end they were about to lose the
sponsorship of their leased line. They were also not very happy with the
service they were getting from their ISP at the time, who treated them
like.. well, students.

You would expect them to start an ISP at this point, but the story takes a
bit of a twist…

Joe and Abz started talking to a few friends about getting a permanent
Internet connection as a group. The idea was to create a co-op. The co-op
would arrange a leased line from Cape Town and members could then connect
with analog leased lines or SDSL. Good plan, everybody was keen.

When the day came to order the leased line all the other people were
noncommittal.

Start Up

“Let’s start an ISP”. We needed a name, some business cards and clients.

Joe designed a logo (using Gimp), made some business cards, walked around
Stellenbosch and (pre-)sold services to a few businesses. He arranged a
location for the first Frogfoot POP. With a bit of bartering the POP lease
was exchanged for Internet access.

We ordered a 128Kbps leased line from SDN (later taken over by UUNet) and
started to figure out Cisco routers and multi-port serial card support in
Linux. Abz (the PPP and Linux guru) managed to get the our serial card
working in what would be our first access router. We registered the
frogfoot.net domain and our first server was called kermit.frogfoot.net.

The Frogfoot Name

At the time none of us had much interest in branding, but it seemed like a
fun project to find a name.

Today Joe would like to say the name was inspired by his amphibious
activities at the time, like Scuba diving, underwater hockey and spear
fishing.

When asked for the truth, the best answer he can come up with is that the
name was chosen like many people pick their passwords. They look around
their desk and start to make connections with some object in front of them
like “mobile phone” or “sunglasses”.

Joe had a Tshirt with frog feet on it, which was close to his PC at the
time. There you have it. Strange but true.

Fast Forward

  • 2001 – Frogfoot opened a POP in Cape Town
  • 2002 – We built a Datacentre (Frogtown)
  • 2003 – The Frogfoot Network became AS 22355 and we
    started using our own IP space
  • 2004 – We moved into office space in Newlands, Cape Town and
    started working on The Frogfoot Portal
  • 2005 – Started offering ADSL VPN services
  • 2006 – Started offering Xen Virtual Server services
  • 2007 – We built a Wifi billing engine

Full Circle

In August 2008 Frogfoot sold
its consumer client base
to focus on providing business services. This
is a return to the business model we had when we started Frogfoot.

I sold my shares in Frogfoot in early 2010.