Interview with Dustin B. Cisneros, CEO of RackNerd: Living the American Dream and Building a Inc5000 Company

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“We recently shared the news that RackNerd, a fan-favorite provider who has been voted as a top provider + most reliable provider year over year by the community, has made it on the Inc5000 Regionals list. Now let’s have a chat with RackNerd CEO Dustin Cisneros to learn more about his pursuit of the American dream.”
Interview by: @raindog308 (Andrew)

We recently shared the news that RackNerd, a fan-favorite provider who has been voted as a top provider + most reliable provider year over year by the community, has made it on the Inc5000 Regionals list. Within that press release, I couldn’t help but notice that Dustin made a mention about “achieving the American Dream” in one of his quotes. This saying particularly hit home, because it’s a saying that many of us can relate to. According to Investopedia, the “American dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society in which upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American dream is believed to be achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work, rather than by chance.”

Being intrigued to ask for more perspectives, I reached out and had the opportunity to sit down again with Dustin B. Cisneros, CEO of RackNerd for an exclusive interview to gain his insights on achieving the American Dream, his company’s remarkable growth, and its inclusion in the Inc. 5000 Regionals list. RackNerd’s story shows what can happen when you combine hard work, dedication, and keeping customers your top priority.

🟩 Congratulations on RackNerd’s inclusion in the Inc. 5000 Regionals list! What does this recognition mean to you and the company?

Thank you so much! Honestly, it’s quite surreal. Making it onto the Inc. 5000 Regionals list feels like a moment where you look back and say to yourself, “Wow, we’ve really done something special here.” It’s a combination of the late nights, dedication, and persistence coming to fruition.

For us – this is also validation of our team’s hard work and the trust our customers place with us. It’s basically like getting a high five saying, “Hey, you’re on the right path, keep pushing forward.” I often say, this journey is a team effort. It’s about every support ticket solved, every server spun up, and every thank you note we’ve received from our valued customers. It’s easy to lose sight in the day-to-day details, but those moments add up, and being recognized like this is truly a great win for RackNerd, our team, and our customers.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again. RackNerd is a success story written together with our valued customers and I truly believe that. And trust me, we’re just getting started. There’s so much more we want to do, and this recognition by Inc. 5000 is only going to push us to keep growing, innovating, and expanding!

🟩 You’ve mentioned the American Dream in the context of RackNerd’s journey. Can we talk about that? Before we get into it, what does the American Dream mean to you?

To me, the American Dream is about creating opportunities through perseverance, hard work, and a belief in one’s own potential. RackNerd’s rise from humble beginnings to securing a spot on the Inc. 5000 Regionals list is a living example of this dream. We began with just an idea, bootstrapped our way through, and stayed true to our mission of delivering exceptional service (and infrastructure stability). Our story is proof that the American Dream is not just a concept, but a reality that comes true with hard work and vision, regardless of who you are and where you come from.

🟩 Nowadays, there are some who argue that the American Dream is no longer achievable. Given your success and journey with RackNerd, what would you say to those folks? 

Well, I’d say information is not knowledge. By that, I mean, just because you heard it from someone before, doesn’t necessarily mean it should be taken at face-value. Evaluate the information you’re intaking – where and who are you getting your information from? Are you getting your information from someone who gave up on their dreams, or perhaps from someone who doesn’t truly have your best interests at heart? With that being said, I truly believe that the American Dream is very much alive for those willing to dedicate themselves, and put in the work towards their endeavors. However, it definitely isn’t a path for the faint-hearted or those who are looking to be comfortable in inactivity.

Speaking of information, who are you getting your advice from? Do you know when to disregard information, and do you know when to accept information? Here’s a true example: back when I first decided to start RackNerd (from what now feels to be many moons ago), it’s hard to put a number on those who said I wouldn’t be able to make it. The idea of leaving behind a steady income and starting a new business from the ground up was simply not real to them. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, seeing that spark and turning the doubt into motivation to fully go after my vision was absolutely one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Looking back, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a single thing about my journey.

So to answer your question – that’s what I’d say to those who think it’s no longer possible or achievable. My story is living proof of, “hey you know what, it actually is possible.” And if it’s one thing people reading can take away from this, it would be that. With unwavering commitment, hard work, and courage to take risks – the American Dream is very much attainable.

🟩 Your story, or path if you will, is clearly in entrepreneurship. But in your opinion, is it possible to achieve the American Dream without venturing the route of being a business owner?

Totally! My definition of the American Dream may not necessarily be your definition of it. Owning a business might not be the right vehicle for some people, and that’s 100% fine. The essence of the American Dream is about grabbing opportunities and giving it your all to reach your potential. Whatever that may be for you, I encourage you to go for it.

For example, there are plenty of other ways one may go about it – whether it’s climbing the career ladder, making waves from within a company, or pursuing other passions that get you fired up. What is true to me, may not be true to you, and vice versa. At the end of the day, it’s about finding what path resonates with you uniquely. Wherever that takes you, if you’re unleashing your talent on the world and loving it – I’d say you’re living that American Dream.

🟩 I gotta ask, because I’m sure there are others curious by now. From my understanding, to be listed on the Inc. 5000, you need to be generating a certain amount in annual revenue. What other requirements do companies need to meet to make the list?

Revenue is one thing (you need to be in the seven figure territory in terms of annual revenue), but the important thing to remember here is that they evaluate it over multiple years. These figures are derived from actual financial returns, copies of which are provided to them for verification. For instance, the 2024 Inc. 5000 Regionals was a revenue comparison between 2020 and 2022. Next year’s 2025 Inc. 5000 Regionals (assuming they don’t change any methodologies), would then be 2021 compared to 2023 and so on. It’s all about upward movement; a declining revenue trend wouldn’t cut it. In our case – RackNerd well exceeded all revenue requirements and achieved an impressive growth rate of 253.22 percent over the multiple years we were evaluated for, which highlights our strong upward momentum, and gained us the No. 58 spot on the list. It’s quite an accomplishment we’re proud of, especially when you consider that the average growth rate for companies on the list was 162.77 percent.

Personally, I’d love to see more providers within this community continue to grow, prosper, and make it on the list too.

🟩 What advice would you give to those striving to achieve their own American Dream?

I want to remind you that no matter what you have been told before, it IS possible. First, start off by defining what the “American Dream” means to you, and use that as a fixed anchor point (that will be your operating basis). Anything and everything you do, should be aligned with that anchor point. From there, you’ll start writing your own success story, and overtime you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t work. It’s not going to be easy – but if you remain committed, focused, and persistent – I can guarantee you that your hard work will pay off.

🟩 Looking ahead, what’s next for RackNerd?

We have some exciting stuff in the works. For example, relevant to the community, we just recently just launched our Ryzen 7950X VPS product line (special deals are available here). These VPS’s are based out of the latest and greatest technology – such as fast processors with high clockspeeds, along with Gen4 NVMe storage – amazing performance all around. Throughout this year, we look forward to expanding this product line to all of our existing VPS locations to provide our customers with even more diversity when it comes to deployment.

Being part of the Inc. 5000 Regionals list is a significant achievement, but it’s also a reminder of the potential for future growth – and we have no plans on stopping. Later into 2024, we’ll also be introducing tailored infrastructure solutions for those looking to run AI, large language models (LLM’s), and other deep learning use cases.

🟩 Before we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to add or say to our readers?

Earlier, I talked about defining what the American Dream means to you. The American Dream to me isn’t just about professional success, but also about my desire to have a positive impact on other people’s lives. With that being said, one of my personal goals for 2024 is to help and mentor more people. While I won’t claim to know everything, building a business from the ground up and getting involved in the ins and outs has definitely taught me valuable lessons about what does and doesn’t work, and I don’t mind sharing/helping wherever I can.

So, here’s my completely free proposal that I’m putting out there: I want to see you flourish and prosper. If you ever find yourself going through some challenges on your entrepreneurial path or find yourself in need of business advice, please reach out to me via email. I’m more than happy to share my experiences and offer guidance, and at the same time – I’m also open to hearing and learning from others as well. Feel free to get in touch

RackNerd’s story is a reminder/example of what can be achieved by choosing to not leave things up to chance – but rather, going for it with intention, hard work, and commitment. The insights that Dustin shared within this exclusive interview is truly an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and driven individuals looking to make their own version of the American Dream come true.

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