Tulsa-based IT services company Hostek makes mark on Inc. 5000 list
By Rhett Morgan Tulsa World Aug 16, 2017
Brian Anderson is not your suit, necktie and pocket square kind of guy.
In fact, a relaxed dress code at the place he used to work helped steer him toward a career in computers.
“The programmers got to wear shorts, jeans — whatever they wanted to wear,” Anderson said. “I want my jeans and boots on.”
Denim and leather are suiting Anderson just fine nowadays.
Hostek, an information technology services firm he founded in 1998, is ranked the 4,132nd-fastest-growing private company in the nation in a list released Wednesday by Inc. 5000. A total of 28 Oklahoma companies and 10 Tulsa-area firms earned the distinction, topped by Oklahoma LED (157th), Casino Cash Trac (247th) and Consumer Affairs (562nd).
Hostek, which performs server management and website and application hosting, posted 2016 revenue of $4.8 million and grew 66 percent over the three-year period examined by Inc. 5000.
“We’ve gone through several huge economy downturns, and we’ve grown every single year since we started,” Anderson said during an interview at his offices at 1418 E. 71st St. “There are not a lot of companies that can say that. For us to continue to be able to do that through all of that, it says a lot about the company. It says a lot about the team.”
Anderson taught himself how to program while working at a tax and accounting software company.
“The programming stuff was like very interesting to me,” he said. “I was like a kid in a candy store.”
In early 1998, two acquaintances of his contacted him with a question.
“They said, ‘We’re hearing about this World Wide Web. Can you get us on the Web?’” Anderson said. “I like a challenge, so I said, ‘I can do that.’ I had no idea what I was talking about.”
He does now.
Hostek has 41 employees in Tulsa and data centers in St. Louis, Asburn, Virginia, and (in a couple of weeks) Reading, England. Hostek has about 30,000 customers worldwide, about 86 percent of whom are in the United States, he said.
“Honestly, my team is what keeps me going,” Anderson said. “I show up every day because of my team. … As long as we can pay the bills and I’m making them happy, I’m happy.
“Profit is important, but it’s not my driving factor. I could change a few things and make that a driving factor, but I would probably get rid of a few people. I would probably want to overwork people. That balance is more important to me, to be able to give people a great place to work.”
Electrical contractor Oklahoma LED, the state’s highest-ranking company on the Inc. 5000 list, grew 2,556 percent over three years, logging revenues of $4.7 million last year.
“I am so humbled and proud of everyone at our company,” Josef Schrader, president and founder, said in a statement. “Our company motto is, ‘Always do the right thing, and good things will happen.’
“I knew I wanted to be in the LED business because the market is going to explode,” he said previously. “When I look down from a plane and see the lights, I know one day, every light I see will go to LED.”
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