For those that know me – you know that I try my best to live by the “Manifesto” principles here, one of which is “be a positive force” (which has as an aspect “don’t go negative on the OTHER guy” (I said “bad guy” when I originally wrote it – but other guy is more accurate).
I don’t always live up to my principles – but I try (and generally find when I fail to live up to them, I inevitably regret it).
I’m about to break that principle - sigh.
I can’t help myself. I was listening to the “Speaking In Tech” podcast episode 102: “locking it down” (you can find it here) – that had the one and only J Michel Metz . I’m a fan of the SiT podcast (along with Real Time, Star Talk, Q with Jian Ghomeshi, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – all recommended).
In 102, they talked about Box (got a lot of press with the impending IPO). I’m with the press (and Mark Cuban). This business is a BAD BUSINESS. Read here, here. My favorite Mark Cuban quote: “…I’m not a fan of situations where you have to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to do tens of millions in sales. It’s a lesson learned from the tech bubble”.
On SiT they also talked about trying to get into the enterprise with a consumer product, as well as the difficulties in using cloud storage models.
Do you think Dropbox is any different than Box? Do you feel comfortable after the Nirvanix blow up? Hey – do you like Carbonite or Crashplan, but wonder how they can make money on an unlimited offering? People – technology is critical, but terrible business models ARE GOING TO BLOW UP. Box is loosing $160M a year, people.
Unless these folks decide to later on monetize in a different way, they are not going to survive. And BTW – you think I’m wrong, that great quote: "if you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold" (only exception is advertising-driven revenue business models – and inevitably, they branch into the “you are the product”). I’m more like Sara in the SiT episode than J Metz – I’m OK with occasionally being the product, but I’m going to do it consciously. And, there are places where I will pay – because the service matters.
There’s a reason Mozy Enterprise stopped their unlimited offering. It was unpopular, but it’s the right move – shutting your doors hurts the users of the service worse.
Likewise, it’s not a coincidence that as Mozy focused on the SMB and Enterprise (vs. consumer) it drove them to adopt rich encryption, AD integration, compliance and other services – all things that matter in enterprise land.
Likewise – Syncplicity is a BETTER CHOICE than Dropbox or Box if you’re a business of any size.
Yes, it has an on-premise choice (alternative over standard “stored in S3” model) if your an enterprise. Yes, it has tighter enterprise AD integration than the other guys.
…But – best of all – it ALSO has a BETTER consumer experience – those two don’t have to trade off!
Take my “pepsi challenge”. Try the iPad Syncplicity app (or the iPhone app). I’ve tried them all, and genuinely, I’ve found the Syncplicity choice better.
And, yes, with the backing of EMC – while no one knows the future – Syncplicity and Mozy are certainly more secure than a company that is doing a $250M IPO and currently runs at a $160M annual loss, and $100M cash on hand.
Click on the below, and decide for yourself! Would love your feedback (even if you vehemently disagree with me!)
Oh, and one last thought. In the SiT episode, J Metz mentioned the word “persistence” several times, and the inertia that data has. Think twice about the value of your data, your backups – they are persistent and weigh that in your considerations.