I suppose everyone has their own
definition of what’s “economical.” I’m on very limited
funds, and even I think your $50/yr. subscription price is obscenely low. I understand
that you’re trying to attract customers, but there’s a price-point
where you start attracting people who are unlikely to stay for a variety of reasons.
I think you’re well below that. I would support both $100/yr. for 300 GB,
and then additional tiers.
If I may switch topics slightly,
there are some changes to your client that would really help laptop users. Most
important would be the awareness of the type of internet connection. I’m
typing this email on the road to a meeting, and I darn sure wouldn’t like
Carbonite backing up stuff on EVDO unless I explicitly order it to. True,
Carbonite can be disabled, but it’s actually designed to be forgotten.
Meanwhile, I really need to back
up that USB drive. Can you offer any ETA on your new product?
Scott: The policy is 60
days. If you delete a file on your PC, we delete it 60 days
later. That gives you plenty of time to change your mind or download the
file to another PC using Remote File Access. If your whole computer is
disconnected from Carbonite, i.e., there is no explicit Windows file deletion,
we store the files for as long as your subscription lasts.
You’re correct that we
should be moving to an archival model, and that is indeed on the
roadmap. However, it just doesn’t work economically with an
“unlimited” pricing plan. Just like any all-you-can-eat plan,
your economics are based on averages – you’re always going to lose
money on a small percentage of users. In the case of archiving, large
users would so skew the formula that everyone would have to be charged
substantially more money, and we would no longer be competitive with vendors
who offer tiered pricing. All the giant users would migrate to us, and
the bulk of the average users would migrate to a competitor.
David Friend |
Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
amused to think of Leo paying for the terabytes he backs up! However, your
response raises a very interesting and important issue. You say that
you’re currently only in the “back up” business, meaning that
Carbonite mirrors protected files on internal permanent drives. Very well, but
what happens when a file is deleted locally? How long does it take for your
client to report the deletion, and then, for your servers to delete the backup?
The various comments from Leo in his multitude of podcasts suggest that he uses
Carbonite as short-term archiving. Indeed, the distinction between a
“back up” and an archive is fuzzy and entirely dependent on the
answers to the above questions.
essence, I’m suggesting that those questions have to be answered the same
way regardless of a file’s location. After all, Windows doesn’t
care where your Documents folder is, so why should Carbonite? Your concerns are
valid, but they are equally valid for internal drives. If you have folder X on
an internal drive, you can swap files into and out of it. Of course, Carbonite
will eventually delete files that aren’t in X presently so why should a
USB drive be any different? A drive really is just a folder on steroids.
case, 250 GB would be plenty. Even 150 GB would be enough, if I can pick the
files. But, why should anyone tell me what I can safe-guard? I suppose
that’s an argument for tiering. You see, once you get past exceptions
like Leo who are drowning in bandwidth, you see a much drier landscape. We have
bandwidth, but nowhere near what the San Francisco and New York pundits assume
is the norm. Those people who think it’s time for IPTV are in for a wait.
Most of America is a good piece below the cloud so ubiquitous real-time
cloud-based services are a pipe-dream for us (literally), and will be for the
near future. If Carbonite wishes to be relevant in more than a few places, I
think you must shift to an archival model because average users simply
don’t have the bandwidth to make “cloud” back ups worthwhile.
Restoring any large amount of data would be painful.
Hi, guys. There’s
a technical issue and a commercial issue. Leo is exactly right about the
$5/mo. We already lose money on a small percentage of our users,
and that’s the price we pay in order to make it really easy for
everyone. However, we don’t want to make the economics any worse
than necessary or we’d have to raise prices for everyone. A small
number of users already use a highly disproportionate amount of our
storage. The alternative would be to charge by the gigabyte like
most of our competitors do, or simply shut off your backup without notice if
you get too big, as one of our “unlimited” competitors does.
There’s no free lunch, and none of us can afford to back up more than
about 150GBs without losing money at $5/mo. In a few months we will
have a new product on the market that will backup USB external drives, NAS, and
any other lettered drives. But pricing will be tiered by the GB, not
unlimited. I’m sure people will buy one license and back up all
their PCs, and that’s fine.
Regarding USB drives, here’s
why we don’t back them up today: What should we do when the drive
is unplugged? Do we assume that the data is deleted and so delete the
backup? If not, then we are essentially archiving the data, not backing
it up. If we don’t delete data when you unplug the drive, someone
could fill up an external drive, load it up to Carbonite, erase the drive and
fill it up with other data, and repeat. This is not what
we’re getting paid to do and it wouldn’t make any economic sense at
all. If we’re charging you by the GB, then of course
we’re happy to archive as well as back up.
Hope that answers the
David Friend |
Chairman & CEO
Inc. | 177 Huntington Ave., 15th Floor | Boston, MA | 02115
617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG – http://www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.14.1/2407 – Release Date: 10/01/09