RE: Carbonite

I started to say AT&T is notorious,
but the truth is that all US carriers are equally bad. In fact, Verizon recently
had to stop saying “unlimited” to avoid legal Hell. I was fortunate
enough to have a Verizon manager appeal to Corporate to double my limit to 10 GB
for medical reasons (which they no longer do).

 

I have already described my own
mode of how I might use Carbonite. If we expand my model to talk about laptop
users in general, it is easy to say they don’t use external drives. But wait,
isn’t that an iPhone you have? If you connect an iPhone to a Windows machine,
it is an external drive. A external drive with a lot of valuable data, and iTunes
only backs up what they sell you. If you have a digital camera (I have two),
those pictures really can’t live inside your laptop. A laptop is a lot
like a city’s downtown, it is a nexus of activity. However, there isn’t
room for much of the data it uses to actually live there! As a result, a laptop
becomes a city where the suburbs come and go as needed. Maybe one model is to
figure out a way to protect those “suburbs.” You mentioned that you
break even at 150GB for $5/mo., and perhaps that should be telling you
something. Maybe you should/could sell Carbonite optionally in 150GB chunks. This
isn’t necessarily tiering, because you’re focusing on EXTERNAL drives.
Your current product covers the internal drives so what I just came up with
would be a bolt-on. Indeed, it could be a product users could buy multiples of,
much like tiers.


 Cabonite made this week’s episode of Security Now. Check it out.

From: David Friend
[mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 10:18
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

Hmmm.  I did not know
that.  I will look at my AT&T contract.  I’m sure I did my
initial backup of about 50GB at my desk, so that would have gone over
wi-fi.  But most of the time now I’m on AT&T, but the
incremental backups daily are pretty minor. 

 

I think what we may need is
something in that $100/yr range, as you suggest Scott.  It probably should
be capped at some number, but have no restrictions in terms of the drives that would
be backed up.   The new product I alluded to, Carbonite Pro, will be
coming out in Nov but it is really aimed at businesses, not individuals, so I
don’t think it would be a good fit for you.   It seems to me
that we need both an entry-level consumer product and one that is a step up for
users who need more speed, support for external drives,  and perhaps a
premium level of customer support.  I’d be interested in what you
think would make sense. 


Dave

 

David Friend |
Chairman & CEO

Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 10:26 AM
To: David Friend
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

None of
the carriers are truly “unlimited.” Read your fine print and
you’ll find a 5 GB cap.  

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 08:52
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

Scott: 
Interesting suggestion, but not sure what’s so bad about backing up on
EVDO?  I have AT&T for my laptop and back up stuff on the network all
the time without any difficulty.   Is your data service
metered?  Mine is unlimited, so there’s no cost.  And since
Carbonite basically sleeps when I’m typing on my laptop, it doesn’t
interfere with browsing speed. 

 

Dave

 

David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 3:16 PM
To: David Friend
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

David,

 

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

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 06:00
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

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. 


Dave

 

David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 11:48 PM
To: David Friend; leo@leoville.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

David,

 

I am
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.

 

In
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.

 

In my
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.

 

Scott

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 15:38
To: leo@leoville.com; royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: Carbonite

 

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
question.  

 

Dave

 

David Friend |
Chairman & CEO

Carbonite,
Inc. | 177 Huntington Ave., 15th Floor | Boston, MA | 02115

Office:
617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101

www.carbonite.com  

 

No
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
18:23:00

No
virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG – http://www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.14.3/2409 – Release Date: 10/02/09
06:46:00

No
virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG – http://www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.14.3/2409 – Release Date: 10/03/09
06:20:00

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s