I can’t believe we’re already over a week into 2012. In the interest of listening to the quote “perfect is the enemy of good”, I am publishing these thoughts on Backblaze in 2011 now rather than waiting until my hindsight is perfect, which may take another year or more. So, without further hesitation, here are a a few of my favorite things from 2011:
1. Growing sales about 100%.
We’re in a market growing about 30% per year. Growing 3x faster than the market is a bit of nice external validation that the passion we put into helping people backup data is working.
2. Adding some awesome people to our team.
I’m looking at you SBrian, Ken, Yev, and Tasha. We continue to run lean, but have added some amazing people to help us as we scale.
3. Restoring 600,000,000 files.
Ok, if you want to be technical, we restored 598,652,186 files. That is an astounding number of photos, documents, and other critical files that customers lost and then restored in a single year. I remember how upset I was four years ago when I lost a single calendar file; and how thrilled I was to realize that I had been running the beta version of Backblaze and was able to recover it. It is hard to imagine the total emotion resulting from the recovery of those 600 million files.
4. Launching “Locate My Computer”.
After Mark Bao caught the thief who stole his laptop by downloading the thief’s video from Backblaze and Mat Miller recovered his laptop by restoring the thief’s college paper, we launched a free addition to the service: Locate My Computer. Just one month later, that feature helped crack an Argentinian counterfeiting ring and recover $1 million in counterfeit cash.
5. Launching “Backblaze v2.0: Unlimiting Unlimited”.
Listening to your requests, we added the ability to backup unlimited file types and unlimited file sizes. Backblaze v2.0 added a host of other enhancements that increased how quickly your data gets backed up. Video editors and virtual machine users cheered.
6. Open sourcing “Backblaze Storage Pod v2.0”.
When we initially open sourced the Backblaze Storage Pod, we figured five or six people might care. Instead, over 1 million people read the blog post and hundreds of companies and organizations started building these pods. In 2011, we published the designs for Backblaze Storage Pod v2.0 (which had twice the space and performance for the same cost) and a number of lessons learned.
7. Crowdsourcing our first billboard.
Historically we have grown almost entirely organically, but wanted to experiment with a billboard on Highway 101. We decided to crowdsource the billboard. You came up with hundreds of ideas and voted on your favorite. December 19th, our first billboard went live: “Kiss your lost files hello”
8. Adding Restore Downloader apps.
A small but very welcome addition was a downloader app for each of Mac and Windows, enabling you to download a huge restore.
9. Recommitting to unlimited.
In February, one of our competitors said it was impossible to continue offering unlimited online backup because people were storing more data. We strongly disagreed and recommitted to unlimited.
10. Moving to our new office.
Technically we moved in December of 2010, but it was in 2011 that we settled in to our new downtown San Mateo space.
What happens in 2012? We’re going to:
…need more great people.
…enhance the product while continuing to stay laser-focused on simplicity.
…further innovate cloud storage costs to continue offering unlimited online backup.
…expand the ways that people can get Backblaze on their computers.
Want to help us? Share your ideas in the comments below, apply for a job, and help your friends get backed up!