It’s no secret that providing online backup for all of the data on peoples’ computers takes a lot of hard drives. To be specific, four tons of drives show up every week to our datacenter to backup our customers’ school papers, birthday videos and baby photos… So many freaken baby photos.
After a week of long brainstorming sessions and a recycle bin full of Red Bull cans, we still hadn’t had the amazing light bulb moment.
Then I read on Twitter a Wayne Gretzky tweet:
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is,
a great player plays where the puck is going to be”
That was it! The big realization: A quote like that is too good to risk being lost!
Backblaze will no longer backup a customer’s computer; instead we will backup their Twitter account! The idea immediately clicked with the whole team. Brian Wilson, CTO, said “I don’t use Twitter, but if I did, I would totally be bummed if my tweets were no longer available for posterity.”
And with a day of engineering work, we introduce our new path: TwitBlaze
Tim Nufire, VP of Engineering, had to develop a new, patented, artificial intelligence-based compression algorithm to save on storage space, enabling tweets to be compressed by 64%:
Original: “What is going on in my building? It sounds like a crazy dentist downstairs?”
Compressed: “Crzy dentst dwnstrs – wtf?”
Instead of the last 5 years of all tweets fitting into 1/3rd of a Backblaze Storage Pod, we can now fit all tweets onto a USB stick.
In addition, we had to throttle our large customers who tweet more than 100 messages a month – only their consonants will be backed up. This allows us to keep our costs down for all users by discouraging the messaging hogs.
We are proud to offer 5 different plans to meet your needs and increase confusion:
1. Basic for $5/month: backs up to 200 messages
2. Gold for $7/month: backs up to 400 messages, vowels are un-throttled
3. Platinum for $12/month: backs up 900 messages, and your followers’ tweets
4. Unobtainium for $49/month: backs up 20,000 messages, your followers, and Ashton Kutcher’s tweets
5. Adamantium for $99/month: backs up 100,000 messages including friends, followers, and celebrities. Restores are free via FedEx to you on a 3.5 inch floppy disk.
We are looking forward to providing this new service!
(Well, that, and not breaking our backs carrying all those tons of hard drives.)