Building a Competitive Moat: Turning Challenges Into Advantages

By | May 18th, 2017

In my previous post on how Backblaze got started, I mentioned that “just because we knew the right solution, didn’t mean that it was possible.” I’ll dig into that here. The right solution was to offer unlimited backup for $5 per month. The price of storage at the time, however, would have likely forced us to price our unlimited backup service at 2x – 5x that.

We were faced with a difficult challenge – compromise a fundamental feature of our product by removing the unlimited storage element, increase our price point in order to cover our costs but likely limit our potential customer base, seek funding in order to run at a loss while we built market share with a hope/prayer we could make a profit in the future, or find another way (huge unknown that might not have a solution). Below I’ll dig into the options that were available, the paths we tried, and how this challenge completely transformed our company and ended up being our greatest technological advantage.

Steel To Tin: The First 10 Years of Backblaze

By | April 20th, 2017

Today Backblaze celebrates turning 10 years old. Tin is the traditional gift for a ten year wedding anniversary: a sign of strength and flexibility. Getting to this point took not only the steel to make the servers, but tin as well. How things have changed: 2007 2017 Team Five Founders in a Palo Alto apartment….

How Backblaze Got Started: The Problem, The Solution, and the Stuff In-Between

By | April 11th, 2017
How Backblaze Got Started

Backblaze will be celebrating its ten year anniversary this month. As I was reflecting on our path to get here, I thought some of the issues we encountered along the way are universal to most startups. With that in mind, I’ll write a series of blog posts focused on the entrepreneurial journey. This post is the first and focuses on the birth of Backblaze. I hope you stick around and enjoy the Backblaze story along the way.

Backblaze Begins: Celebrating A Very Special Anniversary

By | January 16th, 2017

2017 is a milestone year for us at Backblaze: This year is our tenth anniversary. Our official birthday – based on our papers of incorporation – places that date in April. But January 15th was another important date: It’s when the work on what would become Backblaze first started in earnest. Brian Wilson, our intrepid….

Mixergy Interviews Backblaze CEO

By | February 24th, 2016
Backblaze CEO Talks Entrepreneurship with Mixergy

Recently our fearless leader Gleb did an interview with Andrew Warner for Mixergy! The topic was entrepreneurship and launching a company without venture capital. The interview is about an hour and a half long, but we decided to write up a bit of a TL/DR version along with some key takeaways and time stamps. You….

Don’t Build a Billion-Dollar Business. Really.

By | September 3rd, 2015

The better goal? Keep your head down, make a great product, and build a successful business. Silicon Valley prays at the altar of the billion-dollar business. And for good reason: These companies define industries, give the founders so-called “F-you money,” and provide VCs with a return that can counterbalance a dozen lousy investments. I don’t….

How to Make the Most of Working Remotely

By | July 21st, 2015

I’m sitting in a hotel room in a small remote town in the south of Germany, where I’m spending the week working. I did not come here because of a customer, partner, or work event. Instead my wife and I coordinated a week of vacation in Berlin with a work trip for her in this….