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.

Farming hard drives: 2 years and $1M later

By | November 26th, 2013

We are two years removed from the horrific flooding that caused the Thailand Drive Crisis that created a worldwide shortage of hard disk drives. Prices for hard drives spiked and have remained stubbornly high, only returning to pre-crisis levels in the last couple of months. The market and competitive forces that over the past 30….

5 Years and 4 Billion Restored Files Later…

By | September 18th, 2013
5 years old

Backblaze was formed in 2007 and we went to work creating Backblaze online backup. We kicked off the private beta in June 2008 and in September we released Backblaze 1.0, five short years ago. Through it all Backblaze has been laser-focused on providing unlimited backup at $5/month. It wasn’t always easy, but we’ve managed to….

Crowdsourcing Hard Drives

By | November 30th, 2012

It was 12:10am on Black Friday. Dave sat clicking the refresh button on his browser; waiting for the page to reveal Costco’s Black Friday deal… Earlier in the day, Dave had signed up to be a drive farmer for Backblaze — a Black Friday drive farmer. He joined about 50 others who signed up to….

Backblaze turns 5 – a startup grows up

By | April 20th, 2012
5 years old

Five years. That’s crazy. I can’t believe that it has been five years since Backblaze officially started. While some work started before then, the company was officially incorporated in Delaware on April 20, 2007. When I think back to a few of us sitting in a one-bedroom apartment brainstorming about what we could possibly to….

Backblaze needs a new office

By | September 17th, 2010

Backblaze was founded in a small office where we planned to stay for six months. But we kept finding creative ways to cram more people in. Three years later…we’re bursting at the seams. So it is time to move out of our humble abode and move to…well, a slightly larger humble abode. Do you have….