At the beginning of 2007, we set off on a mission to make sure no one ever lost data again. 2008 saw numerous milestones along this path, so I wanted to take a quick look back and a glance forward into 2009.
Realizing that the #1 reason users did not backup was the difficulty in getting through the setup process, we arrived at the “backup everything” approach, and we focused hard on making Backblaze a service anyone could use.
We launched the Windows version into private beta and several months later made it publicly available. We received fantastic feedback and addressed as much of it as we could (including adding support for files up to 4GB, unlimited download restore sizes, a private encryption key option, and Outlook backup).
The service was covered by TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Webware/Cnet/Download.com, US News, Simple Help, and many others who said “Backblaze Is Simplest Way Yet to Back Up PC Files.” A few weeks later, due to its “innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and media buzz”, Backblaze was chosen as one of the AlwaysOn Global Top 250 Private Companies, and soon thereafter chosen as one of the 14 “Best of the Best.”
Backblaze doubled in employee count as we scaled up to meet demand for the service, including bringing on a VP of Engineering and a Lead Mac Developer. We launched our first online ads, radio ads, and affiliate program; and presented at SF New Tech, SF Beta, and the AlwaysOn Venture Summit. And the team learned more than ever expected about web video as Cara made her debut with flames and ninjas while destroying a few laptops. Of course, not everything went smoothly.
With 6.6 billion people on the planet, Backblaze was localized in 11 languages to help a few more of them ensure their data is protected…resulting in users arriving from 124 countries. Including at least one user that was blocked for being from Syria. (Sorry, government requirement).
Passionate about the Mac, the team worked tirelessly to bring a Mac beta to market. And the attention it drew after being covered by TUAW, TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Venture Beat, TheAppleBlog, and others flooded the service with requests, which we are still trying to fulfill.
Of course, we’re just getting started. What happens in 2009?
A Mac version that comes out of beta and becomes fully available, and significant functionality for partners. We love spreading the message of backup, but we know many companies and organizations have strong relationships with their customers and members. With approximately one billion computers on the planet, it’ll take us working together to ensure everyone is backed up.
Thank you for all your help trying the service, providing us feedback, signing up as customers, telling friends and family, and generally helping ensure no one loses data.
So, goodbye 2008. Hello 2009. And now, back to work.