This is my personal response to Brandyn White’s blog post (a PhD student at UMD College Park), which questioned Bitcasa’s technical ability to deliver on a promise of infinite cloud storage.
I’m an actual Bitcasa beta user, so I’m using the system.
@Brandyn, your main complaint(?) seems to be the word “infinite” causes some kind of technical Quatamass encryption overhead and security effect.
As a pure (non techie) user, the simplicity of the infinite model is a God send. And so far the pricing is good.
Of course Bitcasa can change their minds, close the doors and roll out theotherbitcasa, increase prices, and impose limits, any time they want.
They are a web 2 company and in web 2 there are NO guarantees!
In reality $120 pa buys you quite a lot of S3 storage (i.e. from Amazon S3)
Whilst there are data whores (like myself) the AVERAGE user has very little data – a fact most data storage companies rely on.
And I’m sure they’ve done the maths.
Plus there are Internet ISP UPLOAD and download speed limits – so infinite if you have a T99/E99 leased line? Not very infinite either
Also during this beta, you can be sure they are looking at how abusive the users are with data, and as an initial test, it won’t have cost them that much at all to find out.
In business and marketing terms of course, you are totally over looking the big picture, of lifetime value of a customer.
So far they offer an amazing service and we are ultra loyal. We are on their email list, so you can be sure, they might make the odd offer or too.
There may well be some premium/deluxe model at a higher price coming too.
There’s no advertising now, but that will never be in any TOS
But the big kahunas are probably in if they can sustain the dream, of INFINITE storage for $10 per month, they are soon going to own a LOT of the landscape.
Competitors will fall. File sync ala DropBox is funky, but that’s all it is! They can’t even offer larger GB accounts at any price, so far!!
No one else offers the “infinite virtual drive” and in the beta Bitcasa are perfecting their technology, way ahead of the pack (blue ocean).
So once they have enough of the worlds data and customers on their books, do you not think their perceived value by Google, IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, et al might shoot through the roof?
In reality, they have done the sums. they have the funding to stick it out.
At the end of the day, the technology isn’t that hard to sustain. Rapidshare SAY they do it. Megaupload did it (1700 disparate servers for whatever their userbase size was).
The downfall could be the file sharing, as you can share a file with any other Bitcasa user, today. Transferring 1000 shares of a 20GB (?) Blueray movies, to 100,000 pirates every month would obviously strain anything. Still has a finite limit though.
But easily handled in a TOS – not a cap, but a tos. You can’t share your file with more than 20 (?) people.
As a “user” data system, that seems way more than fair enough.
If you have a LOT of relations and a new baby, like my friends Garry and (huge congratulations on the 2 new baby daughters!) maybe 100 or 200 is nearer to enough.
It still has a finite limit and would protect the service from enough abuse.
Legally, in terms of being dobbed in for illegal file sharing, soon NOTHING will protect any one from that, other than going underground. So Bitcasa will never be the new bit torrent, as it is too visible.
But again, limited share copies (I think mbox and some other “corporate” file sharing systems do that already?) would seem to negate the viral onslaught of piracy.
Even if not, bitcasa know the cost of data. They can pencil it in, one way or another.
Bottom line, the promise of infinite is finite with the speed of the Internet if nothing else.
They just need to do the maths and change the pricing when needed.
In fact there are several other data storage companies saying “infinite” including MYPCBACKUP, crashplanpro, backblaze, and my FILE SYNC favourite over Drop (we can’t make it any bigger even if you paid us) Box - IDriveSync.
The reality is, in an “ALL YOU CAN EAT” buffet (Chinese, salad, whatever) the majorty of us never pig out as much as we think
Internet bandwidth is bottleneck 1, and bottleneck 2 is most people just don’t have that much data. They don’t create and there’s little point downloading it “to keep”.
It’s web 2 and you’re missing the point.
The business game is nearly always in the big picture. Look at hotmail, youtube and the others.
Also with streaming and SAAS cloud services increasing as well, the amount of actual “data” people will end up having, will reduce, as well.
Netflix and lovefilm are cheaper than bitcasa, if all you want is unlimited movies, plu sno jail time, for finding a dodgy link to some 20GB blueray rip.
If the music industry ever gets it’s head out of its own xxxx then I guess that will happen too. It seems down to Apple, and what WOULD have been MegaBox!
In terms of SAAS. Microsoft, Adobe, Apple just have to say one day, to h*ll with it, have everything for $10 per month, and software piracy will be pretty much over.
ISPs could demand we paid for it, if they wanted to take a cut. Government could make them, if they wanted acut.
Not to mention independent software companies like my own, would pretty much die over night, unless we wake up.
I’m thinking of starting an infinite data storage comaony as my backuppolan. What do you think?