Information Week recently ran an article about the demise of backup vendor (or more accurately, online storage vendor) MediaMax. In this piece, writer Howard Marks points out that MediaMax lost a lot of their customers' data and left them in the lurch. Part of his advice is, " pick a provider you have a good reason to trust. Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), Seagate (NYSE: STX), EMC (NYSE: EMC), and Symantec (NSDQ: SYMC) are all in the online backup business and can be expected to run things professionally."
By this logic, he would have missed Google. When Google was just getting going, there were already several big public companies in the market: AOL, Yahoo, Lycos, to name a few. Google blew them all away because they had a clarity of vision and a singularity of purpose. Search was the only thing they did, and they had the technical chops to do search better than anyone else. If you had placed your chips on Lycos and AOL instead of Google, thinking that the big company with lots of resources is going to win, then you'd be licking your wounds today.
When I look at bigger companies in our space, like Iron Mountain, Seagate, and Symantec, I don't see any of them willing or able to compete with us in the consumer and small business markets. They have a lot of other products to worry about. Backup is all we do, and nobody is going to do as good a job as we are at backing up your PC.
Howard, to his great credit, recognized this as well: "Don't let a big name alone lead you to a service. Make sure it's been up and running with real paying customers for a while. After all, HP (NYSE: HPQ)'s Upline barfed after just a few weeks."