• A $50 Pat on the Back

    by Lynnette Nolan | Apr 11, 2011

    Technical support reps are the unsung heroes of the software industry. The day in the life of a support rep at Carbonite is filled with phone calls that generally begin with unhappy, stressed-out, customers and end with happy, relieved customers. While our reps have received no shortage of thank you notes, last week was the first time someone actually sent a thank you check. Many thanks to him for making our day!

    Here’s the note in full:

    Dear Jim:

    I am enclosing in a separate snail mail delivery today my personal check for $50.00 made payable to you. This is NOT for Carbonite. This check is for you, Ron, and Wilson to go to lunch together. I am only about two months late in sending you this check and I have thought about doing it every day for those two months. You three deserve so much more for helping me during the transition from Windows Vista SP 2 to Windows 7 Home Premium and from Microsoft Office 2003 Professional to the new 2010 Update. I am still struggling with both of those new programs and I will send you an email later about some of the questions I have about the change-over.

    Thank you again Jim, Ron, and Wilson. I hope you will enjoy the luncheon and give yourselves a pat on the back for your conscientious determination to make Carbonite the best of its kind in the world today!

    Jim M.

    Needless to say that our support reps wouldn't accept the check, but they certainly enjoyed the pat on the back.


  • Cloud 201

    by Lynnette Nolan | Apr 01, 2011

    In last week's post (Cloud 101) Chris shared his thoughts on what "the cloud" is today and why it’s been the subject of so much recent hype. I thought I’d continue the conversation with a few thoughts on where "the cloud" is headed and what that means to Carbonite.

    When I first started using the Internet, it was basically a telephone network for data, providing point-to-point access to data and web pages on some remote server. I remember my very first web browsing session - I pulled up pictures of sculpture at an exhibition in New Zealand. It was very exciting to be connected to a computer all the way on the other side of the world.

    Then came services like YouTube. Who knows (or cares) where all those YouTube videos are stored? They are just out there somewhere "in the cloud."

    When we started Carbonite back in 2005, we had the idea of allowing our customers to back up their files to the cloud. It probably doesn’t matter much to you whether your files are in our Boston data center, our Somerville data center, or anywhere else for that matter.

    Now that we’ve backed up close to 100 billion files to the cloud, we’re finding that there’s a lot more value there than just keeping your data safe. Our mobile apps that enable you to browse your photos, listen to your music, and read and share your documents are really taking off. Users tell us that they no longer need to bring their computers on the road because they can access all of their files on their Smartphones or iPads.

    This phenomenon highlights how “the cloud” is ultimately going to change the value of services like Carbonite. Today most people think of their data living on their PCs and the backups living in the cloud. But in the future, as people get used to accessing their data directly from the cloud, the cloud version will become the one they care about. So instead of worrying about the data on your PC, you’ll focus on your “personal cloud” where the data from all your devices comes together in one place. If you lose your PC, or Smartphone, you’ll have to replace the device, but you won’t give the data that was on it a second thought. The “real” version of the data is the version that is in the cloud – the copy that Carbonite has.

    You can already see this trend underway. Tablet computers, like the iPad, are really data access tools. And “access” is what most people are doing on the Internet. But until products like Carbonite came around, you could get to those photos from New Zealand more easily than you could get to your own files! Once your files are in the cloud, however, it’s a new ballgame.

    Our growth over the past 5 years has been driven by users’ desire to keep their files safe. Over the next 5 years, our growth will increasingly be fueled by the desire of our customers to access and share their files anytime, anywhere, on any device. We are freeing them from being tethered to their PCs. So while the backup story has been about freedom from worrying about data loss, we’re now talking about a different kind of freedom – the freedom that comes from the always-connected world of mobile computing where everything you need is in the cloud.


  • Cloud 101

    by Lynnette Nolan | Mar 28, 2011

    Unless you live under rock, you’ve probably been hearing quite a bit about “The Cloud” lately. I thought I’d cut through the hype with a simple explanation.

    "The cloud" is generally used in conjunction with web-based services that store content on remote servers that are accessed via the Internet. The most widely-used of these are webmail providers like Gmail, user-generated content services like YouTube and Social Networks like Facebook. The data that is stored on their servers is said to live in the cloud.

    So, if millions of people have been using the cloud for over a decade how did it become the digerati’s buzzword of the moment?

     A number of factors have converged to make the cloud a hot topic including:

    • Cheaper storage
    • Increased availability of high-speed internet connections
    • Growing popularity of lightweight devices (smartphones, iPads, netbooks, etc) with limited onboard memory

    The increased affordability of storage and bandwidth, coupled with the growing use of portable devices to access the Internet have led to the rapid adoption and expansion of cloud-based services. Then, Madison Avenue picked up on the buzzword du jour and next thing you know you’re scratching your head wondering what the "to the cloud" commercial you just watched is all about. That’s how hype happens.

    One thing is for sure though. Regardless of what you call it – or how you spin it – the cloud is here to stay.

    In the next installment of this series (Cloud 201) - CEO David Friend will share his thoughts on where the cloud is headed and what that means for Carbonite users.

  • Love Your Data

    by Lynnette Nolan | Feb 11, 2011

    At Carbonite, we love your data. That’s why we’ve made it our life’s mission to protect it with simple, secure, automatic online backup and to enable you to fully enjoy it with Anytime, Anywhere Access.

    Judging from all of the thank-you notes we receive from happy customers it's clear that you all love your data as much as we do.

    In the spirit of data-love and in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re giving away two free one-year Carbonite subscriptions on Twitter.

    The rules are simple:

    • Follow @carbonite on Twitter
    • Retweet the following message between 12:01 am (EST) and 11:59 pm (EST) on February 14th: I love my data so I back it up with Carbonite. Enter to win a subscription by following @carbonite & RT this http://cbnt.it/10dqien

    We’ll announce the winner on Twitter and Facebook on Feb. 15th. Good luck!

  • Keeping it Simple for Home & Family Customers - Unlimited Backup

    by Lynnette Nolan | Feb 02, 2011

    There has been a lot of buzz the past few days about the where the online backup industry is headed and whether unlimited backup is a sustainable business model. Recent news has caused some media to speculate that it’s the beginning of the end for this model which Carbonite introduced almost five years ago.

    For us, the answer is simple. We started this company based on the idea that if you keep it simple and affordable, everyone will backup online. So Carbonite will continue to provide consumers with unlimited backup for a flat fee because of the simplicity it provides.

    Truth be told, we do lose money on customers with large amounts of data. Our purpose is not to provide the cheapest backup solution to users with unusually large needs, but rather to keep things simple for the vast majority of people. This simplicity is what has fueled our growth: we were the 9th fastest-growing private company in the U.S. last year (#9 on the 2010 Inc. 500, #1 in technology).

    To keep the experience compelling and affordable for most people, we do take some measures to allocate bandwidth fairly among our users. These are similar to what Netflix does with its DVD business and are outlined in our bandwidth allocation policy. The vast majority of our customers are not affected by this policy in any way.

    I also want to point out something that is sometimes overlooked when Carbonite’s online backup service is discussed in the press and blogs. Over the last year we've made our service even more useful to our customers day-to-day, not just when disaster strikes. Today Carbonite users have access to their backed up files "anytime, anywhere" from any internet-connected device thanks to our free web access and mobile applications which now support every major platform (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and soon the iPad.)

    In addition to "anytime, anywhere access", we have several exciting product developments in the works for 2011 that will make the Carbonite experience more powerful, comprehensive and accessible for all types of users (home and business). And we remain committed to making backup simple and affordable. For our home and family users that means unlimited backup for a flat fee.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Finally A New Years Resolution That Keeps Itself

    by Lynnette Nolan | Dec 27, 2010

    We’d be willing to bet that this is not the first “New Year’s Resolution” post you’ve read this week.

    Estimates indicate that 45% of American adults make at least one resolution each year.  According to Dr. Jim Taylor’s research, fewer than half of these people stick with them after six months and after a year that number declines to around ten percent.  So it’s no wonder that the $2.5 billion self-help industry offers no shortage of advice on how to stick with your resoluton(s).

    Advice about “pinpointing obstacles,” “setting clear goals,” and the like is well-intentioned, but it's hard to argue with the data that indicates that only one-in-ten adults manages to stick with their resolution for over a year.

    Carbonite is here to help.  Resolve yourself to backing up your irreplaceable data this year.  All you have to do is sign up for Carbonite, and a couple of clicks later you’re done.  We automatically take care of the rest and you’re protected for at least a year.

    Imagine if you could sign up for a gym membership and something would automatically make sure you go every day – that’s what Carbonite can do for your backup – no heavy lifting required.

    Not only does Carbonite make it easy to stick to your resolution and backup your data, but we’re going to make it even easier by offering two free one year subscriptions to lucky entrants in our New Years Resolution contest.

    The rules are simple:

    • Follow @carbonite on Twitter
    • Retweet the following message between 12/27 and 1/3:  My new year’s resolution is to backup my data. Enter to win a subscription by following @carbonite & RT this http://cbnt.it/bJiATZ
    • We’ll announce the winner on Twitter and Facebook.  Good luck!
  • The Hub of Entrepreneurship

    by Lynnette Nolan | Dec 21, 2010

    Here's an interesting map that shows the funding of new businesses by state.  I was a little surprised that Massachusetts, Carbonite's home state, had more startup fundraising deals per capita than any other state in the country, including California. 

    So what is it about Massachusetts that makes it such a hotbed of entrepreneurialism?  Certainly the educational infrastructure is one thing.  From my office on the 15th floor, I can see Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Boston Univeristy, the University of Massachusetts, Boston College, Mass College of Art, Tufts, The New England Conservatory, Wellesley, Simmons, and roughly 50 other colleges.  I can also see the Museum of Fine Arts with its fabulous new $250 million American Arts wing, Symphony Hall (arguably the best sounding concert hall in the United States), Jordan Hall, the Opera House, the Huntington Theater, the Performing Arts center, the Shubert Theater, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and more museums and libraries than I can count. 

    So what does all that have to do with startups and venture capital?  A lot, in my opinion.  One characteristic common among entrepreneurs is an insatiable curiosity.  When you do a startup, it’s like being in college, only a lot more intense.  Each day is packed with new challenges and new things to learn and understand.  Your life can be an intense intellectual experience, so much so that you’re exhausted at the end of the day.  But the people who do jobs like mine love the constant learning, the daily uncertainty, and the “making something out of nothing” quality of our work.  It’s like being a painter confronted with a blank canvas; instead of creating a painting, you create a company. 
    Creative people thrive when they are surrounded by other creative people, whether they are scientists  and engineers, or composers, writers, and artists.  It’s a sea of creativity in which to swim.  That’s what’s special about Massachusetts and why this is such a hotbed of business creation.  The kind of people who like to make something out of nothing are comfortable here, amidst the great artists, musicians, scientists, inventors, and scholars. It all fits together splendidly.

  • Google Builds A Better eBook

    by Lynnette Nolan | Dec 08, 2010

    As expected, Google entered the electronic book business this week, with an online retail store that will compete with major players like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.  


    These other retailers all sell e-books to be downloaded onto and read on their proprietary hardware devices (Kindle, Nook and iPad).  Not only do they make money selling books, but they also make a tidy profit selling devices to read them on.


    So is Google building their own eReader to support their eBooks?   Not by a longshot.  Google's e-books live in the cloud and are device-agnostic, and therein lies the magic.  You can start reading on your iPad, continue on your office computer, and finish up on your smart phone, picking up exactly where you left off.  


    This is yet another example of the power of the public cloud – the world at your fingertips.  


    What bugs me is that most people now have better access to books of obscure 16th century Persian poetry than they do to the files on their own computers! Carbonite's trying to change that.   But before you can access your files in the cloud, you have to get the files up there in the first place.  That's the part that we have made totally idiot-proof and completely automatic for over a million users.  It takes no effort at all – you just install Carbonite and we do the rest.  Our new mobile access apps let you browse your photos, stream your music, view your office documents, and download or email virtually any file.   


    The personal cloud is coming.



    CEO, Carbonite










  • Its Your Cloud, Do What You Wanna Do

    by Lynnette Nolan | Nov 11, 2010

    This week we released Carbonite Access for Android – our most feature-rich mobile app to date. If you’re familiar with our iPhone and Blackberry mobile apps, you may have correctly guessed that this free application provides Carbonite subscribers with the ability to quickly and easily access all of their backed up files through their Android phone.

    But that’s not all it does. It also enables Carbonite users to easily share their files via email, Facebook, Picasa and many other Android-supported applications, as well as to instantly listen to their backed up music and view their backed up photos directly on their phone.

    There are two big advances in the Android app. I think we’re the first backup application to offer thumbnail photo browsing. We take all your backed up photos and compute thumbnails on the fly so that you can browse your pictures just as you would browse locally stored photos on your phone. We pre-cache photos so that when you’re flipping from photo to photo, it’s fast. The other big advance is music playback: when you click on a tune, it starts playing right away – you don’t have to wait for the whole tune to download.

    There are many cloud-based applications these days, such as Flickr, mp3tunes.com, Google docs, Picasa, and so forth. The key difference between those services and Carbonite Access, is that your songs, photos, documents, and other files are already backed up to the Carbonite cloud – you don’t have to upload anything. And all you content is available at the touch of a finger in one place.

    You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the idea of a “personal cloud.” In a world where you’re always connected, no matter where you are, you should be able to get at any file on any of your computers. When you back up your computers with Carbonite, you are creating a “personal cloud,” and now it’s our job to ensure that you can access it anytime, anywhere.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • AppleTV Drops Local Storage in Favor of the Cloud

    by Lynnette Nolan | Oct 19, 2010

    Apple recently released a new version of their AppleTV. For those of you who aren't familiar with this device, I'll share a bit of history.

    When AppleTV launched a little over three years ago, it was essentially an iPod, the size of a book, that you could plug into your TV. You could purchase a model with a 40GB hard drive for $299, import your music, videos and photos to it and enjoy these files through your TV and home stereo. It was an innovative product, but it never really took off the way many of Apple's products have. My instinct tells me that many people were not willing to pay $299 for a glorified 40GB hard drive they could plug into their TV.

    Fast-forward three years to the current release. This version is just $99 and it now fits in the palm of your hand. How did Apple manage to deliver a more fully- featured device at 1/3 the cost just a few short years later? Easy – they dropped local storage and moved the content to the cloud.

    The new AppleTV streams music, videos and photos from any Apple computer in your home network, as well as a new streaming rental system that offers instant delivery of movies and TV shows both from Netflix and Apple's iTunes store. Not only is this device cheaper, smaller and easier to set-up, but rather than being limited to 40GB of local memory, the new AppleTV will play an unlimited amount of cloud-based content.

    As an entrepreneur, I'm always interested to learn about any new product coming out of Cupertino – they run a product development and marketing machine out there that is the envy of the tech industry. However, I find AppleTV's evolution to be of particular interest, because I see clear parallels between they way they have leveraged the cloud to optimize their product and the way Carbonite has leveraged the cloud to optimize data backup.

    Just a few years ago, when you said "backup" it implied a local external hard drive. Now, with products like Carbonite, it's all in the cloud. Like the original Apple TV, traditional backup methods are limited by storage capacity, they are complicated, expensive, and easy for the average user to mess up. Plus, consumer-grade external hard drives are failure-prone and easy to damage. Knock one off the table onto a hard floor, and all your data is gone.

    With the new AppleTV, you don't need a local drive – movies stream directly over the Internet. The same thing happens with Carbonite. If you have Carbonite, all of your files are automatically in the cloud. You don't have to do a thing – it just happens. Now that your files are in the cloud, you can get to them from anywhere. Want to show your friend at work a picture that's on your home computer? No problem – Carbonite has your picture backed up and you can access it on your smartphone using one of our mobile apps. Forgot your laptop for an important presentation? No problem – just grab the powerpoint file from your Carbonite backup using any computer. We're transitioning into a whole new world where all your data lives in your "personal cloud" and is accessible anywhere on Earth, with any device. And it all happens with no effort; no wires, no hardware, no software to learn and nothing to remember other than knowing you're backed up.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    by Lynnette Nolan | Oct 06, 2010

    Cybersecurity means a variety of things to a variety of people. Sure it includes protection against phishing scams, credit card fraud, viruses, online predators, etc. But at Carbonite, we wake up every morning thinking about keeping your irreplaceable data backed up and secure, so you can access it from anywhere and restore it to your computer when you experience that inevitable crash.  What’s more, Carbonite runs in the background, automatically backing up your files, so you don’t have to think about it.

    Security experts agree the best way to backup your data is offsite. This way if your home or office is damaged, your data is secure in a remote location. Not only does Carbonite provide this level of security, but we also encrypt your files before they leave your PC, so nobody can see your data without your password.

    In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re giving away a free one year Carbonite subscription each Friday in October. This account is good for unlimited backup as well as remote access to all of your backed up files from any computer Web browser, iPhone or Blackberry Smartphone (Android coming soon). If the winner already is a Carbonite subscriber, we’ll extend their subscription for another year.

    The rules are simple:

    • Follow @carbonite on Twitter
    • Retweet the following message between 12:01 am EST and 11:59 pm EST any Friday in October:
      I entered Carbonite’s Cybersecurity giveaway. Enter to win a subscription by following @Carbonite & RT this http://cbnt.it/15L81NK
    • We’ll announce the winner here and on Twitter. 

    Good luck!

  • Carbonite 4.0 Officially Launched Today

    by Lynnette Nolan | Sep 14, 2010

    Here at Carbonite HQ, we’re thrilled to announce the official release of version 4.0 of our unlimited online backup service for Windows.

    I like to say that Carbonite is not in the backup business – we’re in the restore business – and that’s what version 4.0 is all about.  Our product team put a great deal of effort into further-simplifying the restore process in version 4.0. Too often in our industry, the focus falls on the initial backup process and features, but restore is where an online backup product has to deliver on its promise.

    The cornerstone of this effort is 4.0’s Restore Manager, which sets a new standard for getting files back.  Restore Manager guides users through the process of quickly and easily restoring anything they have backed up, from a single file to all of their backed up data.

    Other new features in 4.0 include:

    • A Restore Search feature that enables users to search for and build a complete list of files to restore. Users can search their backup based on full or partial file name, date, file size, the original location of the file on your computer, or file type. 
    • The Priority File Restore feature allows users to specify which files they want restored first, making file restoration as efficient as possible.  
    • If users are restoring to a new Windows operating system, the Migration Wizard will ensure all restored data ends up in the proper file structure for the target OS.
    • Versioning enables users to restore previous versions of any backed up file if they accidently save over or delete older versions. Carbonite keeps older versions of files for up to three months.
    • Once a restore is complete, the detailed Restore Summary Report identifies exactly how many files were restored and specifies the location of any relocated files.
    • A Redesigned InfoCenter, which clearly communicates backup and restore status, scheduling options and customer service information.
    • A new SetUp Configuration completely automates standard setup while retaining custom options for advanced users.
    • Additional integration with Remote File Access from any computer or via mobile applications for iPhone®, iPod Touch® and BlackBerry® smartphones.

    We’ve gone to great lengths to provide the best restore experience in the iindustry and we believe that version 4.0 puts us in a class by ourselves when it comes to the total restore experience.  Please let us know what you think.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Water Wheels and The Cloud Have More in Common Than You May Think

    by Lynnette Nolan | Sep 07, 2010

    Historically, factories needed to generate their own power. For example, a water wheel may have been built to power a factory’s machinery, with the construction of the wheel and its operation and maintenance falling entirely on that business. At some point, these local generators were replaced with centralized power generation, where power was generated remotely, distributed as a utility, and priced based upon consumption. There are many reasons why this development was a good thing. Utilities presumably know how to generate power better because that is their primary business, there are economies of scale, the consumer can ramp up or down its consumption quickly and easily, and the consumer doesn’t have to pay for the excess capacity that the consumer does not need.

    From:  The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr

    I recently came across this excerpt and it got me to thinking about the data backup options available to today’s businesses.  Those who choose to manage their own backup are not unlike the early factory owners who generated their own power – entirely responsible for the operation and maintenance of a local backup system. Similarly, those who have migrated to an online backup solution, like Carbonite Pro, are like those factory owners who outsourced power consumption to a centralized utility service.  They are free to focus on their core business operations, while only paying for the amount of backup their business consumes each month. Just as the utilities trumped local power generation, I have no doubt that cloud-based services will soon be the defacto data backup method for businesses of all sizes, worldwide.

    As in the days of do-it-yourself power generation, do-it-yourself local backup carries with it inherent inefficiencies and hidden costs.  Here’s an example:  “Harold,” the owner of local company we interviewed (they are resellers for small business phone and data systems) has six computers in the office and three laptops that came and went with the sales people.  In theory all the computers are backed up to a local server with an external hard drive.  Once a week, Sally, the receptionist, had been taking the backup drive home where she swapped it out with the one from the previous week.  In theory, if a fire destroyed their building, they could recover everything to at least where it was the previous Friday. 

    But there were problems:  Sally would go on vacation and the backups wouldn’t get swapped while she was away.  The salespeople with laptops would forget to connect to the office network and start their backup processes.  Nobody ever checked the actual backups to see if they were actually getting done properly and could be restored.  Nobody even checked to see that the external hard drives were working.  The final straw came when Sally decided to leave the company and got into a dispute with her employer over severance.  She refused to return the backup drive until her demands were met. 

    Here are the differences between this common backup strategy and using an online backup service like Carbonite:

    • More efficient use of disk space:  Harold used 1TB external drives to back up a mere 20GBs of data, a 2% disk utilization.   A shared service like Carbonite can use more than 95% of its disk space.
    • Greater reliability:  External hard drives are notorious failure-prone – something like 3-4% failure rate per year.  Carbonite stores data on RAID6 redundant arrays that are theoretically 36 million times more reliable than a single drive. 
    • Safety:  The data on the drive in Sally’s basement was not encrypted.  If she lost it, somebody would have the whole company’s data.  Carbonite encrypts everything before it leaves the users’ PCs.  There is NO unencrypted data floating around. 
    • You know it’s working:  Unless you run tests on your external drive, you have no idea whether the backup is really usable.  Carbonite checks the integrity of every backed up file at the time it is stored and again every 3 months.  It will always work. 
    • Because Harold wasn’t in the backup business and really didn’t know much about backups, the whole process was risky, time consuming, and completely irrelevant to the core mission of his business.

    Keeping those water wheels working was completely irrelevant to making sweaters, or shoes, or machinery.  What a pain it must have been to mill owners in the 1800s.  It’s no wonder that they replaced those water wheels with electric motors as soon as they could.  The ones who didn’t eventually went out of business. 

    So it will be with backup.  It’s just a matter of time before people recognize that they are being penny wise but pound foolish with their data assets. 

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Labor Day Giveaway. Tweet to Win a Free Year of Carbonite!

    by Lynnette Nolan | Sep 02, 2010

    Before Carbonite introduced the flat fee/automatic/unlimited online backup concept to the world, backing up data was a very labor-intensive process. Saving to external drives, CDs or DVDs and then transporting them to safety deposit boxes for secure offsite storage requires a great deal of effort.

    Our objective has always been to provide a simple, secure, affordable way to back up your data offsite.

    In this spirit, and in honor of Labor Day, we're giving away a free one year subscription to a lucky @carbonite follower. This account is good for unlimited backup as well as remote access to all of your backed up files from any computer, iPhone or Blackberry Smartphone. If the winner is already a Carbonite subscriber, we'll extend their subscription for another year.

    The rules are simple:

    • Follow @carbonite on Twitter.
    • Retweet the following message between 12:01 am EST and 11:59 pm EST on Friday September 3: I entered Carbonite’s Labor Day giveaway. Enter to win a subscription by following @carbonite & RT this http://bit.ly/aer3Nq

    We’ll announce the winner here and on Twitter. Good luck!


  • More Hardware for Carbonite's Management Team - Our VP Marketing gets "40 under 40" award!

    by Lynnette Nolan | Sep 01, 2010

    After five years of growing our business, Carbonite's management team seems to suddenly be on the awards track: First our CTO Jeff Flowers won "CTO of the Year" from the Massachusetts Tech Leadership Council. Then I won the Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" award, and Andrew Keenan won "CFO of the Year." Now our brilliant marketing VP, Swami Kumaresan, was awarded one of the "40 under 40" executives in New England by the Boston Business Journal (BBJ). None of these awards would have been possible if it weren't for the fantastic talent we have in our 130+ strong team. On a related note, the company was also chosen one of Boston's Best Places to Work by the BBJ a few months ago.

    Swami has a math degree from Yale. You probably think that Marketing is all about coming up with cool advertising slogans and punchy TV ads. That's part of it. But it's also all about numbers. Every ad slogan, every color choice, every signup page has to be tested and tested again. Tons of data have to be analyzed to figure out what appeals most to our customers and makes it easy for them to sign up and use our products. While it might seem counterintuitive to those of us who are not marketers, a math degree is probably the perfect background for this kind of job. Congratulations, Swami.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • "Before You Build the Product, Write the Ad."

    by Lynnette Nolan | Aug 27, 2010

    This sound bite, picked up by a reporter for Inc Magazine when she interviewed me last month as part of her story on Carbonite (we came in as the 9th fastest growing private company in the US, and #1 in technology) has been tweeted and retweeted by scores of people over the last few days. Since it seems to have struck a nerve, I thought it might be a good idea to add a little color to my comment.

    I'm sure you've heard the expression "A solution looking for a problem." Unfortunately, a lot of products get built before their inventors really stop to think about who's going to buy them, or even why anyone would buy them. My mantra to engineers — "Write the ad!" forces them to think about who we're going to sell our product to, what problem the product solves, and why someone would want to buy it. If you can't figure out how to convey this value proposition in a limited number of words, your odds of success are slim.

    I'm not saying that engineers should turn into advertising copywriters. But I am saying that if you can't explain what your product does and why I should care in a few words, how on earth are you ever going to sell it? One good thing about writing the ad first — when you run it by people, you'll know pretty quickly whether your product is worth building.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Carbonite Named to Inc's List of America's Fastest Growing Companies!

    by Lynnette Nolan | Aug 24, 2010

    We were startled to learn this week that Carbonite is the 9th fastest growing company in the country! We are also the number 1 ranked company in the technology category, and the number 1 company in New England! Five years ago, when Jeff Flowers and I were starting the company, we had no idea that Carbonite would be this successful. A big ‘thank you’ to all our customers and the team here who have made this possible!

    You can see the full list here http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list and Carbonite’s profile here http://www.inc.com/inc5000/profile/carbonite.
  • Carbonite Pro Customer Appears in Forbes Story

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jul 21, 2010

    I was pleased to read this week about one of our most passionate Carbonite Pro users, Richard Gordon of Carlstone Consulting. Richard recently spoke with Gene Marks of Forbes about the importance of small businesses backing up. You can read the full article here: http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/20/carbonite-mozy-internet-technology-backup.html. I couldn’t have put it any better than Richard did when he said about data loss at a small business, “this WILL happen.” Statistics have proven that a majority of small businesses will face data loss and for those where the data loss is major, they struggle to recover and often end up going out of business.

    Richard was so convincing that the writer interviewing him, Gene Marks, decided to give Carbonite a try. He found it to be simple to get up and running, which has always been a goal of ours since we started the company. After his trial, Gene decided to continue and become a paying subscriber. The large majority of those who trial Carbonite end up signing up for it full-time because it’s just that easy and they know their data is now protected.

    To all our small business customers, we’re eager to hear your story, too. You can e-mail us at testimonials (at) carbonite.com and please cc me directly at david.friend (at) carbonite.com. And if you are one of the small businesses not yet backing up online, join Richard and many others who have been extremely satisfied with Carbonite Pro keeping their files safe.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • The Twelve World Cup Winners

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jul 20, 2010

    Unless you have been ignoring your television and radio for the past month you will be aware that the World Cup has run its course in South Africa. For many, the tournament has been full of curve balls and back heels. France's shocking exit, the Brazilians not even reaching the final and ultimately the Spanish proving triumphant (and rightly so)? However, they weren't the only winners during the tournament, as all of you who entered our World Cup Twitter competition will know!

    We asked our followers to guess how many shots on target would be saved during selected matches. Why? Because we're all about 'saving' our customers from losing the 'digital lives' they have saved on their hard drives. We make certain Carbonite Online Backup 'saves' your data so in the event of a data loss, you get it back quickly and easily, whenever you need it.

    We had a fantastic number of entries so a big 'thank you' to all who participated! Congratulations to all 12 winners of the selected matches. They all won a full year subscription to Carbonite Online Backup. What's more, one of these lucky winners has been selected to win our grand prize of a 16GB iPad. We can now announce the lucky winner is @robchilver.

    Congratulations again thank you to everyone who took part. For those of you saddened by the end of World Cup, and our competition, do not fear. Be sure to keep checking the Carbonite website, follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for future competitions and a chance to win.

  • Your Disc is About to Expire - Please Backup Again

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jul 01, 2010
    Those of you out there manually backing up using CDs and DVDs to protect all your previous files are in for some bad news. Having spent a lot of time and energy backing up, imagine how frustrated you would be to discover years down the line the data you 'protected' by backing up has been lost due to the deterioration of its disc.

    Research published last month by the French National Centre for Scientific Research has discovered data stored on physical discs has a limited life span, in some cases very limited. 

    After testing the longevity of portable media, results showed discs designed to last for centuries rarely lasted longer then five to ten years, and in some extreme cases merely a year! Additionally, the results revealed the life span of a disc can be artificially aged by heat, water and light, increasing its vulnerability. 

    This is potentially a big issue for both consumers and businesses. Jerome Duc-Mauge, an executive producer of documentary films, is not fully confident in manual backup. 

    "This is a big drama, this issue of how long these pictures will last. We don't know. The manufacturer says to us, 'Yeah, five years, 10 years, 15 years'."

    The question is which would you choose for your 'digital life' insurance? A time-consuming process with a short life span? Or online backup, which automates the process and ensures you can always backup an unlimited amount of data that can not be lost to theft, fire or father time. 

    If you're reading this, you're most likely already a Carbonite subscriber. But if you're also using CDs and DVDs to backup, make sure you’re double backed up and, as the researchers suggest, you're "spreading digital data rather than keeping it all archived in one place."