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This is an exclusive interview conducted by Backup Review (here on referred as â€œBRâ€) with David Friend (here on referred as â€œDFâ€), CEO of Carbonite.
David Friend, CEO, Carbonite.com
BR: Please give us some background information about your company, such as how it was founded, by who, how long you have been around, where your headquarters are, how many branch offices you have etc.
DF: Carbonite was founded by myself and Jeff Flowers (CTO) in the fall of 2005. Together, we have co-founded four previous businesses: Computer Pictures, Pilot Software, FaxNet, and Sonexis. As always, weâ€™re headquartered in downtown Boston. Jeff and I founded Carbonite because there wasnâ€™t really an online backup solution on the market that was designed from the ground up for consumers (rather than businesses). It is a fresh look at backup and is not derivative from big IT backup products that have been around for years. We found that consumers didnâ€™t want a lot of features and new things to learn â€“ they just wanted their data to be safe. So we wanted to build a backup solution that was so simple that all you needed to do was enter your email address and create a password. Everything else is automatic.
BR: Is your customer base mainly in US or do you have substantial international presence as well?
DF: About 20% of our customers today are from Europe and Asia. We recently signed a distribution agreement with Softbank in Japan, so we expect that percentage to increase substantially in the next year. Eventually we expect at least half of our business to come from overseas.
BR: How many employees do you have and how big is your R&D department?
BR: What are your best selling products and services and why are they selling so well?
BR: What makes your company and its services different from others?
BR: One of the biggest concerns of online backup users is data security and privacy. How have you addressed these issues?
BR: What kind of growth rate have you been experiencing? And what is your expected growth rate for the next few years?
BR: How has the online backup business evolved in the last few years, and how do you see it further evolving?
BR: Whom do you consider your main competitors?
BR: Large companies such as Microsoft and major telco’s have started offering online backup business. Do you fear them? How do you plan to compete against such formidable adversaries?
BR: There has been quite a bit of M&A activity in the industry lately (such as XDrive being acquired by AOL, Microsoft acquiring Foldershare and LiveVault by Iron Mountain, and Evault by Seagate). What is your strategy? (being acquired, IPO, etc…)
BR: Are there any new products/services you are developing that will soon be available?
BR: What is your opinion about Google entering the online backup business? Do you feel that Google will dominate the market?
BR: What is your annual revenue?
BR: How does your proprietary technology compare to the proprietary technology of main competitors?
BR: What is the most regrettable mistake that you or your company made in the past? How would you handle that mistake if you got a second chance?
BR: In the future, say five years from now, do you think the cost of online backup will remain as today or will it go significantly cheaper (For example to backup a 1 GB file)?
BR: How many subscribers do you have? What is the amount of file you backed up in your servers?
BR: What do you see as the greatest challenges facing your company today? And what are your biggest accomplishments so far?
BR: What are the key competing technologies and what are some of the advantages you offer over the competition?
BR: Can you tell us about your servers? Where they are located, how many backups you perform, if server room is controlled for humidity, temperature and what kind of backup generation system you use?
BR: Any other news about your company you care to share?
BR: Now we know about you, we want to ask you about us. As you know, BR is the ONLY website providing information about online backup and storage, and that ranks the top 25 online backup companies on a monthly basis. We have close to 400 online backup companies listed in our directory. How can we improve BRâ€™s website?
David Friend is CEO of Carbonite.
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