Sramana Mitra: Where do you see services like Shutterfly going?
Matthew Dornquast: People who focus on everything will ultimately win over the specialization. There is always some new temporal period where a new format will get off, but then the large platforms absorb them.
Sramana Mitra: If you were to ask entrepreneurs to look at opportunities in the space that you really understand deeply, where would you ask them to focus?
Matthew Dornquast: Before I answer that, I would like to quickly go through one facet that we’re missing on this conversation to support my answer. We’ve been a very unique cloud company from the beginning. From the beginning, we have given people a choice as to where their cloud is built. You can build your own private cloud using your own devices and hardware for free. Think of Skype for data. Or we offer you to use our cloud or hybrid. We’ve been doing public, private, and hybrid cloud all along and measuring what the audience chooses and does.
I would say that the trends are clear. The power and capability of mobile devices is always increasing. You should be focusing on unlocking mesh-like behavior for mobile through peer-to-peer, distributed computing. The stored client, server cloud models are not as resilient and do not perform as well as the peer-to-peer models do. While it’s more difficult to architect files like that in the beginning, we’re getting better at it as technologists.
A simple example would be I don’t want to upload two terabytes to the cloud. But I would love to transfer it from my terabyte-capable device to your terabyte-capable device over my new 10 GB WiFi. The future is not in a client-server cloud architecture but in a peer-to-peer, distributed cloud architecture. There’s been a lot of exciting work by a lot of different companies, ours’ included, that are focused on this space.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s say a consumer or a small business wants to access that functionality, are they then buying a separate functionality?
Matthew Dornquast: No, it’s built-in. It always has been. All three are supported simultaneously. A very large Fortune 20 technology company uses our product. They use private cloud to protect their IPs, but employees are able to designate personal data and they send that to their personal cloud, which might be something as simple as a USB drive or could be as sophisticated as another computer in the house. This single device that has work and personal data on it is completely safe and secure, no matter how many users are using it. I would focus on data security, peer-to-peer technologies because they’re faster and more efficient. They’re future-proof. By that I mean the implementation gets faster and more powerful as hardware refreshes. These mobile phones are refreshing at ridiculous rates.
Sramana Mitra: Great conversation! Nice talking to you. Thank you for your time.