When we started Box in 2005, the nearest competitor was charging $10/month for 5GB of storage with no free offering. We wanted to enter the market with the most broadly available, affordable service - so after experimenting with a few business models early on, in 2006 we launched the largest free space at the time: 1GB.
Many things have changed since 2006. Hard drive efficiency - how we actually store your data - has improved nearly 400% in the past five years. That means we can store 5X the amount of data in the same space we could have five years ago. We've also built out two enterprise-grade data centers, received SAS 70 Type II certification, and worked with a number of partners and industry leaders to build one of the largest and most extensible cloud content management services. In response to the tremendous traction and excitement we've seen, we want to change the game again.
Today, we're announcing 5GB of free web storage for our personal subscription plans. Not only that, but we're making a major change to how our business plan works - instead of paying to incrementally add more storage for every user you have (15GB each), we're going to start the plan out at 500GB. This will more than triple the amount of storage the average business subscriber has access to. Services like SharePoint Online, Google Docs, or Salesforce Content typically limit users to a gigabyte or less each; we think our new model offers a very compelling advantage over the current ways businesses can manage their content in the cloud today.
Ultimately, we want to move in a direction where storage is never a concern for end users or IT administrators, where the cloud is effectively "infinite." Web-based applications should be all about flexibility, elasticity, and the power of connected applications and services. The cloud also brings tremendous economies of scale, and we believe in passing these benefits along to our users. The last thing you should be worrying about are "traditional" issues like storage allotments, bandwidth limitations, upgrades, patches, etc. We want our customers to focus on the powerful benefits of collaboration, the ability to work from anywhere, and connecting their information to other powerful applications and devices. That's the ultimate vision of Box.
These changes are live today for new users, and we'll be rolling out these benefits to all our existing Box customers throughout November. We also have other amazing and exciting product improvements, expansions, and partnerships we're working on - we look forward to announcing these updates in the coming months.
Post by Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO, Box.net