The race to zero-cost storage: a B2BNN backgrounder

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Back in 1983, a MB of memory was almost $2k. Storage was a growth industry. It stayed a growth industry despite dropping prices, when in 2004 Google shook up the industry by offering a gigabyte of personal email storage for free with Gmail, then Google Drive. Dropbox and Box followed suit for business, both experiencing massive, rapid growth until sometime last year when the bottom appeared to drop out. A delayed Box IPO and vendor shifts away from storage to recovery or other value-adds signalled then that something massive was happening.

The ability to charge for storage was disappearing.

Now we are in an accelerating Race to Zero. And spreading: it seems like the trend is just starting with storage. The implication for any media or data offering is the future expectation that storage will be included, with all the headaches of management that implies. (Expect one massive vendor to eventually dominate a high volume razor margin business, seize that opportunity and consolidate delivering B2B storage as a service to providers who bundle.)

And expect the ensuing races for zero, after storage, to be where it gets really interesting.

The Race to Zero:

– Business Insider breaks down the implications of storage tipping over from huge business to unprofitability to free.

– TechCrunch goes past storage to the race to a world with bundled computing power.

– This blogger asks: Is the case for code as a career overstated? Will code increasingly be delivered as a commoditizable service and join the race to zero? (Go soft skills!) Forbes: is this indicative of larger societal trends?

– Where does it end? The race to zero jobs.

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