The Next Step: Free Storage By The Terabyte

Think storage is cheap today? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Think storage is cheap today? You ain't seen nothing yet.In a recent New York Times piece, venture capitalists Mike Kwatinetz and Cameron Lester explained their process for predicting successful products and technologies. One of their key principles is that "lower component costs and improvements in component technology enable new platforms to emerge."

Sounds obvious, right? But if that's true, why aren't we all living the wealthy venture capitalist lifestyle?

Anyway -- the most interesting thing about the piece is the historical perspective they bring to the topic at hand: storage. Looking at the cost of 3MB of storage (a handy milestone because it's the size of a typical MP3 file), here's what the numbers tell us:

The cost of 3MB of storage in:

  • 1960: $150,000
  • 1970: $15,000
  • 1980: $600
  • 1990: $30
  • 2000: $.06
  • 2010: $.00015

As they point out, numerous companies today offer multiple GBs of online storage at little or no cost. There's no reason why that trend won't continue: before the end of the next decade, they predict that "Web sites will offer a terabyte of more of storage free."

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While I admire their business acumen, I think that's a conservative estimate. I predict that we'll see free online storage services offering a TB or more of free storage within the next 24 months.

And so what if not all of these services stick around for the long haul. Pick two or three -- back up your data to all of them. It's just too cheap, and too easy, for a small business NOT to back up its data online these days.