Why Everyone Was In Love With Dropbox Rival Space Monkey At LAUNCH

Space Monkey

Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider

Update: Space Monkey won the best new startup prize at the Festival.The startup that got the most attention at yesterday’s LAUNCH Festival?

Storage company, Space Monkey.

Angel investor Bill Warner said: “It’s a geek’s dream. Take the entire web and split it all up in everybody’s house. Napster meets Dropbox.”

Space Monkey is like Box, or Dropbox, in that it offers cloud based storage. You get 1 terabyte of data for $10 a month. (Box charges $15/month and DropBox charges $20.)

It’s unlike those companies in that it offers users a little box. That hardware is supposed to be networked with other boxes around the country to create a diffuse data centre.

We asked Space Monkey’s co-founder Clint Gordon-Carroll for a demo to find out why this cloud storage company was getting all the love.

“We have a small device that is our storage centre. We have put the data centre into this tiny device, which allows you to store your photos, videos, documents on it. That little device is peered to other devices in the network,” Gordon-Carroll said. 

The white box distributes your data to other white boxes in the network.

“When you put your first photo on a Space Monkey, that photo is broken up into tiny little pieces, encrypted and sprayed out geographically. If there’s an earthquake in San Francisco, you don’t want to lose your data. That’s OK, some of that photo is in Chicago, some in Dallas, or some in Austin,” Gordon-Carroll said.

Gordon-Carroll is solving a problem we don’t often think about when we use Facebook and Google — how much it costs to store all our data in energy intensive data centres.

“Anyone who is in the data centre space today — Dropbox Mozy, and Google — they all have to deal with the power it costs to run the data centre such as cooling and bandwidth. We take all of that away. We have this little device that sits in your home: cooling is free because it’s ambient, bandwidth is a fixed cost, the electricity is 25 cents a month, and carbon emissions are crazy low compared to what Google’s or Apple’s is,” Gordon-Carroll said.

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