Kernel Panic! Dropbox Infinite Is Getting Too Intimate

Added on by odrive.

There is a better way

Dropbox's announcement of "Project Infinite" garnered a lot of attention, and rightly so. The challenge of accessing theoretically infinite cloud data on a device with finite storage is something we here at odrive have been working on for quite some time. What we have developed (and released) is our vision of the way cloud storage should be.

All up in your kernel

Recently Dropbox posted technical details regarding their approach to this problem, but the feedback received is probably not what they were expecting. Twitter responses have been coming, fast and furious, with questions, comments, and general outrage regarding Dropbox's implementation of Infinite.

The negative reaction stems from Dropbox's use of kernel extensions to provide their version of infinite storage access. In their own words:

Traditionally, Dropbox operated entirely in user space as a program just like any other on your machine. With Dropbox Infinite, we're going deeper: into the kernel - the core of the operating system. With Project Infinite, Dropbox is evolving from a process that passively watches what happens on your local disk to one that actively plays a role in your filesystem.

The implication certainly has people on edge:

Moving from user space into the kernel allows Dropbox to get very cozy with your operating system. Generally you only want the most trusted, secure, stable code running in the kernel, as it has access to pretty much every facet of your system. Dropbox is assuming a lot of responsibility by playing around in there.

Infinite access. Zero kexts.

You can rest easy, though, folks. odrive's implementation keeps everything in user space. We have deliberately taken a lightweight, nonintrusive approach with our desktop universal sync client. No kernel extensions, no drivers, no OS invasion. We provide infinite access to all of your cloud storage without needing to resort to these types of measures.

The best part is that, unlike Dropbox Infinite, odrive is available now, and for free.

Sync differently, my friends.

Should You Join A Startup?

Added on by odrive.

4 Factors to Consider in today's Sucky Environment


There are many reasons to join a startup. It’s mostly an individual assessment, so let’s look at the reasons from my perspective at odrive to help you make the right decision.


If you are looking to escape the doldrums of large company work life, then a startup may be for you. You will not be just a cog in the wheel at a startup. Your work matters, and hopefully the stuff you’re making will make an impact.

On the other hand, the excitement can quickly turn into chaos. There will be little process established. If you are someone who needs to have everything in its place, “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed, a startup may not be for you.

You don’t just execute a game plan. Often, you are the plan so you need to quickly learn from your mistakes and make them part of your body of experiences to draw from. You have to think on your feet. You have to be a creator.

People often refer to this person as having a “builder’s mindset.” You look to create systems and repeatable assets. You anticipate for scale, and discount one-offs. A builder is probably the most valuable trait to have on a startup team, though you don’t necessarily need an entire team of just builders.

One trait that everyone on the early startup team must have? Resiliency.

You must know that shit rolls downhill most of the time. You must know that you will fail much more than you succeed. You must know that the odds are stacked against you.

And against all that dreary knowledge, you must know that your belief in what you’re building is worth the risk.


Let’s get this out of the way. Chances are, you are not going to cash in your equity for a big payday. First, the probability for any startup to succeed is terrible. On the flip side, the probability of a startup failing is great!

Then, even if a startup survives and reaches an equitable event like an IPO or acquisition, your share of equity will have been diluted greatly by venture capital.

For you to hit the jackpot, you must have been an early employee, stuck around for the exit, and the company is a mega hit.

In other words, you should not consider your options as a path to riches. You’d better have other reasons to go the startup route.

We here at odrive are riding in a different boat as we are self funded, so we expect the runway to success to be a little longer than others. However, we take nothing for granted and are putting the pedal to the metal.

Professional Growth

Bydefault, you will be wearing multiple hats.

If you’re a non-engineer, you’ll likely move from one role to the next as needs require and as the company changes. You’re also likely to take on multiple roles at the same time. I’ve had roles in sales, business development, partnerships, and content marketing. Oh, I’m also General Counsel.

If you’re an engineer — congrats — you’re a full stack engineer! You’ll work in front end development, backend, web, mobile — the whole shebang.

If you stay on just long enough, you also will take on management responsibility. This doesn’t mean you have been promoted to manager, just that you will take on management responsibility over those who’ve joined the company after you.

If you stay on long enough, you will become highly trusted and highly dependent on. Your fingerprints will be everywhere. You’ll be indispensable, so much so that you are irresistible to recruiters looking for someone just like you. Your options will have opened up to both larger startups and traditional companies.

Your startup experience is portable. You can take it with you wherever you go, and it will serve you well. Indeed, working anywhere else will seem like a piece of cake.

Build something amazing

This is the one. Your raison d’être for being at a startup. All the other reasons are surface, and can be obtained elsewhere.

You HAVE to want to build amazing and find meaning in what you’re building. You HAVE to want to achieve mega growth.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of speed bumps and landmines on the road to mega growth and amazing.

  • Failure to find product/market fit
  • Run out of money
  • Big companies are chasing after your market
  • Other startups are racing you to the market

From a personnel standpoint, the biggest roadblock is not making progress or the perception that not enough progress is being made towards the ultimate goal.

Ping pong tables and snacks help a little, for a short time. Then, there has to be perceptible progress.

Your people have a shelf life.

They can put up with a lot but they want to make sure you’re on the right trajectory, even if it’s not yet a hockey stick.

So do you still want to join a startup? I have painted a very hard and unlikely road to success. It’s not for the faint of heart.

I have been at six startups. Two are defunct, and three are still hanging on.

I’m a little older, a little wiser. I still believe.

These days, you can find me still chasing the startup dream at odrive.

Startups Shall Inherit The Earth

Added on by odrive.

Startups innovate, Big companies follow


For so long, odrive has been beating the same drum.

Cloud storage is great — especially when it’s unlimited — but it is not usable or effective unless you have the right sync model.

More specifically, you needed to have a Progressive Sync model that enables users to sync down what they want, as they want it. And then Unsync what they no longer want.

The primary culprit was the amount of local computer storage.

It will never keep up with what you want stored in the cloud.

Until the last couple months, we had been beating that drum — alone. The silence was deafening.

That all changed in April when Google announced the release of Selective Sync which allows users to deselect folders from syncing to their desktop and thus freeing their local computer storage:

Google finally recognized that:  “there’s a good chance your computer’s hard drive will run out of space if you sync everything.”  Just last week, Dropbox announced Project Infinite:

Google finally recognized that:

“there’s a good chance your computer’s hard drive will run out of space if you sync everything.”

Just last week, Dropbox announced Project Infinite:

We responded to it. We straight-up called out what our users knew to be the truth: it was a copycat, right down to the logo.

We were not angry. We were not scared. We are not newbies at this.

Did we get nervous? I would be lying if we did not take some time out to assess what we should do.

The final analysis: this is freakin’ awesome!

A market is born

This is the moment we have been waiting for. We knew that we had created awesome technology but wondered whether it was the classic tale of a great technology that did not solve a problem — or a problem of only a few.

Our hearts and minds were telling us that we were solving problems faced by everyone using cloud storage: how to unify the fragmentation of your apps and clouds, how to easily access it, share it, and then protect. Our users were telling us the same:



But where was the competition?

Then came Google’s announcement, and then Dropbox’s. They finally got the religion that cloud storage requires better sync because, among other things, local disk storage is limited.

This is good. No, great.

We can’t be the only one to push the market. More competition validates the market and our vision.

Are we Sparta?

You’ve all seen the movie 300, right? In the Battle of Thermopylae, a Spartan force of 300 led by King Leonidas fight valiantly to hold off a Persian army of over 100,000, but ultimately are killed. Their battle did help the Greek forces to beat back the Persian invasion.

No doubt, Google and Dropbox have larger armies. Without saying outright the size of our company, let’s just say that King Leonidas would have preferred his numerical inferiority.

We are not here for a moral victory. We are not here to let someone else win the game and memorialize us with a plaque or a movie. We are here to win.

The Startup shall inherit the earth

It is the law of technology nature.

Large companies once had good ideas but no longer innovate. They have established a business model that generates revenue and profits. They get bigger by getting bigger distribution.

For startups, many die but the few that survive will win because of ideas — and execution of those ideas into a market.

As the startup achieves market success, the larger company may try to do what the successful startup is doing. They throw endless resources and people to duplicate the technology and catch up. It’s not that easy. It’s a losing proposition.

The large company never sees the market as a problem to solve. It’s just business. Its engineers are not the ones driving the development; it’s the sales executives.

Startups follow their gut. Large company engineers follow specs.

odrive will win because we already have the future — today — while others are trying to build it and catch up.

We are nimble and fierce. We are experts at what we do. This also happens to be all we do — make the cloud better for all of us.

Let the giants come play in our backyard.

Come join our fight!

Facebook Has All My Pictures!!!!!!

Added on by odrive.

Now get them all back


I am your typical Facebook user. I’m active some times, and can drop off completely off the face of the earth at other times… only to be pulled back in by some sneaky notification or curiosity gets the best of me.

When I’m active, I post quite a few pictures. Even when I’m not active, I can count on my friends to tag me in pics.

For some reason, I don’t give much thought to where all these pictures go. Somewhere in Facebook heaven… or graveyard?

Of course, I know the pictures are all sitting on a Facebook server farm but I don’t really think of the pictures as mine.

But I should — we all should.

There’s an app for that

This is a bigger problem than just Facebook. It’s all your apps like Instagram, Slack and Hipchat, for example. It’s where we spend most of our time. Apps connect with us at specific points of relevance — where we take pictures, talk to our friends, collaborate with teammates, etc.

Apps drive the growth of data more than anything else.

And yet, we don’t think of app storage as cloud storage, when in fact, it is as much cloud storage as Dropbox or Google Drive. There is no difference between storage that you buy and move content into, and storage that an app fills up.

I have more apps than I can shake a stick at. And yet I know I will adopt new apps in the future at an even faster clip.

With each app, my data sits in a different server farm somewhere.

How do we reclaim our data?

odrive can help.

Like this, if you want your data

Let’s take a look at my Facebook on my desktop. Facebook is a folder, along with my other apps and cloud storage — all on my desktop.

What is that photo? It was my high school yearbook photo that I posted on “throwback Thursday” as a profile picture. I made that post about two years ago.

I’m able to capture every photo and video I’ve ever posted to Facebook, and even pictures posted by friends who tagged me. Albums and timeline photos are automatically pulled together. Photos are organized by device.

Instead of browsing and scrolling through the Facebook interface, I can now easily find all my pictures on my desktop.

My pictures are now exactly where I want them to be. On MY desktop.

Of course, I will continue to post new pictures and videos to Facebook. And I will continue to use apps for different use cases.

While my data is everywhere, I also have them all in one place. In My odrive.

odrive is free to link to all your apps and storage. Get started today, get back control over all your data.

Is Your Cloud Storage Slow As Shit?

Added on by odrive.

Meet the fastest personal cloud storage in the universe

Image credit: Disney/AP

Is Dropbox the fastest? Nope.

OneDrive? Not even close.

Amazon Cloud Drive? Uh-uh.

Google Drive? You’re getting warmer…

Give up?

Google Cloud Storage

That’s right folks. I’m not talking about Google Drive. I’m talking about Google’s infrastructure cloud storage.

But you said “personal cloud storage”.

That I did. Not too long ago I thought the same: Google Cloud Storage is not a service that every-day people can utilize effectively. But, it is a brave new world out there. Infrastructure cloud storage is no longer locked away behind an API, where Engineering and IT are the only keymasters. Today you can sync to Google Cloud Storage as easily as you do any other consumer storage. Better, in fact, because it is balls to the wall, blazing fast.

Ludicrous Speed.. Go!

Image credit: Dark Helmet/Spaceball One

So, how much faster is Google Cloud Storage? I am just completing a comprehensive performance analysis of Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, S3, and Google Cloud Storage in 7 different environments. Below are a few examples from a forthcoming post detailing my results. In terms of average upload speed, Google Cloud utterly destroys everything, across the board. I mean, it’s not even close.

When comparing average download speed, the competition heats up a bit, but Google Cloud still comes out on top, thoroughly trouncing a good number of the competitors.


The right tool for the job

Tapping into this blistering speed is easy. You need just one thing: odrive.

odrive overlays its progressive sync engine on top of a multitude of storage providers, including Google Cloud Storage. It strips away all of the complexities and restrictions, making storage that was previously thought of as inaccessible, now an exceedingly usable option for your personal cloud. You can sync, share, manage, and protect your data on the fastest storage available, if you like, without sacrificing a thing.

Storage for every occasion

Look at that! The cloud storage world just got a lot bigger. You now have the luxury of choosing storage according to your specific needs and use cases. You don’t have to lock yourself into the “prescribed” cloud storage choices, nor do you have to limit yourself to a single storage offering. Choose based on the merits of the storage, alone, and let odrive do the rest.

So, if you happen to be looking for the fastest solution around, it is available to you today with odrive and Google Cloud Storage!




Dropbox Infinite-ly Late To The Game

Added on by odrive.

Dropbox’s Project Infinite is nothing new for odrive users

Dropbox made a breathtaking announcement today:

It’s revolutionary alright, but not new.

For odrive users, they have long understood the pains associated with accessing content locally on a machine that has limited storage when there is lots of content — and that odrive is the answer.

As one tweet noted, it’s a copy right down to the logo:

We should not be surprised as we laid out the future for Dropbox in an earlier Medium article.

Perhaps we should be flattered, as the saying goes. We’re just glad Dropbox has decided to hop on to OUR revolution that was begun eons ago.

Of course, providing effective sync access to your unlimited cloud is not merely a project for us. It’s a mission. And it’s ready. Today.

Infinite access to everything under the Sun

The other thing that odrive users know is that we all use more than one cloud. Our stuff is everywhere, in multiple clouds, apps and storage. Fragmentation is a fact of life but you don’t need to fall victim to its sprawl.

You can use odrive for all your clouds under the Sun and on the Planet. This includes Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, Box — and even Dropbox so you don’t have to wait for their Project to be completed.

For a complete list of supported clouds, go here.

The cloud storage revolution — we’ve only just started.

If and when Dropbox Infinite does eventually come to fruition, it’s supposedly available only for subscribers to the Business edition.

To all other Dropbox users: No need to start a riot.

odrive is available to you now.

Join the revolution and get it now!

The Year Of Magical Sharing

Added on by odrive.

How to finally share everything without it being a P.I.T.A.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to astound you and dazzle you. What if I were to tell you that you could have a folder — of anything — and that you can have that folder suddenly appear everywhere you want it to be. Voila!

Alright, I might be playfully overplaying my hand here but I really think that odrive is truly magical. Any storage you have — is turned into shared storage. Share what you already have — without uploading. Whatever you have in a folder — instantly shows up everywhere. And it’s ridiculously easy to set up.

You might think it magical, too, considering what is normally required to share your stuff.

Let me demonstrate with an event that we are all too familiar with — the family get-together.

It’s a family sharing-palooza

After the hugs, kisses and goodbyes, each family decamps back to their own lives. And then the flurry of pictures start flying across machines, across different apps (email, text, web links, etc.), and across the country.

Is this you?

  • Some of your family are able to get pictures to you by email or text, but they end up buried in your email or phone storage.
  • Some family members can not figure out how to share pictures and give up, so their pictures are stuck in their phones and camera storage.
  • Someone “tech savvy” like Uncle Johnny tells everyone to send all the pictures to him who will then upload it all to his Dropbox and send out a sharing link. Doable, but requires a lot of coordination, competency, and lots of effort.
  • Someone even more “tech savvy” — Aunt Sally — says she’ll set up a new, shared storage account and everyone can upload it there. Doable, but costly and still requires lots of coordination, competency, and significant uploading.

There must be a better way.

Now you see it… now you see it everywhere!

I have a folder of pictures stored in Amazon Cloud Drive labeled “Alex’s pics from BBQ” which were downloaded from my phone.

I have my BBQ pictures under a folder “Spring 2016 BBQ”.

I right-clicked on the folder and was able to kick off a share of that folder.

I send an email invite to Allison, Amanda, Aunt Cindy, Laura, Lauren, Nick, Ray, and Simon. After they accept the email invitation, they have the folder “Spring 2016 BBQ” on their desktop with all my BBQ pictures!

Just like that, everyone immediately saw my pictures on their own desktop.

If you have a folder, you can make it appear everywhere, out of nowhere, just like that.

Voila — bi-directional magic!

What happens next, you must experience.

My family members added their pictures to the same “Spring 2016 BBQ” folder.

Against my explicit instructions to add only pictures, my rebellious niece, Allison, defiantly added her music that she played during our family outing. Us older folk who grew up in the ’80s were happy that her collection included Depeche Mode.

The result is that I was able to create a two-way sharing experience with my family so that our pictures could be aggregated and organized with minimal effort.

The effect is a family that can stay in sync despite the distance.

Sharing storage the odrive way is magical not just for family gatherings. It can be used in work context where sharing is important like with teams and clients.

Let us know what magic you create.