Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Tonido Launches Private Cloud Storage alternative to Google Drive for Enterprises

Secure, on-premise Cloud Storage and Sync solution for today’s mobile workforce

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — CodeLathe, the leader in Personal Cloud software and services, today announced Tonido Cloud, a secure, private cloud storage and sync solution for medium businesses, managed service providers and enterprises.

Tonido Cloud allows users to access, share, sync company files and documents from anywhere and any device. It connects to a variety of back-end storage systems (local disk, NAS/SAN, Amazon S3 and Openstack) and makes it available to users on their computers (PC, Mac and Linux) and mobile devices (iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows 7.5 Phone).

“Tonido Cloud is a result of multi man-year focused development optimized for end-user experience and enterprise grade security. It is extremely simple to use and can scale from tens to millions of users. Tonido Cloud mobile apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows 7.5 phone are already available in their respective marketplaces,” said Anis Abdul, CTO of CodeLathe.

Currently, Tonido Cloud is undergoing trials in more than 100 enterprises across media, insurance, realty, wealth management and telecom verticals. It addresses a critical need in sectors where security of customer data is of utmost importance and consumer data storage is regulated by government privacy laws. Even before the public launch, quite a few organizations are already using Tonido Cloud in their day-to-day operations.

“More than ever, enterprises need a secure, scalable, easy-to-use solution that delivers anywhere, any-device access to corporate data. Tonido Cloud enables this objective at 1/4th cost of Public Cloud storage/sync services like Dropbox Teams, while providing complete control and visibility of corporate data. Tonido Cloud is a no-brainer decision for CIOs and Corporate IT groups for Enterprise file sharing and collaboration,” said Madhan Kanagavel, CEO of CodeLathe.

Tonido Cloud is available monthly for $2.50 per user per month, or $24.99 per user per year (a 17% savings over the monthly price) as a pre-paid, annual subscription. Enterprises can purchase the licenses directly. Tonido Cloud purchases from network of Tonido Cloud partners and system integrators will be available shortly.

For more information on Tonido Cloud visit:

About CodeLathe:

CodeLathe, founded in 2008, a pioneer in Personal Cloud products and services, offers turnkey Personal/Private Cloud storage and sync solutions to leading mobile carriers, enterprises, network and external storage device makers to create value-added products and services. Over half a million devices run Tonido ( Personal Cloud software and a quarter million users use it daily. CodeLathe is also a maker of the popular portable network attached storage device, TonidoPlug (  Tonido™ and TonidoPlug™ are registered trademarks of CodeLathe LLC.

*Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Tonido user survey- winning comments

Thank you all for your overwhelming participation, support, and comments. For small company like us,  your comments provide the necessary encouragment to work hard to improve continously. Though each of your comments were very valuable, we picked following feedback for thoroughness that took into account every aspect of the product. We will soon ship a Tonidoplug to the user.


Hi Tonido Team,

I purchased a Tonido2Plug several weeks ago and I enjoy using it every day. Yesterday, I received an email from you, asking for feedback and suggestions, where you offer a prize of a TonidoPlug2 for the best feedback or suggestion. I’m am happy to provide you with feedback and would be even happier to win the prize if you think my feedback or suggestion is worthy of such an honor.

My Feedback:

Unboxing everything went well. I was pleased with how the items were found in the box and how easy it was to understand how the device was to be connected to the router, the external USB drive, and to the power outlet.

I could not figure out how to open the Tonido2plug to insert an internal drive. I learned later that the directions were not correct.

The graphic in the directions made it easy to understand the order of the connections, and I was able to get everything connected in less than 5 minutes.

There were parts of the printed instructions that I couldn’t read because of a combination of font size and font color — the blue color that you use for the links was especially difficult to figure out. One of your online pages asked for the device’s MAC address. I couldn’t read it — the label printed on the device was printed in very small text, and some of the characters were not legible
After I got it all connected, the device would not work and I could not figure out why. It took me a few attempts of trial and error, then I added a “help me” post to your forum and had to wait for a response, then I had to call my internet provider (they told me to reboot my cable modem). After that, it worked and I have had no issue since, except for …… I can’t get the wireless to work. I have followed the directions the best that I can but it’s like a trial and error puzzle where I don’t seem to get the settings done correctly. I have a wireless printer that I set up with absolutely no issue, and my family members have several other wireless devices and each of those devices were easy to set up or configure. I haven’t given up but I’m frustrated with this.
My Ratings (scale of1 to 10 where 10 is best):

Packaging and Unboxing: 10

Connecting: 10

Printed Directions:4

First Use: 2

Troubleshooting: 4

Usage after issue was resolved: 10

Owner settings: 10

Setting up a guest account: 10

Guest usage: 10

Ongoing use: 10

Wireless Configuration: 3


My Suggestions:

Reprint your instructions so the font is a bit bigger and change the color from blue to something else that is easier to read.

Correct the instructions. There is at least one part that is wrong (instructs you to hold own a switch to open the device, and that isn’t necessary).

Put the instructions on your web site.

Add some videos on youtube or your own site that show how to gt set up (how to connect the parts, how to open the device and insert an internal drive)

And finally, one request: My ultimate goal with the Tonido2plug is to create a mini web server, to host a family web site, and I’ll need to use all the parts of xampp (apache, MySQL, PHP, etc) plus maybe even install wordpress. It doesn’t look like the directions
to do that are written for a person like me (I’m not a software developer or programmer) so it would be great if there were some simple and clear and easy instructional material available to explain how to do that.

I have already recommended your product to one of my co-workers and he says he will place an order, and I think most of my other team members will want one too, so we can have a somewhat distributed file-sharing network at work, protected by the firewall. But we can’t use any device at work unless the IT department has approved it. So if I win a Tonido2Plug for best feedback, I will hand it to our IT department so they can check it out.

Is computing at inflection point similar to weapons technology and cars?

Summary: At an inflection point, need for efficiency will overtake need for power. In the past, industries eg. weapons and auto have reached such an inflection point. Computing is approaching such an inflection point. Once we hit such an inflection point, light devices such net books, cell phones and light devices will be more popular than heavy weight desktops. Increase in user data, popularity of light devices and increase in bandwidth will lead to a central data repository. Current trend is to go to cloud services to host such a repository. Tonido and Tonidplug offer better alternative than cloud.

When arms race began in early part of 20th century, countries where building weapons that could pack as many TNT as possible in a missile/bomb. All through the world war, only thing that mattered was “how much TNT of power can be packed per cubic inch or per gram”. However, after years of building weapons, countries had nuclear bombs and other weapons that can pack tons of TNT. Power wasn’t constraint anymore.

Post world war-II, weapon builders shifted their focus from power to precision. What mattered now was precision, how accurate a weapon can hit a target and how precise can be the damage. Another such example is car industry. Automakers were on an arms race to build higher HP cars. Focus was on “how much horse power you can pack in a car”. However, when energy crisis began, focus shifted to efficiency. Everyone knows that the supply of oil is not unlimited, hence future of cars will be on efficiency not horsepower.

In computing, as defined by Moore’s law, power of the processor increased and size decreased, our appetite for bigger and more powerful machine grew. We use 64 bit processors in desktops. Question is will arms race to pack more power will continue or will it turn towards efficient and low maintenance devices?

Already enterprise servers are moving towards efficiency as cooling and energy costs become big part of data center costs. Soon, efficiency will be the key in running desktop and personal devices since users want their system run for long time for streaming media, or downloading TV programming, torrents, files, videos and music.

Constraint in with these light weight devices will be size and weight. By design, these devices should have limited (<100GB?) storage if not, these devices aren’t designed optimally taking advantage of bandwidth. With the current rate of growth in user data and growth in bandwidth, central remote data repositories are viable.

Such remote repositories can be hosted by cloud service vendors (Dropbox, Google etc) or you can use personal devices (TonidoPlug, PogoPlug) to host and maintain your repository. At CodeLathe, we believe your remote repository should be in a personal device which guarantees absolute privacy and prevents from any vendor lock-ins.

CodeLathe’s TonidoPlug is a small energy efficient device that would help you host files, data and applications at fraction of the cost that you have to pay for cloud services. Free cloud service today doesn’t always mean free forever, soon cloud companies will have to charge fee to be sustainable.

TonidoPlug can offer more than just remote drive or repository. You can access music, video/photos and manage calendars, contacts, Tonido applications. TonidoPlug will relieve you from running you power consuming desktop from running 24×7 to download torrents or running your home server to stream music or video in your home.

TonidoPlug will save you money in initial cost as well as in operating costs. Learn more at

Brand Awareness and Perception

Awareness and Perception are the two key metrics that any company would use to measure their brand strength.

Awareness in simple terms – how many people know my brand? Usually, awareness is measured through surveys that asks participants a series of questions like “What brand comes to your mind if you want to buy shoes? In general, companies measure unaided awareness- what % of survey participants mentioned the brand without any kind of hint.  For top brands like Coke, McDonalds the awareness will be close to 100%.

Perception is the values consumers attach to a brand.  For example, perception for Volvo will be safety.  To measure perception of a car company, survey will have questions like “How do you rank car brands in terms of safety? And various questions will be asked on quality, performance, or green. Outcome of the survey reveal the brand perception. List of questions depends on what is goal for the brand and how you want customers to think of your brand.

Studies have shown that awareness and perception plays a big role in the market share of a product. What is important? Awareness or perception?  For a growing company (trend) like Twitter, awareness would be the prime driver to grow the product usage. As more people are aware of micro blogging and Twitter, more people would use Twitter. Hence % of awareness level would decide Twitter’s growth and penetration among online population. On the other hand, for a mature business segment like ’cars’, awareness may not be the major driver of market share. Close to 100% of people might be aware of Pontiac but many would not buy Pontiac cars. Hence perception matters the most for Pontiac. Not only the stage of company and industry, other factors such as type of product, level of competition, switching cost, risk of switching also drive the importance of awareness vs. perception.

Generally, it takes at least frequency of 5-6 ads through various mass media to gain 1% increase in awareness among population. Cost for such a campaign will be close to $100M. Since consumers are constantly bombarded with huge number of ads, new products and brands, cost for gaining awareness is constantly going up. Given the high cost involved in conventional mass media, small startups leverage non conventional and inexpensive media like Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and Youtube to generate brand awareness and perception. Most importantly, companies leverage current user base to generate awareness and perception. Facebook and Twitter effectively used their user base to increase awareness. Services like Facebook  are useful to consumers only when more people use the service. Hence users inherently have an incentive to popularize the service. For any company to be successful in the future, its product or service should have some way to provide an incentive for the users to recommend the product to others.

Couple of decades ago, building a brand like Twitter or Facebook would have required multibillion dollar investments. However, these brands were built with faction of the cost by aligning user incentive correctly and leveraging the users.

Internet User Involvement Trends

Traffic for a website is driven by number of users, and visits/user. In addition to user visits, time spent in the website or in an internet activity is a key metric to understand trends among web consumers. Visits/user and time spent by a user collectively define user involvement. Here are the some trends in users and user involvement in various internet activities – search, portal and social networking.

  • Nearly 90% of all US Internet users visit a search engine in a month. An average user makes close to 24 visits in the month and spends average 2 minutes each time a user visits a search engine. (Source: Comscore January 2009)
  • Number of Internet users who have a search engine for their home page has grown significantly. 21% of Internet users said that their home page is a search page such as Google — more than double the response in 2005. On the other hand, % of users, who set an Internet portal (Yahoo, America Online, or MSN) as their home page, is continuously declining. (Source: Daily Internet Activities (May 08, US, Pew/Internet)
  • Apart from decline in portals as homepages, overall pageviews for portal websites usage is declining. Though the usage is declining, portals still get almost twice as many visits as a search engine gets. Not all portals are performing poorly. Yahoo’s portal usage and pageviews are growing while others are declining. Yahoo has consistently shown growth through building a very strong user community that uses multiple Yahoo Services. 
  • % of users who participate in social networking and consume blogs grown to 65M which is close to 1/3 of total internet users. In terms of user involvement, an average user visits 20 times a month to a social networking website and spends close to 14 minutes per visit in social networking. Social network’s share of user time has grown to catch with time spent by a user on email and has surpassed the time spent by a user on a portal. This is why Facebook is getting crazy valuations. (Source: Comscore January 2009)

Monetization – What it takes to make $1M in revenue?

In the traditional product/service world, monetization is quite straightforward- a company makes a product/provides a service and charges money for the product/service but in the Web 2.0 world, monetization usually takes back seat. The general philosophy in this Web 2.0 world is “Don’t worry about monetization; find a way to bring traffic and monetization will follow later”. The analogy for this thought process is – let us bring customers into our store first and soon we figure a way to sell something to the customers coming to our store. This operating philosophy had worked very well for big companies like Google, MySpace, Facebook and many more. The multimillion dollar question is: will it work for everyone? Will this approach of not worrying about monetization work for other small companies? This blog tries to explore what it takes to make $1M in revenue/year through various models.

Basic Pricing models

For simplicity, we can divide the business into B2B and B2C. If you sell a final product/service directly to a customer, then we will consider it B2C for the purpose of this blog post. Your customers can be either individuals or companies. And if sell end products/service directly, we will consider it as B2C for this Blog. We can have three basic monetization models in B2C – onetime charge, subscription and ad based revenue. (Companies innovate and find new ways of monetization that combines these models).

We should acknowledge that in Web 2.0 world, companies that look and feel like a B2C company can turn toward B2B for monetization overnight. For instance, Facebook, which is a true B2C company, has become a platform provider and has plans to charge for application developers to certify their applications. This makes them a B2B company. On the other hand, which is similar to Facebook, still remains B2C and is making investments to sell songs to customers.

Let us do a simple math to understand what it takes to reach $1 Million in revenue per year through various business models.

1) One-time product/service fee

Revenue = Price * (Traffic per month * (% people visit of the people who downloaded) *(% users willing to pay of the people who downloaded))

Let us assume, we will charge $20 for a basic download of the software like MS Word or signup for service such as Twitter. Number of users needed to get $1M will be 50K users. Let us assume that 5% of the customers who download your product will like the product and will be ready to pay. If we think 5% is realistic number, we need 1M downloads per year or ~90K downloads per month to get $1M per year. Not all visitors who come to your site download. If you want to achieve 90K downloads per month, you need to generate much more traffic than 90K. If we assume ~10% of visitors come to a site download your product for testing, then you need ~1M visitors per month.

If you would like to increase your revenue you have four levers 1) number of visitors coming to your site 2) % of visitors who download 3) % users who are willing to pay and 4) price. Of these four, relatively easier levers to pull are increasing visitors to your site and price charged for your product. Assuming other things remain unchanged, to increase your revenue by 50%, you can drive traffic to your side by 50% or you can increase price by 50% or upsell some more software or service to existing user.

2) Subscription Based Revenue

Revenue/year = Price per month * (Traffic per month * (% people visit of the people who downloaded) *(% users willing to pay of the people who downloaded))*12

The major difference between onetime and subscription model is that price is recurring instead of onetime fee (duh?). Assuming that people are more likely to pay one time than to a subscription model, conversion rate from download to paying will be 1% compared to 5% conversion rate in case of onetime pricing model. By making the above assumptions, by charging $10 per month, you will need 830K downloads. For simplicity, let us assume that % of visitor who will download will be independent of pricing model. You will need 16.7M visitors per year or 1.4M visits per month.

3) Ad Based Revenue

Revenue/year = Visits * % of people who click on an Ad * Price per click

where Price per click = Gross Merchant Value that merchants got from the traffic sent by ad * Merchant’s willingness to spend in marketing.

Total Gross Merchant Value (GMV) that merchants (such as eBay/Amazon) sold to the customers those clicked on ads in your site decides how much they are willing to pay for in ad revenue. If the visitors that you sent to eBay didn’t buy $10M worth of items from eBay, then you become very expensive source of marketing for eBay to justify $1M ad spend on your website. If you were to generate $1 Million in revenue from advertisement, you must provide at least $10M in GMV.

Expected ad revenue = $1,000,000 per year
Required GMV (value of goods sold by merchants who place ad in your site) = $10,000,000 per year

Assuming each customers buys $100 worth of items, number of customers needed to reach $10M GMV= 10,000

Let us assume conversion rate is 1%. i.e. 1% of customer that you referred bought $100 worth of items in eBay. Number of referrals that you must send to make 10000 users is = 10,000/.01= 1,000,000

Lets us assume 2% of users visiting your website click on an ad. To generate 1,000,000 referrals, you need a traffic of 1,000,000/(.02)=200,000,000 per year, which is close to 1.8 million visits per month. In the above discussion we assumed each converted customer buys $100 worth of items. If items sold are T-Shirts or something smaller in value (assume $10), then visits needed per month increased from 1.8M increases to 18M.

If we assume users will visit 10 (twice a week) times a month then number of customers needed to reach 1.8M visits is 180K. 1.8M users if you were to generate 18M visits.

These aren’t the only business models, companies use combinations of these models applied in variety of different ways. Apart from combinations of these models, we can also observe companies use a barter method to get something back from customers that can be monetized.

In the next blog post we will see

  1. Why ’Free’ is key part of the strategy for any Software / Service (and)
  2. How combinations of these models are being used

Youtube user demographics vs Face book user demographics

I recently compared the youtube user demographics with facebook user demographics (By age distribution).   35+ age category constitutes 42% of youtube users. At the same time, 35+ age category constitutes only 19% of facebook users. It seems like youtube attracts older crowd compared to facebook. If you keep the assumption that age 35+ group has more disposable income than the younger gen, companies are better off spending thier Ad dollars in youtube rather than facebook. It raises the question why age 35+ crowd is not interested in social networking sites as the younger crowd?

Is it because they view social networking sites are for young people? or is it because the older crowd doesn’t have time and they are more task oriented?  Is there an opportunity for building social networking  sites strictly for age 35+ and above. I am thinking loudly. Let me know your thoughts.

Youtube Age Demographics

Facebook Demographics - Distribution by Age

Women more frequently update thier online profile than men.

 According to the market survey conducted  by Youth Trends, It seems 82% women updated their online profile compared to 65% men. The survey was conducted among 1239 full-time 4-year college students ages 18-24. My hypothesis is that women are concerned more about their image, Both real and virtual. Is that true?   Also, women uploaded photos more than men (46% vs 35%).  One more interesting aspect is that dating/personals sites don’t have much following among college students. I think that data is self explanatory :).  I guess photo sharing apps like photobucket and flickr need to concentrate more on women .

Activities of College Students