Krish wrote in December about the importance for startups to do the math early and publish their pricing:
In the absence of any word about the future pricing plans, users are hesitant to put their data on these storage startups, usually offering generous amounts of storage space. Why would anyone spend their valuable time uploading data into these services, only to find out at a later time that they cannot afford their pricing. It is a complete waste of people’s time.
Freshly launched Zumodrive did their math – they just forgot to communicate it. They offer a new cloud storage / sync service, essentially mounting your web storage as a local drive, and streaming your data on-demand to other devices:
Instead of syncing those files with all of your other devices, Zumodrive tricks the file system into thinking those cloud-stored files are local, and streams them from the cloud when you open or access them. –says TechCrunch.
This may work very well on devices with low space – old laptops, mobile devices..etc. Clever concept – I might as well give it a try. Let’s see – check out the website, blog, FAQ: all I can find is the Beta Plan is limited to 1GB (defeats the purpose), and there will be different price levels later on. Without knowing prices, I am so outta here…
But wait… these guys are smart, they’ve done their homework (pricing) upfront. How do I know? The first hint came from Mobile Industry Review
, describing the installation process:
I went straight to the bottom of the list and selected 200gb for $60. Then it asked for my card details right away and I panicked
So I selected 1gb to begin with. Free. Ok account created.
$60 – is that per month? Ouch… feels a bit steep, but that’s a judgment call, let’s focus on the real issue: it’s too late to find out pricing after installation. This comment sums it all up @ TechCrunch:
Here’s the scheme for anyone else interested:
1. You visit the zumodrive site, where there’s no mention of pricing, and trials are all private… but you have a invite code, courtesy of TC. You feel sooo cool.
2. You download the ~7mb installer and start creating an account.
3. You fill in your personal info and accept the TOC — *still before seeing any pricing mentioned*.
4. You finally see this pricelist on the 3rd page of sign-in/account setup:
1GB – Free; 10GB – $2.99/mo; 20GB – $5.99/mo … and so on: For each addl 10gb, you pay $3 more per month … up to 200gb, $59.99/mo.
At which point you realize you’re already happy with the 2GB Dropbox gives for free (or 50GB for $9.99/mo instead of zumodrive’s $14.99).
Uninstall / Delete / Rant about the whole thing on TC’s comments.
For all I know, Zumodrive may be the best thing since sliced bread, but it does not matter. The lack of pricing upfront pricing info, the hassle it causes for potential users to install / uninstall is a recipe for alienating users. Full transparency is crucial at Launch. This should be so obvious, I suspect it’s been just an oversight, not some scheme on Zumodrive’s behalf, and I expect them to change the website any time soon.
Kudos to David for being so responsive.