Today’s interview is with Andrea Chavez of Pogoplug, and she is going to tell us a little about PogoPlug their mobile storage solution and their new product that has just launched SafePlug. Please visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Thank you for participating in our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Andrea Chavez. I am a co-founder of Pogoplug, and I also have twin daughters who are four years old.
Tell us about Pogoplug and why you decided to develop it.
It is no coincidence that Pogoplug is roughly the same age as my kids. Before the girls were born, photos and videos were discretionary. I wasn’t diligent about backing up, and except for my wedding photos, I probably would not have been heartbroken to lose them. That changed dramatically with the birth of the girls. I looked high and low for a solution that was easy to use and would automatically store ALL of my photos, videos and files from ALL of my devices – computers, mobile phones, and tablets included. All of us at Pogoplug have young children and designed Pogoplug with families in mind: affordable, easy-to-use storage for our precious memories for just $5/month.
What differentiates it from other Mobile Storage solutions such as Dropbox and iCloud?
Dropbox was originally designed for moving smaller bits of content around various devices, or syncing. I love all things Apple but found iCloud impossible to use and almost immediately bumped up against the 5GB limit. Neither Dropbox or iCloud have consumer price points affordable enough for families to back up all of their photos, videos and files to the cloud.
Also, we have partnered with several wireless carriers and have optimized our service for mobile users. We obsess over details like battery usage, seamless, automatic backup, and accessing, streaming and sharing from anywhere: the stuff normal people care about.
You’re now launching a new product called Safeplug – what does that do?
Did you know that every time you surf or do anything on the Web you minimally broadcast the following data: where you are coming from, where you are going, the exact time you in transit, and a rough description of what you are up to. And by “where you are coming from”, I mean your physical address. Go to any search engine and type in “What is my IP address.” Within seconds, you should receive not only your IP address, but the physical address that maps to your IP address. I did this at home and found that my search identified my home address with shocking accuracy.
We invented Safeplug to provide Web anonymity to users. Safeplug works by bouncing your messages to safe nodes on the Internet so that it is almost impossible to decipher your identity or physical address.
How did the idea for Safeplug come about?
At Pogoplug, we are obsessed with protecting families and making our cloud as compelling and secure as possible, especially in light of the recent Snowden/NSA fiascos. We came upon the Tor Project and realized that we could bring Tor (Web anonymity achieved by rerouting messages to several locations) to the masses by implementing it in our hardware devices.
And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the product?
I can’t say. The answer will shock you. J Let’s just say we move fast around here.
What is unique about this product?
Tor is generally not that easy to use because it requires a separate software installation on every device you want to protect. Our product is unique because it sets up in sixty seconds and protects the entire local area network (including mobile phones and tablets on that network), no software installation required. With Safeplug, we make military-grade protection available to everyone.
What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
Half of our company came from VeriSign’s fraud detection software group, and the other half came from a company that designed next-generation consumer electronics devices. As a result, designing and building Safeplug was seamless.
What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more products?
We have very big plans for our service, including:
-achieving 5 stars on the iTunes and Google Play stores (we currently have 4.5)
-opening international data centers
-ensuring best-of-breed security and performance for our customers
-maintaining or even lowering the current price point
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own technology products ?
Always start by solving a problem, versus inventing technology for the sake of technology. After you devise the solution, create a simple financial model to make sure the solution is affordable enough to appeal to a large percentage of your total available market. One of our partners recently polled thousands of their customers and discovered that 24% would pay $5/month for unlimited storage, but only 4% would pay $10/month.
Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!
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