Joint Purchases

No need to be a board member or employee. As SNO I am one of their stakeholders and their service is built on top of the service I am providing with 6000 others. As a SNO I make decisions like buying hardware that’s getting shared with my nodes or upgrading my internet connection that is getting shared with my nodes. So my interest to hear what is going on is legit and it is viable for Storj to keep SNOs entertained and informed.

Yes, and there is not much from that. But that is not all from what I am judging. I am also judging visible marketing efforts. Just one example: Do you remember the headlines about NASA and their problems with AWS storage? It was all over the news. Even if there was probably zero chance to get NASA to sign up with Tardigrade, from a marketing perspective it would have been a great chance to hit them up on Twitter or write some kind of “open letter” offering help to solve their problem. Surely this would have been all over the news as well. But as far as I know there was no action at all from Storjlabs. They missed out on that opportunity to gain more recognition totally.
I am also judging from the response on that returning topic here in the forum, which is almost zero, suggestions to potential customers, response also zero, response to personal emails, which is zero as well. It appears there is zero interest even in having customer referred to them. At least at this point. From my side I will refrain from referring customers to a company that shows so obvious lack of interest in acquiring customers.

Storjlabs could do better. Development wise, Storjlabs is performing extremly well compared to other projects I have looked at. Speed and communication for technical matters is above par. But as good as they do their tech stuff, as bad is the marketing side of things. But this is common on tech driven projects and I have seen such a pattern a lot: Too much focus on the tech side of things and neglection of the sales side. A lot of tech entrepreneurs believe all they have to do is to provide a superior product and customers will somehow magically going to use it. This is as far from reality as it could be. If it was true, Windows was extinct and Linux desktops would rule the world. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Honestly, I don’t understand why some people see themselves as “stakeholders”. We as SNOs are nothing else than external contractors. We offer our node services and get paid for it. We don’t get paid in company shares, interests or similar, we get paid in an equivalent of USD.

That still doesn’t make you a stakeholder. It makes you a businessman. Just the way every miner out there is a businessman. And those miners out there even more than we as SNOs because their setups are way more expensive than our storagenodes.

No, it’s not. Neither is it viable for storjlabs to keep SNOs “entertained and informed”. SNOs get paid for their services. As long as the payment is good enough, there will always be SNOs. Payment is good enough of a motivation for almost everyone. And currently payment is a lot better than any HDD coin you can mine. So it doesn’t seem like storj will be in short supplies of SNOs anytime soon. If you need enterntainment in addition to your payment, I suggest Netflix :rofl:
What’s the benfit of having an entertained, well informed and motivated SNO vs a “normal” SNO that only cares about payment? I’d say none… makes no difference for the network.

That is indeed a point where I agree with you. Especially those twitter marketing efforts can create quite a popularity. It’s a shame to miss out on those.

The problem with giving feedback about customer efforts is that it may seem like nobody wants tardigrade, simply because a high number of “failed attempts” is perfectly normal. But people don’t know how to interpret those numbers or the efforts itself because almost nobody has the required knowledge. So publishing all failed attempts will only lead to people thinking storjlabs is doing badly even though that’s not the case. I see absolutely no point in making those efforts public. (except for public PR with twitter but that’s a different kind of customer acquisition).

2 Likes

Because that is the correct technical term what it is:

A stakeholder is a party that has an interest in a company and can either affect or be affected by the business. The primary stakeholders in a typical corporation are its investors, employees, customers, and suppliers.

Speaking for myself I can tell you, that there is quite some effort running my nodes including reading the forums, posting, troubleshooting, monitoring and so on. This I do because I hope there is a positive future. If there is not prospecitve for growth then shutting down my nodes is a real option. I know I am not alone with such thoughts. So keeping SNOs entertained is some kind of stakeholder marketing to keep nodes on board. The entire business model relies on the nodes, so they are absolutely viable for Storjlabs.

I think that’s just a matter of how to give feedback. Certainly no feedback at all is the worst kind of feedback one can give. Look, it is not just a matter of numbers, let’s start with something really easy: The sales team. Where is it? Who are they? Have they ever been introduced? How to reach them? Never mentioned.
Other topic: A long time ago I had suggested to involve the SNOs and use them as sales force. Back then I think I had suggested to hand out referral codes so they could pass them to potential users for testing. Nothing happend in that regards.
See? It is not just about numbers, it is about visibility. And here Storjlabs performs as worse as it could be. No feedback, no responses, no discussions, no visible actions. Nothing.
And back to the numbers: If the numbers are so bad that Storjlabs needs to hide them then we should really really be worried and they should completely rebuild their sales processes from the ground on.

are you kidding my, have you tried going from windows to using linux…
it’s ridiculous, i’ve always been wanting to see the opensource community succeed… but lets be honest here… linux is shit atleast for the every day user, it’s so bad i can barely even describe it.

sure linux can be an amazing tool, but from my view being a lifelong windows user for both home use and work, and many times have a tried to move over into linux, spend month after month trying to actually learn to use it…

and sure linux is getting better… but it’s still very limited in utilization… i mean windows you can basically run with a mouse…
doesn’t take long before one ends up in the linux command line to try and fix problems or install stuff, uninstall and update other stuff to make a 3rd thing work so the program one wanted to get to work in the first place can actually run without issue.

and in windows i plug the damn thing in and it just works… yeah i wonder why people want to use that…

sure linux has advantages, and it being opensource gives it some sense of security and without a doubt is leading virtualization, i don’t think linux will out compete windows anytime soon… aside from if all of a sudden linux has some distinct advantage that makes everybody want to switch and if they are able to run their systems at the same level of seamless easy to use interface…

maybe you are right about storj lab’s not doing advertisement correctly… i really couldn’t tell you, but i would hope they have some very smart people dealing with that…

ofc i duno if they even feel ready to get a large scale influx of customers yet… the product have only been working for 8 months and tho the network seems stable and secure then the question remains about scaling, how will the network endure at a 100x load or with 100x capacity, 1000x pieces
i don’t think there has to be anything wrong with storj labs marketing for tardigrade, but there might be… i really cannot tel… but i doubt you can tell either because i highly doubt you are their target audience.

linux is so bad it makes me want to cry and go back to using windows on a daily basis, and i’ve been trying to get use to linux for about 8 months this time around.
but i’m stuck with linux if i want nice virtualization

now i don’t what this to be a push back against your statement nor linux… Storj Labs marketing could be a disaster for all i know, but it also might be the most brilliant campaign in the history of the world… and i doubt neither of us would be the wiser…

so if we assume you are correct, which would be interesting to know, because it’s very relevant and highly valuable for SNOs and for Storj Labs and future efforts.

then maybe we should launch an investigation into the subject, it’s a repeating subject, which i have yet to hear a good answer to or any real answers at all… Storj Labs occasionally throw a bone our way, kinda depending on how much we cry about stuff, which is most likely to avoid a pitchfork and torches situation.

so since i think you do make a valid point, and it’s on that often pops up, i decided to make this.
sorry if i insulted linux, we have a sort of love hate relationship…

My bad I confused stakeholder with shareholder. However, I’d like to see a business that tells their suppliers all their marketing efforts… The supplier will only get notified if a business is expecting more demand, so he can prepare.

Sure, for some it’s more a hobby, others are in it for the money. The “positive future” however might not even affect us as SNOs because the laws of the market will come into effect, there will be a “sweat” spot between supply and demand, so I doubt we’ll ever make more money than we do now. (even though at the moment storjlabs itself is creating the demand with test data, otherwise no SNO would stay as the real customer demand is ridiculously low).

I disagree, simply because SNOs can’t interpret those numbers correctly. Just like you just did. “numbers are so bad”, what exactly is a bad number? 80% failed attempts, 10% failed attempts. Or in absolute number 100? How big is the market? How many customers already have a good and working system?
Publishing those things won’t be very helpful to their efforts or to keep SNOs motivated.

But as I said earlier, a more public PR could certainly help on both ends, like what you mentioned about using Twitter to promote tardigrade.

I strongly disagree. Just yesterday it seems that Storjlabs has sent out quite interesting information:

Tardigrade is the world’s first decentralized cloud object storage solution backed by enterprise service level agreements (SLAs). The service launched to the general public in March 2020. Since the general launch, Storj Labs has grown the network’s capacity from 22 petabytes to 45 petabytes and Tardigrade users from 3,600 to 11,200—an increase of more than 300 percent. Today, there are 171 million files stored on Tardigrade.

And some more:

The Simulation Theory and Engineering of Advanced Materials (STEAM) Lab in the University of Maryland Baltimore County Physics Department runs a series of theoretical materials science simulations that has produced 50TB of output data (and quickly growing).

A team of researchers in the Computer Science Department from Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science currently hosts a large research dataset that is quickly growing beyond the multiple TB range, and generating over 80TB of bandwidth utilization monthly.

Those are the kind of news we want to hear frequently.

1 Like

I have never fully understood why so many people hype up the stakeholder concept; while it does have its place, it is often over used by many startup marketing firms. Just because you have a small stake in a product/outcome/whatever, doesn’t mean you are the kingpin. Unless your stake is sufficiently large, you represent some sort of legal authority, or demand is sufficiently great for whatever you provide you cannot make demands. As such, the contractor description is a much more accurate way to describe a SNO.

Another thing to be aware of with mass PR, is that Storj is still in development. If they overload the network, and or bring on a large number of customers by over selling what they have, they WILL get egg on their face. I am an engineer, I strongly dislike firms that try to sell us an incomplete product like it is done, because it means I am likely wasting my time when I could be in contact with another company or I will end up donating my labor to fix their product so that our product (which was wrongly built on their platform, integrated their widget, whatever) will work as advertised for our customers.

If you cannot handle the lack of information from time to time or are loosing too much money; I would advise returning when the environment changes to something more inline with your requirements. There is nothing wrong with cutting losses, only persistent losses. AKA, terminate the contract and try to renew when the environment is more favorable.

4 Likes

you mean to say that because i have a coca cola vending machine in my pizza place i’m not a true stakeholder in coca cola…

doesn’t mean that i won’t go broke, if i stop selling soft drinks in my pizza place…
doesn’t have to be a kingpin for it to be very relevant to a business, even if that business is completely irrelevant to a company like coca cola.

just wanted to sketch that out…

but this i whole heartily agree on, and i think it’s one of the primary causes of Storj Labs marketing not being pushed, because they just barely made it across the finish line and launched according to schedule and had and still have many things they are working on to make sure everything runs smoothly…

ofc it’s also important to push the advantage when in the technology sector, especially for industry leaders, just look at intel these days… ofc they had a 40 year + run… so it was kinda about time and they may still turn it around… even tho i doubt we will see that before 2023-2024

but yeah overloading the network or having bugs that needs to be fixed with thousands of new subscribers every day and major corporations breathing down ones neck desperately trying to patch critical issues is a killer, so i think they are doing the wise thing here… but i really duno and that was why i made the investigation thread, because it’s a highly complex and interesting subject.

and one that we don’t really understand, and which i think is only fair that we want to understand, since we are stakeholders.

and if those numbers jammerdan posted of 300% growth… well then i would like to say… strap in boys, this is going to be a fast one… even if it doesn’t seem like it now lol

2 Likes

What’s wrong with this SNO? If they already have a good infrastructure is it a bad idea to use a small piece (~20T) for storj?

1 Like

Nothing wrong, just with a current rate it could take dozens years (in best case) to fill up 200TB behind the one IP.
People asking, what to do with such amount of disks.
One of the option is to sell part of them.

2 Likes

There’s no secret to getting hard drives cheap and buying in bulk doesn’t really help your case. Even Backblaze was shucking drives at one point and I guarantee they buy more drives than any combination of SNOs.

That’s what I was thinking too. You won’t get cheaper drives than shucking those cheap external ones. Just have to make sure they are not SMR.

1 Like

the SMR thing wouldn’t really be relevant when you buy pallets, unless ofc if they where mixed from the factory, which would ruin the entire concept… aside from that backblaze is still a rather small, even if they have been getting to a decent size in recent years.

aside from what comes the whole issues of repairs, reliable replacements / warranty… no matter how much one wants to argue about it, then it’s plain as day that having one factory putting together drives in plastic external cases, with electronics and a power brick + packaging while another place people are taking them apart and sorting the trash for recycling or just trashing it if one lives in a country where that’s legal.

while the efficient solution is that hdds are put in bags and with some sheets of vibration insulation between them and protective foam around them and moved by pallets…
sure small to maybe medium businesses might be able to gain an advantage by shucking drives, or was… because maybe the hdd manufactures produced to much that year… and somebody got the smart idea to put them in externals, but then everybody started just shucking them and the advantage of it kinda died out…

often the external hdd’s are also 5400rpm which is partly what makes them so cheap… but for a datacenter use case 5400 rpm isn’t really that great because it basically reduces your iops by 30% something like that cannot remember the exact number.

sure it’s possible that reselling used datacenter drives isn’t worth it… sure isn’t worth buying them at the moment because prices are way to high, but still there have been resellers of 2nd hand data center hdd’s for many years… if it wasn’t profitable they most likely wouldn’t do it… ofc it may also be to offer replacements in case the stock of new hdds of the same models for arrays are out.

last time i was considering which hdd’s to get, i did consider shucking and atleast here it didn’t make sense for me to bother with it, thus far i’ve been very happy with my reused drives… i don’t expect they will live long… but usually hdd’s run out of relevance before they run out of life… i do like that all my drives from recent years are helium and enterprise grade even if they are just sata, but really sas is nice but the capacity isn’t so great.

if there is one argument to be made for new drives, it’s the warranty, better performance, lower watts pr TB, and reduced bit errors which will lower maintenance costs and other redundancy costs / requirements.

ofc aside from that there is the whole density question and other infrastructure costs… in a datacenter a hdd isn’t just a hdd, just like when you switch out a disk in your personal computer, you can’t just throw whatever is cheapest into it, you have to consider how it fits your computer and your use case.

likewise datacenter’s will need to consider how to upgrade in much the same way, just on a much larger scale and costs…

i think the only real way to get cheap hdd’s is buying them collectively from datacenters replacing their stock, and sure it might not always be worth it… will depend on the market… .but thats also kinda the whole point in buying collectively, so that we can make optimal usage of getting hardware at good prices and maximal discounts… i doubt much will be saved on new drives… but ofc there will be some discounts the higher the volume one buys… that’s generally always how it is, and if it isn’t then they are just lying to you or selling stuff at a loss… economy of scale is a thing… ofc at one point economy of scale doesn’t work… because it grows to large, but there will always be balancing points in such things… that is usually how it is with the tao of least resistance.

For those that don’t deal with drives in packs of 20, these are what are used when bulk ordering drives:
image

3 Likes

I love the translucent drives, ill have to try those sometime.

3 Likes

you snarky individual you…
image

4 Likes

@kalloritis yes thats efficient…

having a stockpile of random unsold drives and then throwing them into external cases for people that barely use them and won’t complain to much if something goes bad, that’s also efficient… just a different kind of efficiency.

and pulling them out again, if you know there is something good inside, might be viable…
but a sort of gambling, even if one can help the odd a lot by research, and if time is free / valued low also helps… and sure some company might even buy a big stockpile from a store or warehouse somewhere and with a high degree of luck make a steal… but still it’s basically fighting for scraps, that some mega corp just got annoyed at having in a warehouse of, calculated wasn’t worth their time.

and hey some fortunes are made that way, and i would certainly not be against such a deal if it was good enough…

in a joint purchase there would be lots of logistics, you you need to store 10000 drives or redistribute them, its a lot easier if they take up ½ or 1/4 the space… i think shucking drives was a big thing and will keep being a thing to a limited degree…

it’s not unlike buying a used hertz rental car now… i’m sure the market for those is overflowing around now.
mega corps often do stupid stuff of which smaller businesses or people can benefit… but it’s rare events and rarely in the same areas every time.

everybody likes a good deal…

stuff like that makes me think joint purchase can be viable, but it will be a research project finding the right deals, and they may be few and far between, if it’s really advantageous ones.

To help those with the math-

Generally you’ll get 40 cases per pallet, 20 drives per case, so 800 drives per pallet… at 10,000 drives you are talking about 13 pallets, or half a truck of drives. Yea, that’d cost you something to warehouse and then ship out small package to people. That’s also 160 Petabytes of drives if you’re getting 16TB drives- does anyone remember what the current network size is from the last town hall?

A 3PL (3rd party logistics) I know would charge you about 4 bucks per single drive package, plus freight, to get that sent out.

3 Likes

“Economy of scale” doesn’t work when the entirety of Storj is a rounding error to any hard drive manufacturer. Doubly so because there’s literally just WD, Seagate, and Toshiba, and none of them have enough financial incentive to undercut the other two.

Even if you could get 10,000 drives at a discount, that discount would be so small as to be completely wiped out by the logistical costs of redistributing those drives. And you’d still be paying more than for shucked drives, even though the costs of those shucked drives should be higher.

4 Likes

I tend to agree with that