Top executives who get open source are rare and far between. So it is that Storj Labs, the leader in decentralized cloud storage, must be pleased as punch to announce that Ben Golub, former CEO and co-founder of Docker, is now Storj's executive chairman and interim CEO.
This isn't a new idea. Other peer-to-peer cloud storage products include Resilo's BitTorrent Sync, Tresorit and, more recently, Protocol Labs' FileCoin, which is also taking a blockchain approach to shared storage.
Golub is a serial entrepreneur. Besides running Docker, Golub was CEO of Gluster, an open-source software-defined storage company, and Plaxo, the early social network, before their acquisitions by Red Hat and Comcast respectively.
Storj, an Atlanta-based company and proof that high-tech companies don't have to start in Silicon Valley, has experienced great growth, due to demand for decentralized, secure, and performant storage services. Golub plans to advance the Storj platform to the exabyte range and beyond, while driving revenue growth.
"Storj has developed a powerful platform to support some of the most important trends in computing today, including the explosion in data, the demand for decentralized computing, and the rise of decentralized trust technologies inspired by blockchain and distributed ledger," said Golub, in a statement.
Golub continued . "Having had the privilege of working at companies that were leaders in previous computing revolutions, such as cloud, open source, internet security, and containerization, I know the power of having a talented team addressing big opportunities with a uniquely compelling and disruptive solution. Storj delivers in all of these areas."
In his last position at Docker, he grew the company from a small, open-source project to a container leader with hundreds of Global 2000 customers, a broad partner network, over 400 employees, nearly $250 million in funding, 3,000 contributors, and 12 billion downloads.
As with Docker, Golub's starting with a strong technical base. Storj's cloud storage network is now storing more than 60 petabytes of data from over 70,000 customers across 150,000 storage nodes operated by tens of thousands of independent "farmers". Farmers are individuals or organizations who rent their excess hard drive capacity for STORJ tokens. STORJ is Storj's Initial Coin Offering (ICO). These tokens are based on the Ethereum blockchain ERC-20 standard.
By bringing together this community of customers, farmers, and developers, Storj claims it has created the largest decentralized cloud storage network without ever owning a data center. You might think of this model as Airbnb for storage and you wouldn't be far wrong.
With over 70,000 API registrations, Storj is one of few startups in the blockchain ecosystem with an operational, distributed platform. With it, the company claims it's leading the decentralized cloud storage market. The company's platform aims to differentiate itself from legacy cloud storage providers by being more reliable, secure, performant, and affordable. With Golub at the helm, Storj intends to drive long-term sustainability through its open-source model and its first-mover advantage.
Will it work? Stay tuned.
Golub has an impressive track record. In addition, Storj, like other Ethereum-based programs, has something of actual value, distributed cloud storage, behind its cryptocurrency offering. Combined, the two may make both big business and big technology waves.