True to Our Ideas

Posted on by Brantley Coile

I’ve noticed that there are two types of tech companies: some are customer focused and others only care about money. Sometimes it’s easy to identify the money companies. Other times they’re more stealthy, spouting nonsense about being “market driven.”

But when times get tough—when it’s short term profit versus customer care—these businesses are all too predictable: they pick the greedy option. At new Coraid, we’re working hard to be customer focused. We love our technology and the people who support us as we develop and refine it. I’m a firm believer that Coraid software is able to help people because of the Wirthian and Bell Labs approach to simple technology that forms the cornerstone of all we do at here at Coraid.

And really, that’s what a good company is: a group of people who can reach more folks together than they could separately. The collective finds people to help, and in turn is able to support each other through profits. By “profits,” I’m not talking about making a lot of money for the owner’s third vacation home. I mean a surplus of resources that leads to a better standard of living for all the company’s employees. A company that takes care of its people is taking care of itself.

This means Coraid competitors sometimes scratch their heads at some of the things we do. For example, when I became convinced that the VSX, once canceled by California Coraid, was still a useful product, we started working on the never-released version, improving it in the process so it better fits into what we’re doing as a company today and tomorrow.

Even being open and honest with customers runs against the money driven norm. One benefit of not selling disks is that Coraid can be frank when drives have issues. Other storage companies are often bound by agreements with manufacturers to keep problems under wraps. This is deplorable.

The Coraid commitment to Bell Labs software also confuses money driven companies. Most management teams just want what everyone else is using, which inevitably leads to complex and buggy code. And it doesn’t help that so many companies utilize tools based on current fads.

Over five decades of learning our craft, we’ve learned a thing or two. Small is better. Simpler is hard to do well, but better for the customer. Clean conceptual designs create fewer bugs, allow for more creativity, and are easier to learn.

That’s why Coraid is committed to the software that EthOS is based on. This code is from the folks who worked at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, creators of many aspects of modern computing. They invented Unix, C, hierarchical file system directors, and even the use of curly brackets in programming language.

After the invention of Unix, they moved away from departmental minicomputers to invent a truly distributed operating system. This was just as personal, networked microprocessor based workstations began to emerge in the 80s.

Their work was way ahead of its time and remains mostly ignored today. Yet, it’s the basis of Coraid products and our working environment. In a world of Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, Coraid uses something else. We’re convinced it is the best tool for the job and we’re true to our ideas, even when that goes against the grain of popular trends.

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