What does Karl Marx, Kodak, Research In Motion (RIM), Mitt Romney, and direct backup to tape have in common? Answer: creative destruction.


Creative destruction was originally derived from Marxism and referred to the process of accumulation and annihilation of wealth under capitalism. With Marx not being a huge fan of capitalism, it’s not a surprise that this kind of had a negative spin. Later, Schumpeter engaged in an old-time form of cloudwashing and repurposed the term to refer to economic innovation.

Sounds pretty fancy, huh? Boils down to the fact that in capitalism, there are winners and losers – and the losers often form the figurative fertilizer in which the winners grow.

Kodak filing for bankruptcy was the epitome of a slow motion train wreck – we all saw it coming, and yet when it finally occurred, it was horribly fascinating. Digital photography was the worst-kept secret of the last few decades, and yet Kodak just couldn’t get out of the way.

RIM used to dominate the PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and was the first major company to embrace message-centric devices with full keyboards. RIM also was on fire in the smartphone market with its BlackBerry. Yet today, the company can’t get out of its own way, while Apple has problems figuring out what to do with all the cash.

Mitt Romney led Bain Capital to greater success by moving the company from startups to private equity and benefited from it greatly. However, there’s now an ever-increasing torrent of criticism that Bain – like every other private equity firm – focused on return on investment over employment. At its heart, private equity is one of the core engines of creative destruction.

Of course, that leads us inexorably to backup (because after all this is a blog called Modern Backup!) – specifically, direct backup to tape. Look, I’m a believer that tape used as a tertiary backup device in a D2D2T (Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape) appliance is useful. But what’s hurting the tape market so much right now is that D2D2T is a much smaller market than D2T (Disk-to-Tape.) But as in all creative destruction, out of the fertilizer of D2T we’ve seen D2D (Disk-to-Disk) and D2D2x (Disk-to-Disk-to-Any) rapidly grow.

What do you think – am I completely off the mark here?


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