modular innovation

Bolstering Backupify

Understanding online relationships can begin with a closer look at Modular Innovation & Redundancy. A fascinating example of constrictive, albeit, Non-existent Redundancy is Backupify.

web1_thumb254As more content is moving into the cloud and people are increasing their dependence on access to the information that is stored within web services, having Redundancy, a backup, an alternate storage, an alternate means of accessing the data, is critical to maintaining continuity and stability. Products that facilitate Redundancy empower their users, and demonstrate trust in, and service of, the consumer over antiquated concepts of protection and restriction, even of the content that that very user has created.

Quick-MI provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s Modular Innovation (MI). Among the various components that define a product’s Interoperability, as well as Quick-MI’s, are Sharability, Flexibility, Portability, Convenience, and Interoperability.

In understanding the characteristic of Interoperability the sub-category, or variable, of Redundancy plays an instrumental role. Redundancy is …

  • the ability, provided by the product, whereby external products are leveraged to provide replication of functionality and/or content, and
  • one of the many characteristics and features of Modular Innovation increasingly central to today’s successful and emerging products.

Example: Non-existent Redundancy (value = 0)

In the study of Modular Innovation Redundancy, Backupify presents as a fairly unique subject. There are not many products that result in me doing a double-take.


The Backupify product is described by many as a way to backup one’s cloud. It basically makes remote copies of one’s content and activities from many online products and services. By "remote," I am referring to content copies that are not stored within the confines of the originating product.



My initial instinct for Backupify was to designate it as a good example of Comprehensive Redundancy and move on. It made copies of stuff, lots of stuff, from lots of products. But wait, that didn’t seem right at all. Something felt unique, something about my thinking felt backwards. So I spent just a few brief moments more and here is what I found, and concluded.

One Cloud

02_backupify_s3 Beyond what this product does for other products, which we will discuss in the next section, Backupify depends entirely on the Amazon cloud (S3) as well as the proactive user’s manual downloading of archived content to their local computer, earning Backupify a Modular Innovation Redundancy variable value of 0, Non-existent Redundancy.

Neither the core functionality, nor the storage capabilities present a consistent and reliable means of Redundancy or replication.

While Backupify stores 100% of its primary content within a 3rd party service, S3, the lack of alternate synchronization options prevents it from achieving a 1.0. The minimal requirement for achieving a value of 0.5 is that there exist at least a single external product that can be (or is being) used to replicate some of the primary functionality and/or content. Allowing the user to download the files from S3 to local storage, the user’s computer, does not meet the set bar of a single external product.


What makes Backupify a unique and interesting product in the exploration of Modular Innovation Redundancy is what it is able to do for those products that it supports.

In contrast to Backupify’s Non-existent Redundancy, it enables a Redundancy value of at least 0.5, Partial Redundancy, in all the products that it supports. Backupify, in the supported products’ cases, is the single external product that replicates some (or all) of the products’ primary content. Furthermore, without the existence of Backupify, those supported products would be on weaker footing, and in most cases, themselves only earn a Redundancy value of 0, Non-existent Redundancy, as most do not provide any inherent means of Redundancy of content nor functionality.

Backupify is a Modular Innovation with Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) that enables at least Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) in the products and Modular Innovations that it supports, disaggregating those products’ content risk.


Yes, the Backupify product caused me to quickly double-check my conclusion. Quickly double-checking the rules and guidelines is never a bad idea, whether you are performing a full Quick-MI analysis or merely seeking to understand a product or two from various perspectives and touchpoints. It will provide deeper insight into the product, a better understanding of Modular Innovations, and still allow for the “quick” of Quick-MI to hold true.

Should Do

Due to the nature of the Backupify product, 100% of the product’s content is, by definition, made portable. It is the storage options of that portable content that needs to be expanded upon by allowing for the consumer specification of multiple, parallel storage options for all the backed-up content.


Take a look back at real-world examples of Redundancy values…

Comprehensive Redundancy (value 1) []
Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) [Picnik]
Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) [Backupify]

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Interoperability and Redundancy of Quick-MI, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall Modular Innovation of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy, Discuss & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy


  1. Hi Jeremy,
    Thanks for the review. I would like to point out that in a couple of months, Backupify will support pushing your backups to Dropbox and FilesAnywhere.


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