Why I Chose Microsoft Over Google (Cloud Storage Review)

I have always been pro-Google. Ever since I signed up for my Gmail account nearly 10 years ago, I have loved the simplicity and usefulness of their products. I watched eagerly as they rolled out new solutions, sometimes even spending time in Google Labs- where I stumbled across Picasa.

Picasa was probably my favorite Google product. It used the power of search to quickly organize a growing problem on my computer – photos. I simply turned Picasa on and it showed me where all my pictures were. It even included editing features – all of this for free!

Then my computer started going very slow as it categorized all of the photos on my hard drive. I needed to clean some of them off. It was Picasa that convinced me to buy an external hard drive so that I could start backing them up. It helped, but it wasn’t the same. I loved having all of my photos in a single location, but carrying it around on a small drive worried me.

The Cloud- Based Revolution

There were times when I couldn’t use Google products as much as I wanted. For a long time even, it was my guilty pleasure. When I first signed up for my Google account, I worked at Microsoft. The two tech giants were just entering their technology war, and as an employee of one, I had sworn allegiance in the form of an employment contract. All Google URLs were banned from my company computer. So for years, I logged on my email from personal devices, almost as if I were looking at something way worst.

At work, it was my job to sell Microsoft products, but I rolled my eyes when product development said we would now be competing with Google. Introducing Office Online! I thought it was a dumb idea, and swore silently to myself that I would never leave Google for Microsoft in regards to any online service.

I left my Microsoft job shortly after that and was free to use any cloud-based software I chose. I downloaded Open Office and opened a second Gmail account.

Am I Eating My Words?

Fast forward a whole bunch of years, and I have an entirely online business of my own – one involving a lot of online content (plus, all of the pictures I kept taking). My post-Picasa external hard drive is now too full to accept any more documents, and I am in need of an online storage solution.

Immediately, I turned to Google.

I am not a novice to Google Drive. Although I initially questioned the sanity of having all of my files linked to my email, I appreciated having separate Google drives for clients. It was an easy way to share large files, and it included a basic document editor. Why wouldn’t I backup all of my files there?

Well, in the end, my initial concern became the reason. I don’t want everything associated with my personal email.

Here’s an example of my real-life challenges:

  • Photo of youngest child – saved to personal Google Drive
  • Web content for client A – saved to their Google Drive in a personal folder
  • Blog Post for jennmariewrites – saved to business Google Drive
  • Blog Post for client B – saved to their Google Drive in a personal folder
  • Video footage of family vacation — no room

That is four different Google drives, (out of a possible 7). Remembering which drive has the space and where certain content is located was beginning to become maddening. I suppose I could upload, log out, and log back in as needed, but I thought the idea was to make it easier, not harder?

I needed something simple and easy, and for once, Google was not it.

Out of desperation, I turned to Microsoft. It’s been years now, and I’m sure the product development team has had plenty of time to work out their bugs, right?

I signed up for a free trial, and within minutes I not only had 1 TB of space but an entire suite of Microsoft programs to go with it. Yes, I still swear by Open Office, but industry standard is still MS Word.

Because it is Microsoft, it looks exactly like my Windows, which meant no learning curve on how to create a folder or organize anything. I downloaded Word, typed a blog post and saved it to my One Drive. There were very few extra steps, and no “click here to upload documents”. Save. Done. Best of all, there was no cutting and pasting into Google Docs, and then fixing the formatting because of the sworn “we will not be compatible” feud. There was no file converting. I simply wrote, saved, and moved on.

Microsoft Tools in Google World

Okay, so Microsoft won the simplicity test, but would the solution work with my four Google drive clients?

Well, considering I am running a Windows 7 desktop alongside a Chromebook, this question was sure to come up. So I went to the Microsoft Online website, logged in with my ridiculously cumbersome username, downloaded my files to my Chromebook, uploaded it to my Google drive, changed the format to whatever the Google doc equivalent is, and shared with the client.

Okay, so 6 steps… but at least it worked.

I mean it’s not like I was going to compose the writing on a Chromebook.. the keyboard’s too small and it isn’t compatible with Grammarly.

Stop Reading about Everyone Else, Be Who They Read About

When I think of inventors, I think of shy, calculating geeks that lock themselves in their basement laboratory with Pinkie and the Brain lab rats, and a refrigerator full of low- quality beer. That’s why I was really surprised when inventor Peter Ginzburg asked me via email if I’d like to interview him.

His willingness to self- promote is probably because Ginzburg doesn’t classify himself as an inventor. No, if you ask him, he’s an entrepreneur.

Ginzburg created the Ginzvelo, a prototype human-electric hybrid vehicle that effectively blurs the line between riding a bike to work, and having one of those over-priced miniature electric cars. This is just one of many ideas he has – but, it is the first one he is trying to sell. What motivated his entrepreneurial aspirations? It was a combination of public support and blind optimism.

Why In The World Did You Make This Device?

I’ve always liked fast stuff. I used to race Go-Karts and make mini bikes and get in trouble for them not being street legal. When I got to college, I built a 3-wheeled go-kart that went really fast, but I knew it was going to need to be street legal.

Cool, But Why Did You Decide To Sell It?

Well, at first it was something just for me, but then I entered an entrepreneur competition at school. I didn’t win, but I did pretty well with the marketing aspects. Plus, the judges really liked my design.

What Were Your Plans Then?

I was planning to sell only a couple hundred, but they told me I was thinking too small-scale. So I considered their advice and thought big. I took it to the Internet to get more publicity and funding.

Is This Your First Business?

Sort of. It is my first product-based business. I had a landscaping business when I was a teenager.

So You Have No Formal Business Training, Do You Think You Are Being A Little Unrealistic?

Well yeah – to many people think my business idea may seem a little far-fetched. But I looked at the people I look up to, and their ideas seemed far-fetched as well at first.

So You Need Publicity; Have You Been Doing It On Your Own?

I have a Kickstarter campaign that has done wonders for my publicity because freelance journalists read about it and wrote stories. Now, I am even being casted to appear on Science Channel’s All-American Makers. I’ve . I’ve realized though that my lack of media is limiting my success and I’ve hired help to get me more exposure. They are going to be re-doing my Kickstarter really soon.

You Seem Like A Smart Guy, Couldnt You Just Get Some Well-Paying Job?

I thought about the alternatives. I could have spent 60+hours per week working, but I would still be creating my Ginnzvelo on the side – and for what? So that I could hang out with my friends and drink beers in the bars? That would have been a waste of my talents.

But Being An Entrepreneur Is Not Easy.

It has been so much more difficult than I could ever have imagined. I came close to quitting multiple times.

Why Do You Still Do It, Then?

People don’t do anything anymore. They don’t go outside. They are only thinking about what other people are doing. I don’t want to think about what other people are doing. I want to be the person that other people are reading about.


Do you dream big and take chances? Well, you might be an entrepreneur.

The Ginzvelo is currently a prototype vehicle. Learn more about how it works and donate to its crowdfunding efforts by visiting www.Ginzvelo.com.

What Everyone Can Learn From Ruff Ryders, Roc-A-Fella, and Wu-Tang

I grew up loving Hip-Hop. In South Carolina, when the latest rap song blasted through my radio, it fueled excitement in an otherwise simple and uncomplicated day-to regime. Although I had never walked the mean streets of Philly, sold drugs on the streets of Brooklyn, or ran the streets of New York, I knew about it because of these famous rap labels.

As a business owner, that experience has shaped how I approach marketing. They used a strategy that every business should be using if they are online. The fact that these record labels were able to reach a small town teenager 100s of miles away is not only due to huge financial backings. It’s due to something a bit less obvious.


What these labels did is create an identity for themselves outside of their music. They created something bigger than the product they were actually selling. By doing that, not only were they able to be more memorable, they were also able to make money off of their brand.

How many times did you see Ruff Ryders apparel in the mid and late 90s? Could you hold up the hand signal for Roc-A-Fella if prompted? Maybe you own some Wu-Tang branded merchandise?

Branding gives potential customers something to remember your business or product by. It helps customers forgive that mistake you made last month…

Remember when Old Dirty Bastard got in a little PR trouble? It didn’t kill the brand.

Your business can do something similar – with a little effort.

We’re Not All Rap Stars

This is probably a good thing too because my free-styling skills suck. However, we can all brand ourselves.

Seattle branding event

Which is why I am proud to be an ambassador for Tribe of Zero, a Canadian company helping small businesses and entrepreneurs find their way. This month, they are hosting a one-day event focused on branding for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Seattle, Washington.

Not only will I be attending, I also have discounted tickets to give away. If you would like to join me at the event, enter code JMCK307 to receive more than 30% off of your ticket.

Learn how to stand out from the crowd and be memorable, without having a crew of extra rappers who never actually produce anything…

And if you need any help with a writer to put it all together for you, you know who to call =)

Buy your discounted tickets here. Hope to see you there!

Screw Your Hack, I’m Trying To Work Here!!

Yesterday I wasted 4 hours trying to optimize my online business. It was supposed to be a simple upgrade. I wanted to customize my desktop, background and create a custom start menu on my Firefox browser.

What happened next was a disaster. First my Firefox froze, so I CTRL-ALT-DEL it. Then it refused to open, so I reinstalled it, losing all of my bookmarks. Finally, my in-house tech guru gets me back online and I happily install the plugins of my dream and get on with my day.

You would think that would be the end of it, but sadly, it is not.

The next day, after working seamlessly for a full 4 hours, my Firefox refuses to open again. I refresh it again, only to lose all of the customization I did the day before.

Now I am staring at my screen, wondering if I should bother with customizing my Firefox again. If that was supposed to be a productivity hack, it sure backfired.

How Does Anyone Get Anything Done?

The Internet can be frustrating. With all of our advancements, it seems like we’ve only made it more confusing. One example of this is blogging which started in the 1990s as a series of journal-like entries shared over the Internet. A blog was somewhere you could go to read people’s opinions, learn new things or connect with others. It wasn’t a sales tool.

My, how things have changed. ..Now every business needs a blog if it wants to survive online – but what do they write about, and best of all how do they find the time? Enter the copy blogger – a professional blogger that specializes in writing sales-oriented business blogs.

No longer is it about sharing opinions and connecting with others. Blogging has become about word counts, keywords, engagement, call-to –actions and readability. As a result, countless blogs, all saying the same thing (absolutely nothing) pop up repeatedly all over the Internet.

It’s no wonder many people have given up reading them.

Is There Even a Solution?

I gave up trying to hack my Firefox into optimized productivity. Yeah, I’m missing my colorful tabs, and screen grabber – but I know it’s for the best. My system is running smoothly, and I can function without an add-on.

Businesses can do the same thing when it comes to their business blogs. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. It doesn’t have to be bells and whistles. It doesn’t have to look like everyone else.

In order for a business to use the Internet to their advantage, they don’t need another copy blogging hack; they need some straight up common sense.

It’s simple actually. Share what you know and love. Do so on a regular basis. Make sure you use good grammar and spelling. Show some pictures if they are relevant, and most of all… have some personality.

You didn’t build a successful business based on shortcuts. Don’t use a content marketing strategy that does.

The Blue Pill or the Red Pill …

So what are you going to do? Follow the masses of websites running behind the Google train or jump into the great unknown of the Internet without guarantee of reward?

You know, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

There was an internet before search engine optimization, and there will continue to be one if search engines suddenly stopped existing. Will people still find you if that happens?

The copy blogging formula says I should end this blog post with a call to action, but I’m not going to. I will, however, say that I offer services for businesses who seek to be different, and who aren’t afraid to say: screw your hacks. I do this because I remember when the Internet was worth a damn, when I wasn’t constantly afraid of ‘hackers’, Big Data harvesters, and fake friends trying to sell you something.

To survive online nowadays, you need to keep it real while still understanding the ultimate game.

Your future customers are out there, you just have to work a little harder to find them.