To start, we believe you should not buy any GNARBOX SSD products at this time.
According to PetaPixel, GNARBOX seems to be in limbo, with the original founding team no longer part of the company. In a statement to the blog, Tim Feess, the original founder and former CEO, explains that he and the “former management team is no longer with the company and hasn’t been since 11/5/2021.”
As of this time, the GNARBOX website is also gone.
Whatever is left of the company is now in the hands of whoever invested in the company. Unfortunately, anyone able to shed light on the issue is unable, due to ongoing legal matters. If you’d like to dig deeper on what happened, read PetaPixel's breakdown on the timeline of events and speculation.
While we wish the company the best, the most important thing for us is what current users of GNARBOX can do, or not do, as well as what this means for film gear in general.
The Worst Part
Back in December 2021, the GNARBOX app was removed from the Apple App store, which stripped critical functionality from the SSD backup device.
While users who still have the app on their smartphone may be able to still use their SSDs, any new purchases are just very expensive storage devices. You can get a similarly sized drive for a fraction of the cost, although without the added features. The Samsung SSD below costs less than a GNARBOX device and has almost eight times the capacity.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting flashbacks of iPhones on eBay with Flappy Bird still installed on them.
Samsung T5 1TB SSDCredit: Erik Werlin
The Big Picture
Issues like these are far and few in between, but they shed light on bigger problems in the tech world. We as users are relying more and more on products with functionality we don’t entirely own.
A company can go under or change its product stack, leaving the devices we rely on only partially usable. Worst-case scenario? Those devices become e-waste.
Efficiency and usability are the cornerstones of any production, be it for big Hollywood productions or budget creatives. However, without reliability, these cornerstones quickly crumble, leaving productions scrambling for a solution or at a standstill.
Whatever your approach to buying new gear, always think about how much you’re relying on the tech for your creative vision.
Speaking of tech, if you’re looking to update your kit, check out the No Film School Gear Guides!