Dropbox Focusing More On Content, Less On The Filesystem

31 January 2013

AllThingsD:

This isn’t anything that’s going to make anyone’s jaw drop. But the thrust of the features speaks to a larger aim of Dropbox to be less of a secure personal storage system, and more about bringing content to wherever people need it, said Dropbox’s Chris Beckmann, who is product manager for Web and photos.

I get the impression Dropbox is nearing saturation of the “geek” market, also known as the people that find the automatic synchronisation of a folder and its subfolders immensely useful.1 The transition they announced towards a content-centric approach set is a clear play to expand their potential market beyond techies. That’s fine, as long as they don’t “do-a-Twitter” in the process and screw over their original user base.

Dropbox’s actions also reminded me of a recent quote from Netflix’s CEO, in a GQ profile:

“The goal,” he says, “is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”

The philosophies don’t line up exactly, but the aggressive stance is identical. Dropbox’s competitors, with the exception of iCloud, have all been trying to copy Dropbox. Dropbox is moving on.

1 This includes me; I back up all my Xcode projects and school documents using Dropbox.