My daily readings 04/18/2014

    • This is how it was always going to go.

      Dropbox’s core business is unsustainable, and they can’t compete long-term with rivals like Google and Apple.

      They’re flailing in all directions at the moment; pushing for the enterprise/government market with the appointment of Condoleezza Rice, now burning a load of money acquiring businesses offering tangential services, in the hope they can diversify their business model.

      It won’t work. Acquisitions like this never go to plan, and they are almost always a waste of money.

    • I agree and disagree; file sharing alone was never going to be “enough”. But even Search wasn’t enough for Google; it’s not wrong for companies to expand their offerings.

      In the case of Dropbox, they need to go head-to-head with the Drive/Docs/Apps provision coming from Google. They’re not as well-positioned to do that as they could be, and I’m not sure hackpad will be close to sufficient to get them there. But it’s certainly a step in the right direction; documents are moving off the hard drive entirely, and there’s no reason Dropbox can’t help with the move to the cloud by expanding their offerings with moves exactly like this one.

    • Agreed. I’m afraid, the famous quote about Dropbox from Steve Jobs about being a feature not a product is playing out. Dropbox doesn’t even own the commodity they sell (as far as I know). They sell you on storage, but you receive a syncing service, not storage.

      I like dropbox, don’t get me wrong, but they need to recognize the core value they brought to the table (and may still have) is better user experience design, not infrastructure. Simply offering more apps that are bound by the constraints of one’s Dropbox account seems profoundly myopic.

    • Actually, they’re buying good teams with products that compliment or extend their current offerings. Loom on the consumer side; Hackpad on the enterprise side.

      I don’t know their vision, but both of these make sense to me in many possible contexts other than “floundering.”

    • “Acquisitions like this never go to plan.” That kind of absolutism sounds silly to me.

      And my analysis of the situation is different. I see it as dropbox adding a services layer on top of the platform of storage they built. You already see other companies doing this — using the dropbox platform. If I’m dropbox, I see a lot of opportunity there.

    • The Dropbox ‘platform’ is razor-thin, and their core offering is fast becoming a commodity.

      At the moment, their business model doesn’t extend much beyond brokering storage space. They are simply a middle-man between end users and Amazon S3, whose value add is some software that makes the process of storing and sharing files relatively pain-free.

      They’re good at what they do, and their software is nice, but in the long-run, there isn’t much money in what they do.

      Diversification is the obvious course of action, but it pits them against major players like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. All of these could probably afford to offer unlimited storage to all their users tomorrow, and if they got the software right, could render Dropbox redundant.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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