December 10, 2011

Dropbox - the story of the digital storage service

Hi Guys,

It has been a long time since I wrote a post in my blog. I have been thinking of writing this post about Dropbox for a long time and I never got the time to do it. I read the article about Dropbox in the November issue of Forbes Asia magazine and it was an interesting article.

What is Dropbox?
Dropbox is a digital storage service that has 50 million users around the world. Dropbox was developed by Drew Houston. These days, the concept of Cloud Computing is so common. You keep your resources in the web and use the resources at any place with the help of Web. Dropbox provides the cloud storage for you. Dropbox provides you a free 2 GB storage when you sign up. You can upgrade the storage to 50 or 100 GB by paying monthly or yearly rental.

How did Drew Houston get the idea?
Drew Houston was a code geek right from his young age. At 14, he signed up for a beta version of online game and began rooting out security flaws. So, the company hired him. He has worked in 5 projects before starting Dropbox. His mother wanted him to be normal and tried everything to make him normal. But he spent most of his time coding at the MIT. By September 2006, he completed his MBA from Phi Delta Theta at the MIT.

His idea of Dropbox was formed 3 months later when he was travelling from Boston to New York. He planned to work during the four hour ride, but forgot his USB memory drive and had no code. He immediately started to build technology for syncing files on web. Four months later, he landed in San Francisco and got $15000 from Paul Graham of incubator Y Combinator. He spent 20 hours a day reverse engineering all the computers and understanding the concepts.

They presented Dropbox at Y Combinator event and it attracted investors. By 2008, it had 9 employees and 200,000 customers.

How did they attract Customers?
They used the right advertising strategy. They used Google Adwords. It sucked them $300 for one signup. It was not working. So, they turned their small customer base into sales people. They give 250MB of free storage for each referral. One quarter of customers still come to Dropbox in this fashion.

How I started using Dropbox?
I saw an article about Dropbox somewhere and started an account some 5-6 months ago. Recently when I was having lot of important stuffs, related to my higher studies I needed a backup device. My DVD drive was not working properly. Even if it works properly, I can’t keep on replacing files. USB drive was a good option, but then I was afraid of viruses. Just then, I remembered Dropbox and it is just amazing. I work with all the word documents and excel sheets inside Dropbox. It gets updated in web as soon as I save the file.  Now I have no fear of losing the files. 2 GB space is more than enough for me.

Interesting facts from the article
In the article, I read a few interesting facts about Dropbox.

  • Steve Jobs wanted to buy Dropbox, but Houston was determined not to sell the company.
  • Its revenue in 2011 was $240 mn, despite the fact that 96% of its users pay nothing (they use the free 2 GB storage)
  • Dropbox has only 70 employees.
  • Everyday 325 million files are saved to Dropbox.
  • Dropbox’s main competitors are Apple (iCloud), Google, Microsoft, YouSendIt, IDrive and conventional email.

Happy Reading!!!

External Links
Dropbox: Inside story of Tech's Hottest Startup - Article on Forbes
Join Dropbox now - Click here


  1. Interesting Post Karthick, even I am hearing a lot about Dropbox.
    And your post has told me everything about it.
    I am off to open a Dropbox account right now : )

  2. Very interesting, the concept as well as its history of origins.. never knew of this. Sounds very useful, will try it out. Many thanks for sharing..

  3. I have used this sometime back to upload and save some of my photos and some necessary office file . But it takes a lot of time to upload , though i uses 2.1mbps speed broadband.


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