“Sync is the new save”; Dropbox’s ambitious bid to “replace the hard drive” by making it easy for users to sign into Dropbox from many other apps

August 18, 2013 3:50 pm

Dropbox hopes to exploit tech rivalries

By Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco

“Sync is the new save,” declared Drew Houston, chief executive of Dropbox, at the cloud storage company’s first developer conference in San Francisco last month,writes Tim Bradshaw.

Mr Houston made an ambitious bid to “replace the hard drive” by making it easy for users to sign into Dropbox from many other apps. His hope is that this will make users more likely to pay for extra storage and, crucially, make them less prone to switch to Apple or Google’s rival products.The DBX event attracted hundreds of developers, from small start-ups to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, to hear about Dropbox’s plans to broaden its online platform.

The Dropbox Chooser, first announced in November 2012, brings a Windows-style file system to smartphones and tablets running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, which have typically removed the PC interface of folders. Another plug-in or “Drop In” is the Saver, which gives website owners the tools to let visitors save pages or files to their Dropbox with a single click.

The new Datastore API takes Dropbox beyond specific files. It allows app makers to integrate Dropbox’s syncing technology and apply it to contacts, bookmarks, to-do list items, saved progress in video games and other app-specific data. Datastore brings Dropbox into more direct competition with Apple’s iCloud and Google’s developer tools in Android.

Dropbox is not bundled with every device, like Apple and Google’s syncing technology, but it has the advantage of working across any mobile platform, allowing users to stop playing a game on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone then continue where they left off with the same game running on an Apple iPad. Competition between those tech giants has made compatibility complicated, a problem Dropbox hopes to exploit by positioning itself as a neutral player.

“We have all these companies making all this amazing stuff,” Mr Houston said. “The problem is they are all trying to punch each other in the face.”

Dropbox hopes that “finally some of those walls can come down”, Mr Houston said. “You don’t have to worry about what logo is on the back of your device . . . This is an important step in fixing a lot of what’s wrong with technology, to restore people’s faith in technology, and make things actually work in a complicated world.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: