Dropbox – the Preview

Dropbox changed the outdated methods of storing files in flash drives, disks and hard drives.  Their introduction to cloud storage has revolutionized how users can store their files, photos and videos.  In this post, I talk about Dropbox’s competitive advantages with their emphasis on design and security, which is a small addition to what I will present on Wednesday!

How Dropbox Competes with Google Docs

            Dropbox started a file hosting service, by creating a platform where users can store their documents, photos and video though cloud storage.   Drew Houston saw a problem with existing methods like flash drives and disks, so he created a Dropbox prototype for his own use.  Drew Houston and a later partner, Arash Ferdowski, launched Dropbox in 2007 with the hopes of facilitating file storage for users.

Now that cloud storage is becoming a popular method to store files, Dropbox wanted to expand its market and create a space for collaboration when they launched Dropbox Paper.  Dropbox describes Paper as “more than a doc.  Paper is a flexible workspace that brings people and ideas together. With Paper, teams can create, review, revise, manage, and organize—all in shared documents.”  This new features clearly competes with Google Docs.  Users of both platforms have noticed many benefits of using Dropbox Paper as a collaboration alternative to Google Docs.

Image result for dropbox paper google docs

When users first explored Dropbox Paper, they notice the difference in aesthetics and design of the Paper collaboration interface.  In relation to the Margaret Gould Stewart TEDtalk from class, Dropbox played attention to every single detail and designed a minimalist layout for the user.  Dropbox uses a modern, all-white interface that are free of distractions; they do not even have the formatting toolbox unless the user selects the text.

For more advanced features, Dropbox Paper allows programmers to add code snippets to the document, so engineers can collaborate through code.  Links from video websites like YouTube and Soundcloud are easily embedded onto a Paper document.  Drag and drop function for Paper files is especially useful for users who are in a rush.  For collaboration purposes, Dropbox Paper displays task lists and mentions in the document.

Some downsides of Dropbox is that it has the lowest storage per dollar compared to Google, Microsoft and other cloud storage platforms.  This feature may deter potential customers from using Dropbox.

Dropbox’s Security

Because Dropbox offers its services over desktop, mobile and tablets, they are responsible for handling the transfer of data as well as the safe data storage.  Dropbox designed its security with multiple layers of protection.  The files that are within the system are encrypted using a 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).  The company uses secure tunnels that are transferring between the user’s devices and their servers.

Dropbox tests its applications for security breaches and it regularly enhances its security against hackers.  For users that require advanced security, they can use a two-step verification for a text message to confirm login identity.  This strong level of security allows users to transfer the documents to different devices without fear of any breaches.

Image result for dropbox security

Visualization of how Dropbox secures its users’ documents

Furthermore, Dropbox has dedicated a security team to maintain their security levels.  On their website, Dropbox claims that their company is “designed with multiple layers of protection, including secure data transfer, encryption, network configuration, and application- and user-level controls that are distributed across a scalable, secure infrastructure.”  With the multiple levels of security, Dropbox is a better option for businesses to store their files to store in a secure place.

Dropbox Goes Public

On March 23, 2018, Dropbox stock decided to go public.  It ended up pricing its shares at $21, even though its initial projected price was between $18 and $20.  This overwhelming support from investors even before the stock went public shows Dropbox’s success.  On the day that the stock went public, its shares went up 36 percent once the market closed.  This success marked Dropbox as the largest tech IPO since Snapchat.

I am super excited to present Dropbox on Wednesday!

7 thoughts on “Dropbox – the Preview

  1. Hi Felicia,
    I had no idea that Dropbox had a collaborative word processor like that of Google Docs. I’m really interested to hear more about that and other ways that Dropbox is expanding their line of products, as I had only thought of them as a file-sharing/storage service. I wonder how Dropbox will compete with Google Drive in the coming years. I would think Google would have the advantage due to Drive’s easy integration with Gmail and other Google products, but it’s cool to see that Dropbox is competing on another front with word processing. Looking forward to your presentation Wednesday!


  2. Great post Felicia! I was unaware of a lot of the features that you referenced, especially the one about the collaborative word processor. I think the large effort the company has made toward enhancing security is crucial. Companies are constantly under the threat of being hacked, and therefore, it is so important that they have a secure place to store their documents. Although I haven’t used Dropbox much in the past, I am tempted to explore more of the features it has to offer!


  3. Thanks for the post Felicia, I’m excited to hear more during your presentation. I always wondered if programmers had a cloud platform like Google Docs to collaborate in. I hope you can tell me a little more about the difference between Dropbox and Box which I hear about in the news really often!


  4. Thanks for the post, Felicia! I am very impressed by DropBox’s dedication to security, whether it be through their team or their verification process. This high security seems like it may justify the higher prices compared to Google and Microsoft. I am curious if DropBox focuses its marketing on companies or individuals with this high security. I’m excited to learn about some of the other features of DropBox this week! See you in class!


  5. Interesting blog! I really liked how Dropbox’s definition of Paper as “not just a doc” showing the importance of detail to the company. I think your emphasis on Dropbox’s security is very important, especially since it feels like every other news story is about invasion of privacy or the collection of data from corporations that consumers thought they could trust. Looking forward to hearing more about Dropbox in your presentation this week!


  6. Great job! I hadn’t heard of Dropbox Paper before, but have been a longtime user of Dropbox. Based on your description, it seems like Paper could be a valuable resource for teams and startups to use — almost like a Slack-style version of Google Docs. However, it will be interesting to see how Dropbox manages to adapt to the competition post-IPO in a fast-evolving space. Looking forward to your presentation!


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