I wanted to bring up Dropbox.com to your attention. I wanted to share what I thought was a fantastic company that’s basically taken the concept of JungleDisk and moved it one step further. How? Instead of really cheap (Jungledisk), dropbox is free for the first 2 gigs. This, combined with the below usability features, results in rapid growth in user adoption. As of January, the company has over 4 million users. That’s over 8 Petabytes of potential disk space usage if every user was a free 2GB plan.
All of the public infrastructure is hosted at AWS, and can thus scale with the userbase. As Amazon charges anywhere from $0.055 to $0.150 per GB (pricing structure), each free user consumes from $0.11 to $0.30 per month. Even with 6.25% utilization of 8 Petabytes, Dropbox.com pays the $0.105 per GB rate, Given their next paid upgrade is for 50 GB and costs $9.99/month, one paid customer can support the storage fees for up to ($9.99 − 50 clients × $0.105) ÷ $0.21 = 22 clients covered in the cost of a single paid user, at full utilization of each user. However, most users won’t be using their full utilization (think Google mail), and their business model becomes more lucrative.
Starting with dropbox is simple. Download the client, register your account, and a folder is created where you can drag and drop your data. All data in this folder is replicated to dropbox servers, and to all dropbox client nodes that you link to your account.
The application ships with an intuitive user interface (no S3 accounts to configure, as this is done for you), and a rich feature set that includes automatic versioning, automatic syncing, cross-platform compatibility, intuitive web publishing, and a simple pricing model.
The one feature that really stood out however, was how they garner feedback for this actively developed product. Users can navigate to https://www.dropbox.com/votebox, where they can submit suggestions that get voted on and commented upon. This popularity contest likely helps the company focus on what projects need developing next.
All in all, this is an exciting company to be a customer of, and I would recommend y’all take a look at it too, as this appears to be what proper execution of a good idea looks like.
Kudos dropbox.com on a product well done.