Dropbox Is Doing The Smartest Thing It Can To Protect Itself From Google: Staffing Up In Mobile

drew houston

Photo: Flickr / Financial Times Photos

Dropbox is hiring a bunch of Android, iPhone and iPad developers to regear its file-storage service for mobile devices, according to a post listing job openings on Hacker News.It looks like the company is completely remaking its mobile applications — both for consumers and for businesses. Here are some of the upcoming changes to the company from the Hacker News post:

  • Rebuilding Dropbox for mobile devices as the main way people are meant to use Dropbox
  • Building out entirely new ways to experience the data in your Dropbox on mobile devices
  • Making mobile Dropbox an essential part of users’ collaborative workflow
  • Simple, effortless sharing with users’ friends and colleagues

That’s a pretty big shift from Dropbox’s traditional strategy — having a folder on your desktop that you can drop stuff into that syncs to a remote server.

The mobile Dropbox app is pretty slick, but the core experience still seems to be on the desktop.

That’s a losing strategy — even Facebook has said it’s in trouble because its mobile strategy isn’t as good as its users would like.

It’s also a strategy Google seems to be ignoring, because Google is still focusing on a browser experience with its own online storage service, Google Drive.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston actually listed Google Drive as a potential risk factor when he first applied to be a part of Y Combinator, a startup incubator that played a big part in boosting Dropbox’s profile early in its life.

It looks like he’s still taking Google Drive seriously as a competitor — by taking the company in a different direction than Google Drive.

Dropbox now has around 50 million users, according to the post on Hacker News, and saves more than 1 billion files every 48 hours. For a company that’s worth $4 billion, it’s pretty stunning it only had 5 mobile engineers on staff, according to the post.

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