Cloud Storage: Dropbox

By Yan Juan Wu

Technology is constantly improving and many trends have occurred over time. Nowadays, there are many devices that range from smartphones to tablets to computers that can be used to store files such as pictures, videos, and documents. In order to accommodate for multiple storage devices, file sharing services like Dropbox have been created to collectively organize files all in one place. Dropbox was founded by Drew Houston, the current CEO, and Arash Ferdowsi, the co-founder, in 2007 (BBC, 2014, July 1). The idea of a file hosting system that evolved into Dropbox was inspired by Houston’s habit of forgetting his USB and of overloading his computers with too many files (Ying, J. & Houston, D., 2009, February 5). He needed a reliable and convenient space that held all his documents rather than having to track which files were in what computer or having to risk not having his USB. Currently, over 500 million people around the world use Dropbox to store their files and information. According to the company’s website, there are approximately 1,200,000,000 files being saved on Dropbox every day, which illustrates how big of a success this trend of file storage is.

Its concept is similar to Apple’s iCloud in the sense that it can be used to sync up information/files that are on multiple devices. Unlike iCloud, which is used by Apple users for Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, Dropbox does not have targeted customers and can be generally used by anyone. Speaking of the similarities between Dropbox and iCloud, Houston and Ferdowsi were approached by Steve Jobs in December 2009. Jobs had met up with the two founders with the intentions of buying Dropbox due to the upcoming release of iCloud. However, Houston was determined not to sell the company because he had high hopes for going big with his idea of a file hosting storage. Dropbox had great profit rates, even though 96% of the users were using it for free. Since Dropbox was garnering many new users and continuous usage from current users, many users were likely to use up their free 2 GB storage and wanted to upgrade to more storage for a monthly payment.

Dropbox Employees
# of Employees 110
CEO Drew Houston
Co-Founder Arash Ferdowsi
CTO Aditya Agarwal

In addition to competition from Apple’s iCloud storage service, another one of Dropbox’s big competitors in the market now is Google Drive. While Dropbox offers a free 2 GB cloud storage, Google Drive offers 15 GB in comparison. The file size restrictions between Dropbox and Google Drive also differ. While Dropbox has a file size restriction of 10 GB on the website, Google Drive has a restriction of 5 TB. However, Dropbox does not have a file size restriction on its apps. Even though Google Drive has Dropbox beat in terms of the amount of free storage offered, Dropbox offers more support for different OSes, like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Blackberry. On the other hand, Google Drive supports the standard OSes: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Therefore, Dropbox would be ideal for those who are using devices of multiple systems (Mitroff, Sarah, 2016, February 1).

With a technology company like Dropbox, it is easy to share files both privately and securely. The purpose or motive of the creators and employees of Dropbox is to “create products that are easy to use and are built on trust” (Dropbox, Inc., 2016). Dropbox’s message ensures the privacy and security of the data and files of the users and customers by putting them as priority. Dropbox is looking to work with businesses and expand their product Dropbox Business. With Dropbox Business, businesses can securely share data using the service to allow for an easier method to collaborate and sync files between employees and employers. After seeing the success of Dropbox, it seems like it is going to stick around for a while. Even after eight years, it is still going strong despite tough competition from other file storage services available, like iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box. With its simple and easy to navigate design, emphasis on privacy, as well as its fair services, it holds its own among the similar services. Dropbox also has extensive information and questions/answers regarding its services on its website to reassure users of its credibility. As of now, it has an impressive amount of supported systems, file storage availability, and security measures. Based on the current achievements and success of Dropbox, it seems that Dropbox will continue to improve and create better functions for its services.

Dropbox Fast Facts
Founded June 2007
Launch September 2008
Headquarters San Francisco, CA


BBC (2014, July 1). Dropbox Founder Drew Houston Explains His Success. Retrieved from BBC:

Dropbox, Inc. (2017). Dropbox. Retrieved from Dropbox:

Mitroff, Sarah (2016, February 1). OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box: Which cloud storage service is right for you? Retrieved from Cnet:

Ying, J. & Houston, D. (2009, February 5). Meet the Team! (Part 1). Retrieved from Dropbox Blog:

Author: Yan Juan Wu