November 14, 2012
Dropbox Reaches Significant Milestone: 100 Million Users
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Popular cloud storage solution Dropbox announced yesterday that they´d hit a very important milestone: They now have 100 million customers using their service to store and share their important documents and other files.
More importantly, Dropbox has even quadrupled their user base in the last year alone, saying more and more consumers and small businesses are choosing online storage every day. When they do decide to move to the cloud, more often they choose Dropbox.
Dropbox has been celebrating the milestone on their Web site by sharing pictures their users have uploaded with accompanying stories about how they make Dropbox a part of their daily lives. And while the company is taking the time to commemorate this milestone, co-founder and CEO Drew Houston says they´ve only just begun.
“Even 100 million is still at a single dot percentage of the people we could reach,” said Houston in an interview with the New York Times.
The company launched in 2008 and has been fighting off the competition ever since. As the years have moved forward, Dropbox´s competition has become larger and larger, now including the likes of tech titans Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft. These companies are building their cloud storage solutions to fit within their perspective ecosystem, a move which Houston believes gives his company an advantage.
“All of those companies have the same problem,” says Houston in an interview with BusinessWeek. “They want to put all your life into their ecosystem. It´s more and more places where all of your stuff can get stuck.”
“Those companies are busy trying to build something we had four years ago," added Houston. "We´re out front. We´re already out there and building smaller features and things. All those other companies have turf to protect, and they´re fighting a battle on a totally different front.”
In many ways, the rapid advancement of the smartphone and tablet markets have driven more and more people to use Dropbox.
Apple has boasted having 190 million iCloud users, but for those customers who need to access their files on multiple devices (PCs, Android tablets, etc) Dropbox may be a better solution.
Houston also attributes his company's growth to word of mouth recommendations as people either share a document with a friend or begin using the service at home before persuading the office to sign up for an account.
“People start out backing up their photos, then they´re sharing wedding photos with their family, and then their contractor shares the plans on a house remodel,” Houston says. “Before you know it, your whole life is on Dropbox.”
This model has clearly worked well for Dropbox thus far, though Houston has also said his company plans to expand their sales staff, as well as begin catering to the needs of small businesses, such as security and specialty software.
As it turns out, 100 million users can accrue quite a bit of data for Dropbox to manage and store. According to Houston, Dropbox customers store 100 billion files every day.
“That´s more tweets than are on Twitter,” he said. “We´re talking Libraries of Congress every day.”