I was reading Nikita Prokopov’s blog this morning and came across his very visual damnation of what is wrong with Dropbox. Like me, he too had thought that “in the beginning, Dropbox was great, but in the last few years, they started to bloat up.” He visually shows that as an existing customer, you need to jump through a dozen hoops to get Dropbox going on a new machine. And if you are just signing up, add another five steps.
His sentiments reflect my feelings about Dropbox, as well. When I fell in love with Dropbox, it had not even launched. It was simple and elegant. It was nothing like anything I had experienced before. And I wasn’t alone. The company was one of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley, because of customers appreciated their simplicity and ease of use. Their revenues and userbase grew at an astonishing speed. For nearly a decade, I stayed loyal to the service, but like Prokopov, I too felt the bloat was getting too much.
I decided that I have had enough. I have since slowly removed all the archives. Most of them have now been backed up to Backblaze. My paid Dropbox account will end in two months. It will be a long goodbye, but when a company forgets its credo — simplicity as a virtue — then all you can do is go elsewhere.
I don’t blame Dropbox going the way they have — they are less about the individual customers and more focused on teams and corporations. That’s where the money is — and when you go public, you are all about the “quarterly goals.” You don’t go public without knowing that Wall Street owns you.
Prokopov recommends Syncthing, an open-source tool. It is a bit too much effort for me. I use Backblaze for backing up drives, and iCloud does the syncing of files between different machines — iPhone, iPad, and iMac. It, too, is not perfect.
I wonder why Backblaze doesn’t offer a simple syncing service?