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Dropbox Files Confidentially for U.S. IPO (bloomberg.com)
435 points by richiezc 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 271 comments



Congratulations to the team and of course YCombinator!!

3 things I'm looking forward to knowing.

1) What is their profitability? I think they might surprise some people here, like Google did when they were private, hiding just how much money they are making.

It will be nice to see a cash flow positive tech company going public!!

2) What sort of share structure they are looking for. I think after SNAP its going to be a tough sell to get away with no voting control,

3) Can they go public at a valuation larger than the rumored $10+ billion they were valued at without resorting to cheap tricks like only floating 5% ala Groupon.

As a side note, it looks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs decision 4-5 years ago to start offering more services to private companies is starting to pay dividends


From TFA:

Unlike money-losing Snap, Dropbox will come to the table with annualized sales of more than $1 billion, Chief Executive Officer Drew Houston said in an interview last year. It’s also been profitable, excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Those benchmarks are the product of more than two years of focusing the company, expanding its product suite for businesses and reining in expenses, Houston said at the time.


Doesn't "profitable, excluding interest, taxes .." mean not profitable?


EBIDTA certainly has merits and drawbacks – like any other metric – for measuring the health of a company. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/ebitda-margin.asp


EBITDA is a good un-levered metric because it approximates cash flow. For a ten-year old company going public, actual cash flow and net income are more important. If Dropbox are trying to price at a premium to Box and don't even have profits, they're going to look like Snap and Twitter more than anything respectable.


Kinda. It approximates cash flows for some types of companies. For others it doesn’t. Hard to generalize here. Ultimately the best measure of cashflow is cashflow. It’s a good normalized measure of a stable mature business, but it can overstate or understate the health of depending on the revenue and billings model. So, basically, YMMV


Bit of a trick: build your own cloud and turn opex into depreciation on capital investment = become "profitable"


And hide the $600M of debt you just took.


Not necessarily. Excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is a common financial metric. It can demonstrate a business model is working, before taking in to account capital structure or other semi-external factors.


This is a ten year old billion dollar company. How can they not have figured out a viable business model?


EBITA is a common way of demonstrating that a company has figured out a viable business model: it tries to show that, given the assets it has acquired and the expenditures it has made and is in the process of paying off, the company makes money.


Ask Twitter?


Amazon was a 20 year old company before it was reliably profitable by accounting metrics. Is their business model viable? That's how a growth company works.


> Amazon was a 20 year old company before it was reliably profitable

Amazon’s decision was quite obviously a choice. Snap and Twitter are more natural comparisons for Dropbox if it’s still unprofitable.


I don't think that's true. Snap's and Twitter's consumer-facing product is free, while Dropbox charges for theirs.

They played the long game here. I'm still not a paying customer after almost ten years (partially because I got a lot of free space via referrals and trying out their apps). But if I ever max it out and decide to start paying someone for space, it'll be them unless there's something out there that does what they do at a price that's low enough to make the effort to switch worthwhile.

And, more notably, the freemium model means that they're able to invade the business world in the same way that the iPhone did with BYOD. And there's a lot more money there.

I'd be stunned if Dropbox wasn't very successful already, and I'm happy that someone outside of the Big 5 is doing what Dropbox is doing. It's a fantastic and indispensable product for me.


Capital structure is _not_ external. You seem sophisticated to know this, but for everyone else, it's all about CASHFLOW. How much the business has coming in the door, how much is going out, etc.

Warren Buffet goes on periodic rants about these accounting gimmicks in Berkshire's annual letters. Metrics like EBITDA pretend things like massive capital investment don't exist. Guess what, if you own datacenters, or railroads, or anything else, you absolutely have to factor the costs of acquisition and holding those assets into your business model, metrics, and financing needs.

Amazon seems to have this figured out. Look at their financial statements, they always put the statement of cashflows first, right at the top, #1. Everything else is secondary. I'm not surprised their founder is worth 12 figures.


For what it's worth Buffett doesn't go on about cashflow much either, he focuses on profits in the traditional sense of the owners getting richer.


Says or does?

He might talk about profits a lot, but Berkshire is very much a cashflow-optimized machine. The entire thesis of the company was a hack, noticing that insurance collects cash upfront (premium payments) in trade for future liabilities, giving smart insurers a huge amount of cheap, investable cash.

Within Berkshire, they have operating businesses (Marmon, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen) that throw off operating profits, which then get plowed into high-return but illiquid assets like BNSF (the railroad) which are great long-term investments, but require deploying mountainous, almost government-sized piles of cash.

This isn't my own thinking either; it's a bit of an infection of American businesses that we're so margin-obsessed. This is the thinking that got IBM out of PC manufacturing. "You can't take a profit margin to the bank", as they say. And given the current rate climate, we're anything but capital constrained.

Cashflow is everything.


they wouldn't say it if they didn't have to


7 years ago they were talking privately about being cash flow positive. It will be interesting to see how that’s held up as they scaled.


Would be quite amazing if they are not profitable. After all they seem to be quite conservative on the product development side and have always had courage to charge actual money for their service.

One thing I've always wondered is what is their actual cost structure. Based on my own usage I would assume the actual storage part is quite small compared to the data processing and bandwidth. Since the sync works so smoothly, it is convenient to keep all kinds of projects there. Thinking for example node.js projects, which take not so many megabytes, but may contain 10-100k small files (due to dependencies).


> After all they seem to be quite conservative on the product development side and have always had courage to charge actual money for their service.

Have we really come to the point where its "couragous" to charge money for your product?


I think it takes courage, because people will only pay if you provide some real value for them. Give out things for free and you might build a nice user base even if the offering is not so interesting.


Not necessarily; if you hook up people on free and have them invest time money or resources into your free by walled system, the cost of moving elsewhere overweight a small upcharge once you start charging.

Example is Twilio. They were first and we implement them very heavily into our systems. Currently our bills are at around $400 per month. Phaxio is much cheaper, but we just got used to Twilio and unwilling to spend time money and resources into jumping to something else just for the sake of little savings.


> After all they seem to be quite conservative on the product development side and have always had courage to charge actual money for their service.

They've always charged for higher tier services but they've also always had a free tier where they provide service without charging anything.


Pretty simple: they pay a gazillion dollars to host everyone's pictures and old resume versions, they get half a gazillion from enterprise customers storing work documents. They reduced a lot of costs by building their own data centers and getting off AWS.


For example BackBlaze sells storage at $0.005/GB [1]. I picked them as an example, because I'm fairly confident their business model is based on making money with this. Based on this I would assume that at Dropbox scale you could do storage at least for the same price, maybe even cheaper. With those prices the free user storage would cost like max 1 cent/month. There's of course some users with more than 2GB, but there's also many who use less and all the de-duplication and shared folders pushing down the per free-user cost.

[1] https://www.backblaze.com/b2/cloud-storage-pricing.html


I analyzed Backblaze's business model before. It's quite fascinating. https://twitter.com/kiyototamura/status/934558071019339776

If I had to guess, Dropbox improves their margin by getting people to share files and folders (because that counts toward multiple users' quotas).


I pay $10/mo for the storage bump. Not sure how many there are like me, but I suspect a non-trivial amount of their revenue comes from non-enterprise customers.


Dropbox Team: Congrats on this great milestone! I think I was one of your first users back in the day, and your product has transformed my life - it's been the single greatest productivity tool I've used in the past 10 years!

I know some people will scoff at that, and there is always the "yeah but google drive/box/oneDrive is better", but you guys did it first and still do it best! I've been a Pro member for a long while now and I'll be with you guys until the end - good luck and I'm excited to see what the future holds.


I recently did a purge of nearly all my software subscriptions and Dropbox was among the few that survived. Say what you want about storage being a commodity, I think they have built an outstanding service that continues to deliver a huge value to their users. I hope the employees see a nice windfall.


There are plenty of options out there for file storage services with decent phone client and being able to easily share file with non-techie friends and family. There are also plenty of file storage services that have clients for the desktop and command line Linux. But Drop box is the only one I've found that works across both of those very well with first party clients.

After all that, I'm not a paying Dropbox customer though. Unfortunately their pricing left me behind when it went to $10 a month for 1TB and nothing between that and free. So instead of I deal with the wonkiness of Google Drive when I need to on Linux and it works well enough everywhere else and the $2 a moth for 100GB is plenty.


What do you think of Mega? [1]. I switched from Dropbox to Mega because of that same pricing issue. I'm not a power user but it certainly works well for syncing files and photos across by Linux and Android devices.

[1] https://mega.nz/


Mega is awesome and also end-to-end encrypted.


Mega is the second iteration of megaupload, funded by piracy and shut down by the FBI some years ago. The founder is shady and has under many ongoing trials and extraditions claims. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Dotcom

Seriously. Don't hold your personal files on mega. They can be shut down any minute and delete all your data. That's what happened last time.

Dropbox is a respectable business. It's not comparable.


I'm more inclined to go with Mega because of Kim Dotcom than I am to use Dropbox with Condoleezza Rice on its board.


AFAIK mega.nz was founded by Kim, but later bought out by investors.

It is fully laws and DMCA compliant. It is not about piracy anymore.


It's as compliant as megaupload was. Don't get it wrong, the vast majority of the traffic is piracy.


All my data is also on my computer (and delayed on an external backup).

Would be a crazy coincidence for Mega and my laptop to get deleted at same time.


There's an open source Google Drive cli for Linux too, works super well: https://github.com/prasmussen/gdrive


This also works on FreeBSD. I haven't found any DropBox equivalent for BSD.


Same boat, If they had a $5 tier - even for only 20gb I would be a paying customer. As is I keep using my free plan.


You can get up to 20gb for free using a couple tricks.


I think your parent's point is that they'd like to be a paying customer but the cheapest tier is to dear to justify.


I'd also love to have a slightly lower tier than 1TB, maybe just 20GB or 50GB.


If you don't mind me asking, which other services did survive? I'm also looking at purging my list.


Agree. It's always worked flawlessly for me.

From another perspective, it's a little concerning how big a company it takes to deliver a useful and consistent service like this.


You must not be an iPhone user. The fact that photo backups pause every 30 seconds or so is one of the most incredibly annoying software issues I've ever had to deal with. Switching over to iCloud photo backup didn't come soon enough.


Do you mean background uploads? I believe that is because the iOS APIs don't allow apps to run in the background keep uploading data.

I've never had uploads failed while the app was in the foreground. I agree this is inconvenient, but it isn't the app developer's fault.


Works fine for me, however I don't take a great many photos.


I think if Google would put serious thought into Drive (desktop client, like Drop) and give 10 years of unlimited but reasonable (you know - don't dump all your DVDs and BluRays into cloud just because you can), I imagine plenty of people moving on. Its just Google Drive Sux... at the moment :)


Hey friend, they have a desktop client! https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/7/16267624/google-drive-desk... (ignore the shutdown part, later in the article it lists the two options: Google Backup & Sync; Google Drive File Stream


The cost of switching is very high partly because of extremely slow upload speeds. If we had insanely fast upload speeds available widely, the competitive landscape of storage and sync might look different.


To me, the interesting thing about Dropbox going public is how comparisons to Box could/will drive Dropbox's valuation. Any investor can easily check out Box's financials https://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3ABOX&fstype=ii&ei... and easily compare Dropbox's numbers to that.

So Box suffered the pain of being the first in the easy consumer/business online storage category to IPO -- but Box's numbers are now driving valuation of their competitor.


Some napkin math:

Dropbox: $1B in revenue / $10B valuation (10x)

Box: $400M in revenue / $3B valuation (7.5x)

The real question is earnings(which we don't know yet for Box) and whether Dropbox has a compelling case that it grow faster than Box to justify the higher multiple.


I estimated theri EV/R's (substract debts add cash to valuation) and I get Dropbox 9.0 - 9.5 and Box little over 6.

The real issue for me is that file storage is ultimately low profit margin business when the growth maxes out. The end game comes in next 5 - 10 years during a downturn and Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, or some Chinese company buys one or both of them out and gets the brand and the customers.


You have your definition for Enterprise Value flipped - it should be (Equity Value + Total Debt - Cash & Equivalents + Non Controlling Interest). If you are subtracting debt and adding cash, you are typically looking to get equity value from EV.

Your Box multiples look to be correct - looks like they trade at 6.1x on a trailing twelve month revenue basis, and ~5.0x on a next twelve months revenue basis.

Given that Dropbox has a $10BN valuation and a $600MM line of credit from the big banks, I would expect that their trailing revenue multiple is ~10.0x.


Box's revenue for this past fiscal year is about 600M, so more like 5x.


Right. That keeps dropbox at $5B. More if their path to profitability and more look better than box.


First YC company to go public ! Congrats

It's always fun to look at the comments at the time the MVP was posted here on HN:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863


I feel like this has got to be one of the most infamous / inspiration posts in HN history. Just to be able to look at the MVP of a billion dollar company and watch it get scrutinized, doubted and critiqued at that early stage.. it's an amazing look for anyone w/ thoughts of launching a startup.


On the other hand, some of those criticisms were, like, obviously foolish, even at the time.

Like: "The only problem is that you have to install something."? Regular users don't care and they didn't care then.

Linux users can build this quite trivially? Yeah, but your average person can't, so who cares?

"Not income generating"? It's storage. People pay for storage all the time.


Agreed on all your points except the last one.

Not sure if it was just in my part of the world, but when Dropbox started, people only paid for local storage. And that was mostly technical people outside of small USB drives.


I enjoyed the Linux comment too. It's as if they were only concerned with the other 97% of the market! Those fools.


it's still making a loss though...


"No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame."


I apologize for calling this person out, but I found this funny:

> For a Linux user, you can already build such a system yourself quite trivially by getting an FTP account, mounting it locally with curlftpfs, and then using SVN or CVS on the mounted filesystem

"quite trivially"


To be honest this was my first reaction to Dropbox as well: just set up a VPN. Looking back, it's clear that I underestimated the advantages of Dropbox and the size of the market. Drew was prescient in identifying an elegant solution to this universal problem.


Probably a significant chunk of the world's economy is from taking an already existing product and making it more accessible.


You should put this quote on of those startup tshirts or posters and sell it.


You do it. A good chunk of that is copying an alraedy existing product.


and get a static ip or a dyndns account, and forward the port on your router. And then make sure your machine is never down. It's really a time waster for the average dev ofc


"getting a FTP account" ≠ "self-hosting a FTP server"


fair


> For a Linux user

aka approximately no one, and certainly not anyone with a smartphone (technically Linux but you can't set up all these services easily).


[flagged]


We've banned this account.


I tried using Dropbox as an alternative to Google Drive. However, just like the other alternative cloud providers it was quite slow.

With Google Drive I can max out my Gbit Fiber (I downloaded with 920 Mb/s last time), while Dropbox was slow 8 Mb/s. Though I am not sure if Dropbox isn't rate limited for the free accounts.


Same problem for me, not google fiber but a 100/100 mbit fiber in Denmark. Dropbox gives me 6-8 megabits upload (download is much faster) at max, google drive gives me between 40-50 megabits upload consistently.


I don’t see that much benefit paying for Dropbox or Google Drive. At work my company pays for OneDrive. Personally I use OneDrive because it already comes with my Office subscription.

For $8.25 a month I get Office on all my devices and 1TB per 365 user.

I have gigabit internet and there isn’t much difference in OneDrive or Google Drive.


Are you using the OneDrive file stream? I forgot what it is called.


I actually tested dropping up 2 exact copies of a photo folders on Google Drive and Dropbox.

Google Drive is way way slower due to lack of block level syncing and other issues. You shouldn't be looking at the bandwidth usage you should be looking at how long it takes the files to sync.


I am using rclone to copy specific files (image backups of my disk).


Speaking as a paying user, I see speeds way higher than what you see.

That doesn't confirm your hypothesis, but it's a counterpoint I suppose.


Well it would also make sense. I just didn't want to gamble on it.

Maybe I will contact the support and ask them.


Have you tried amazon cloud drive? How does it compare?


Congrats to Arash for getting to this point. He has been very helpful when I reported security flaws nearly half a decade ago. I'm still wearing their sweater from time to time.


First YC company to go public. Congrats everyone!


Wow didn't realize it was the first...not sure if that's more depressing than exciting tbh!


Build a company to build a company, not to IPO.


But, structure the comp so that all of your early employees & people in the trenches only get paid if you IPO. Then get mad when those same employees openly wonder if and when you are going to IPO.


An exit (IPO or acquisition) is the goal of a VC backed startup. If you want to build a company to build a company, do it a different way (debt, savings, bootstrap, investors).


Terrible way of looking at it. Perhaps for investors, sure, but not for employees


Who cares? They're replaceable cogs that shouldn't expect anything but wages.


I don't think it's a terrible way to look at it, I think it's reality. I say this as a new employee of a YC startup-turned-unicorn. Yes, we have a mission as a company. I happen to believe in that mission. I also know that we have made a lot of obligations (investments, options as compensation) that make an exit important, too.


As a founder do you not feel some responsibility to eventually provide liquidity to your investors and the employees that helped build your co?


Then don’t claim options are part of total comp while denying people the ability to hold on to options when they leave the company.


Build a company to sell it to a big player and get $$$$$.


YC was founded in 2005. So yeah, it took dropbox a while but that seems to be the norm these days.


I don't understand. What does it mean to file 'confidentially' if now the entire general public knows about it?


It seems it doesn't really refer to their announcement being public or private, but rather what they have to submit in financial statements. They have much looser guidelines, so they don't have to disclose/document as much. They can be more "confidential" about what they submit, and that data is not released to the public until a much later date. This is how I understand it.


Dropbox stands out as having one of the most bizarre brand redesigns I've ever seen: https://dropbox.design/



I like Bloomberg's redesign. It's bizarre but fun.

Moreover, Bloomberg is a media company (well, at least the magazine). They have much more license to be insane.

Dropbox is a productivity company and the redesign seems...unwanted? What corporate executive is looking at his Dropbox and thinking that you know, this needs some Sharp Grotesk


Yeah -- I... well, I'll stick with the bubbly bootstrap 5-second template look please, if this is what's going to be popular next. It's genuinely and actively hard to look at.


I agree, I've really enjoyed the Bloomberg redesign.


What I like about Bloomberg's design team is that they try to navigate a fine line between being serious and playful. It's not easy because you could easily find yourself being too safe, where the playfulness ends up being too corporate and forced.

I remember going to the Bloomberg Design Conference a few years back, where they opened with an intro movie featuring their design team satirizing the design process by critiquing a white sheet of paper, eventually settling on a rotated version.


>This is what the general 404 page used to be:

>https://imgur.com/gallery/0MoqU4Y

Used to be?

https://www.bloomberg.com/gdhdsgsd


The trending feed they have on their homepage is just bizarre -- it scrolls at 2x or 3x the speed of the main body. Half of me is not a fan, but the other half thinks it fits in with the design of the rest of the page (notwithstanding the question of whether /that/ is good).


the last one is creepy but informative. Btw: bloomberg managment doesnt know about it; its just their webdesigner being big fan of Musk.


Bloomberg's design rules.


Evolving the Dropbox Brand | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15393684 (Oct 2017, 67 comments)

> mugsie: Wow. that is (from my perspective - but only mine) terrible.

> supernintendo: This is the worst UX I've seen in a long time. Not only that, it's visually garish.

> chrissnell: That typeface is just dreadful.


It looks like a person from hot topic got inspired by the Apple iPod / iPhone commercials and decided to go crazy with it. Awful execution.


Please for all that is holy, tell me they got hacked or something?


I really hope that whoever designed that trash is fired before the IPO. I would never want to invest in a company with such a horribly low bar of quality.


Nope, goto their actual website, it's all there: https://www.dropbox.com/


For me it only shows up when I go to https://www.dropbox.com/creativeenergy


You might be logged in. Shows up the same as the page you linked for me. Try opening in incognito tab.


Tried logging out as well. But didn't try incognito, admittedly.



The type is named “Sharp Grotesk”. Seriously... how many meetings involved lines like “We’re trying to decide between Grotesk and xxxx”, “what do you think of Grotesk”, “I need sign off on this Grotesk typeface”.


Grotesque just means 'sans-serif'. https://creativemarket.com/blog/grotesque-fonts


But I'm damn certain the work was chosen with full awareness of the connotation...


I really don't understand why Dropbox is trying so hard to be more than they are - A file syncing service. That's all anyone wants out of them. They sync files, that's all they do, and they do it well. No one wants them to be some collaboration platform pushing the envelope of UI design. I'm sorry Dropbox, but you're just never going to be the show runner. Just keep doing what you're doing - syncing files in the background. There's no shame in that.


> That's all anyone wants out of them

I'm sure they have better data on this than you or I do. There is an unfortunate tendency on HN to assume people are idiots who don't know what they're doing, as evidenced by every "why does company X need Y engineers??!!" comment.


Last time I heard Twitter only needed 100 engineers.


This is what has made Dropbox so successful. You have files. They sync. It does one thing and it does it really well.

I'll also admit their enterprise tool that lets you sync only some files as you need them is also seems cool, although I've never worked at a place that used it, and even if I did, I'd probably have to use it in a VM since I've used Linux at my last three jobs.

Dropbox could try to build new products. Keep Dropbox as it is, but then try to branch out and build other tools. Maybe other office tools, or project management tools? They could keep the same login systems if they wants to pitch them to enterprise. But I agree, their core product is sold and should stay that way. Their brand can help them quite a bit if they start offering other products, but only if they're up to the same quality.


Except investors. This "collaborative platform" angle is clearly designed with the IPO roadshow in mind.


Probably because it's a dangerous place to be in long term. Storage is going to get cheaper and cheaper from the big guys. Already for me there's no point to paying for DropBox when I can pay for iCloud for similar prices and get all the benefits of the integration that storage provides that DropBox doesn't (photos, etc) for the whole ecosystem.

I've never needed to get more storage with DB… the free was always good enough though I'm also sure I'm not a big expense to them… many free users are.


I’m glad I’m not the only one. I feel like it’s some sort of reference to popart but like, you are a company that’s doing documents, let’s not get too Warholy.


Design fashion has the property that if you do something that pushed the envelope it always seems wrong until it becomes normal and other brands adopt it.


This argument can be used to justify just about any design.


How else do you think Drew Houston was convinced that this design was the right step for them?

I'd also like to point out that not all redesigns go as planned, but iteratively eventually 'get' there.

See: Android's honeycomb and later Ice Cream Sandwich redesigns before they settled on Material Design.

One of the few apps to have gotten design different and right, at the first time of asking, have been, IMHO, WhatsApp, Stripe, and AirBnb.


This person gets it.

I might also add the heuristic that "if a youngish person is creating it, it probably WILL be the next thing"


> I feel like it’s some sort of reference to popart

I was hoping it's supposed to be a hommage to vintage electronics manuals.


That first animation reminds me of this: https://youtu.be/F6Srzcm8EEg?t=13s


Just to break up the homogeneity of this thread: I like it.


I don't think it's the aesthetics that people react to. The aesthetics are a little on the 1980s neon retro side, but personally, I find this almost creepily dissonant purely in how far the message is from the product. Nobody would deny that lots of people use Dropbox for "creative" work. But Dropbox itself has nothing to do with creativity -- there's no sense in which Dropbox itself can be a fun, zany, kinetic kind of experience. It's not GoPro. It's a folder that syncs. This design reeks of someone uncool trying to appeal to a young, fashion-conscious demographic, with cringeworthy results. It's as transparently cynical as any attempt Microsoft (for example) have ever made to appeal to anyone younger than 30.


It's beautiful, fun and quite daring. I would generally opt for the 'straightforward and professional looking' solution, but that might be because I'm boring and generally unimaginative.

Kinda sad realizing that you prefer this, but would chose boring just because it's somehow more safe.


Moreover none of their actual apps (web, desktop, mobile) have adopted this aesthetic, so what's everyone on about?


I think it's a little bit more about honesty than safety. Sort of like the advice pounded into us in our teenage years to "just be yourself" because people can smell insecurity from a mile away.


Holy crap, that is one obnoxious website. Worst than the early 2000 ones.


Seems to be the new fad, Skype for iOS has that feel and also Meetup (ugh!) very hipster coworking spaces in Amsterdam also indulge in tinted two-tones.

Looks like some thougtless photo effect thrown in just for the sake of it, but it became somewhat more unintentionally trending


For what it’s worth, since no one is taking the other side, my first impression is pretty good (though I’m on mobile). Obviously it is extremely bold, to the point that it’s almost more art than it is design, but I like it, cause why not.


WTF is wrong with the scroll bar? It's useless. A hijacked scroll wheel with slow speed doesn't help either.


Allowing this to go through screams to me that there's no objective design leadership in the company. How did something so awful manage to get past however many employees, executives, design reviews, and into the press?

Steve Jobs who had incredible design leadership made sure each design decision had a solid reason and a strongly felt impact in the experience. This design is the exact opposite of that.


Is it a April's fool thingy?


The uniformity of response in this thread is what feels like a joke.


The only one I can think of being on this scale is when Uber switched their app logo from the grey U to a weird sideways pacman made of wires.


They also recently switched the clever black and white fork logo for UberEats to a very generic green and white with no symbol, just the name "Uber Eats". Weird


That, ah, really stands alone


What an eyesore.


I guess it would have been tremendously hard to select a more painful-to-eyes color scheme.


The design is just as bad on their actual website:

https://www.dropbox.com/

Man..that Sharp Grotesk font. So out of place for a productivity company..What utility thinks of themselves as an art studio?


wat?


Dropbox has come a long way... Kudos to them!

My YC app: Dropbox - Throw away your USB drive https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863

Dropbox launches (YC summer 07) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=134405


This is definitely the best Show HN I've had the pleasure of watching evolve! Dropbox is a cool technology started by a cool person. That's what I like to see succeed.

Too bad we didn't have the opportunity to buy some "DBCoin" back in 2007. I'd have bought a lot!

Congrats dhouston & co on building a company that improves the world in a significant way.


Question: since an IPO is going to be a matter of public record, why would you want to file it confidentially? What's the advantage?

Thanks.


First YC IPO! Congrats Drew, Arash and team!


Dropbox has always been a successful company with great mindshare. While not quite a household name, if you worked there and told your family there's a chance they would know what the company is (how many of you can do that?). Yet still, dropbox was founded in 2007. It's been over 10 years to reach IPO. Just a friendly message to any engineers out of school who see the tempting offer to work at a small fast moving startup, you may get the payout like dropbox is about to, but you might have to wait a decade.


I know some people who joined Dropbox as new grads in 2014. The company had <1000 employees and seemed like it had a lot of upside.

The options given out at that time were priced at a $10B and have been basically under water since.

So even if you do join a fast growing company with a good brand and the potential to go public there's still a solid chance you make no money.


Worse than making no money, you could have exercised your stock options for any number of totally valid reasons and lost some or all of that cash.


If you exercised, wouldn't you be able to sell after the IPO?


No. You still go thru 6 month lock in period


I thought they switched to RSUs? Are you sure that new grad didn't get a mix of RSUs and options?


RSUs are not necessarily better. You get taxed on those as ordinary income. If the grant is large enough, you're effectively stuck with paying tax on an illiquid asset. With options you're only taxed at the time of exercise. So in the case of the 2014 grads, they'd be underwater on the value of their options vis-a-vis the exercise price, but wouldn't necessary have any sunk costs provided they haven't exercised any of the shares. The downside with this situation of course, is that the employees have "golden handcuffs" since if they leave they'd have to exercise within 30-60-90 days or lose their vested, unexercised, options.

For those employees that did exercise their underwater options, one small silver lining is they can write those losses off on future tax returns.


> For those employees that did exercise their underwater options, one small silver lining is they can write those losses off on future tax returns.

Note this only applies to NQSOs not ISOs - since the gain in the ISO case is taxes as AMT; the loss can only be carried as an AMT loss and applied only if/when you are actually subject to the AMT.


However, you're only taxed on RSUs if they are actually released to you.

It's possible to have RSU awards that vest without them being released to the employee. This means that (unlike exercised options) you can't sell them on the secondary market, but it also means that you aren't liable for taxes on an illiquid asset.


RSU tax can be paid by selling 25% of shares back to the company, which any reputable company should do.


They did attempt to make good later by converting some of those options to RSUs but some options remain.

Note: I am basing this from one person who shared financial details with me, there may be a large variance in offers to different employees.


Just to be clear, you're saying that the strike of the option grants (or the 409a) in 2014 was roughly based on a 10b valuation? That does seem to screw over anyone with such options, since it's unlikely they'll see appreciable gain on those. Is this sort of conversion from existing option grants to RSUs common? I know most startups convert to RSUs for new grants eventually, but was unaware that some also apply it retroactively. It's a nice show of good faith to convert them to some # of RSUs on Dropbox's part.


It's not uncommon for a company to take a look at the equity incentives it's given to employees, in whatever form and realize it's not worth very much and try to make good by giving replacement incentives. I've been at companies where they replaced underwater options at $N a share with at money options at $M with $M being much less than $N (of course the stock continued downward and I left for other reasons before anything vested); for a not yet public company, poorly priced options being replaced with RSUs makes a lot of sense, because the company may not be able to increase its valuation, but it doesn't want to decrease it, and options issued under FMV don't qualify for exciting tax programs.


Early dropbox employees have had opportunities to cash out. Same has happened for other big private startups.


Yes, but there's no denying that a bit of bait and switch goes on at these companies whereby they grant you a bunch of stock options, call it part of your total comp, and then restrict 100% what you can do with them unless it's on their terms.


Plus the tax penalty of exercising those options when you leave! The only way companies will give up the ability to lock in talent is if enough people make it a condition of accepting the offer.


Good thing Dropbox is one of those "good companies" that doesn't require exercising on leaving.


Even with this, if they're ISOs they'll transfer to NSOs after 90 days. This probably didn't matter before, but the new tax law in the US increases where AMT kicks in from around 120k to 500k.

This means that ISOs can probably be exercised tax free, but NSOs require you to pay taxes on the spread from strike to the fair market valuation.

If your strike price is low enough you may be able to save and afford to exercise the ISOs, the NSOs will probably be too expensive with the tax burden.

There's also a 10yr expiration on options anyway so it's possible that you could lose them even if you're waiting for an IPO while holding unexercised NSOs.


Now it's 500k, the entire concept of ISOs is actually somewhat useful. Exercising a bit each year doesn't have hilarious consequences where the tax cost to exercise is 4 times more than the strike price itself.

In my experience, small startup options don't get exercised because of the tax bill, not because of the strike price.


Yeah it actually makes a difference now.

You still have to watch out for the California AMT (which I didn't know about) - it's 7% and will still trigger at the lower value. As a bonus you can no longer deduct it either past 10k from federal taxes (though that may change with the charity thing).

The ability to do early exercise on unvested shares is also often not an option at startups so when you are able to exercise the spread is higher and the tax penalty is worse.


What is the solution? Ask for all of your compensation to be in cash, Netflix-style?


I think this is a good solution. Almost any start up is going to have a one year cliff before your first vesting period begins. And to be fully vested often means remaining at the company for 4 years. So now you are that 5 year mark and if the company doesn't IPO by then and you want to leave you have to buy all of those options.

So if you don't foresee being at the company for at least 5 year or foresee having the money to purchase the options you have accrued after the 1+ years then you are better off asking for cash. Companies of course don't like this because it costs them nothing if they pay part of your comp in options that you then leave on the table when you leave the company. This is calculated, the companies know this.

How many startups can you expect to work in your career where you stay for 5 years? Lets say you work for which would be 20 years of your career. How many of those 5 are going to actually IPO? The math suggests you leaving a lot of money on the table. If you take the comp in cash you can put that money to work for you in other ways.


Like most things in economics, it's a risk/reward tradeoff. Taking everything in cash means you're way farther ahead if every startup you work for fails. If a couple succeed (= profitability or small acquihire), it's probably a wash. If even one IPOs, you would've done way better with stock.

Personally I've made way more from stock options than I have from wages. Google stock has appreciated 7x since I joined in 2009, so you can do out the math for various fractions of equity compensation. And this was for a company where I valued that equity at zero, because it already had 20,000 employees, it was in the middle of the financial crisis, its stock was dropping like a rock, and 89% of employees were underwater in their stock options.

You could argue that if you take cash compensation, you could then invest that in public market stocks (like GOOG etc.), and there's a pretty good argument for diversification and not holding your net worth in your paycheck. OTOH, when it's your company stock, you also have an information advantage: for example, the press was very down on Google for most of 2009, thinking that they'd tapped out on growth and the web was basically over, and after the initial post-crisis bump it basically traded sideways until mid-2012. Having seen the energy there, the products under development, and the query growth rate numbers, I knew this wasn't true, but if you'd worked for cash in another company and then tried to invest in the public markets you would've had a very distorted picture of reality.


>"If even one IPOs, you would've done way better with stock."

Not necessarily, it depends on what your strike price is.

>"Google stock has appreciated 7x since I joined in 2009"

The context was startups and IPO'ing. Google is neither a startup nor were you a pre-IPO employee.


Well, true, and the meta-point that I hope is coming across through my comment is that you should evaluate each opportunity according to the specific terms in front of you and your assessment of how likely the organization is to succeed in your future. Nobody on an Internet forum can do that for you: we have much less information about a specific job offer and specific company than the prospective employee does.

But the point I wanted to make, bringing up the Google example, is that I didn't expect Google stock to have much upside in 2009. Most people didn't expect Google stock to have much upside in 2009. Google stock still had much upside. The excitement was all in Web 2.0 startups (like zillions of other people, I founded one), but most of them had little success. We're talking about Dropbox now, but Dropbox was a desktop app startup, perhaps the one thing less cool than a big tech company in 2008.

Similarly, the common wisdom now is that startups are a losing bet and you should go ask for cash at an established company that can pay you well. Usually, in markets, when something becomes common wisdom it ceases to be true. So I will happily take the opposite side of that trade - I'm back to founding a startup, I work for equity, and if people want cash, I'll pay them in cash. I realize that I'm making a risk/reward tradeoff here and there's a fairly decent chance my equity will be worthless, but I choose to make it anyway, because I believe that at this point in time, the startup career path is undervalued.


>"Well, true, and the meta-point that I hope is coming across through my comment is that you should evaluate each opportunity according to the specific terms in front of you and your assessment of how likely the organization is to succeed in your future"

Yes of course that is just common sense and there is nothing in my comment that suggests you shouldn't apply common sense.

>"Nobody on an Internet forum can do that for you"

Well of course not and I was not attempting to advocate for someone else. I thought this was implicit when I stated "I think ..."


That could be a solution, but many startups will balk at your ask for full cash compensation and say you need some equity to "have skin in the game and to show you believe in the company."


Which from their perspective makes sense, since they want a lock-in. I guess if you have a strong negotiating position you can potentially push things around. Maybe instead of options you get on some kind of a cash clawback plan for the first few years?


The more directly balk at the prospect of paying cash they simply don't have.


Yeah, most startups aren't geared towards their employees. They have to grow a certain size before the employees are able to get reasonable terms from their employer.


Indeed. Companies generally have a right of first refusal on you selling your options. I experienced this first hand.


Having done this first hand, can you comment on whether or not they met the price? A VC related a story where an employee of a different company had offered to sell him his exercised common shares, and the company reminded the employee that they had first right of refusal, so the employee offered them to the company at the same price he was going to sell them to the VC, which the company took.

The employee got what they wanted (cash for their stock).


Sure. The company rejected the sale between me and a third party. They instead arranged for an alternate sale at the same price with one of their "preferred buyers." They were obligated to meet the price I had arranged privately with my broker and my buyer.

What infuriated me was that I had to do all the leg work and paper work and it was only when the money for the sale went into an escrow that the company rejected the offer. So they wasted a lot of people's time unfortunately - mine, the broker and the buyers time. The companies "preferred buyer" turned out to be some Hollywood big wig. And my guess is that they never had any intention of letting my proposed sale go through.

One curious thing I learned is that although this practice of selling options on the secondary markets by "worker bees" was strongly "discouraged" because it was seen as a sign of not believing in the company, it turns out the execs were all selling their options left and right and had been doing so for years.


That is what the right of first refusal is, you have to match the price they are selling for.

ROFR isn't that bad. What is bad is some contracts have a call option on your stock at FMV price, even when you exercise.


And how many years was it before early Dropbox employees allowed to cash out?


What sort of opportunities? I'm curious what I can eventually do with my options.


Secondary markets. Both SharesPost and Nasdaq Private Market (Second Market Solutions was acquired by Nasdaq) offer this service. Pre IPO, FB shares were floating around secondary markets. Note investors are usually looking for household name unicorns on these markets.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203833004577249...


Sell them in a private offering such as this - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-softbank-tender/soft...


As someone who has had those opportunities, they are often not that good. Your limited to a certain percentage of your vested stock, and there is a pool which quickly gets oversubscribed.

And you can't do it in an adhoc manner, it's usually organized by the company to one buyer.


Is there any guarantee of a cash-out opportunity at private startups? Or is it at the mercy of your employer and one can even have bad experiences like Zynga where your options could be clawed back?


Most startups in SV though have a standard ROFR clause. So as long as you can find a buyer, you would get paid.

That being said, read the options agreement carefully and ensure your interests are well protected.


"read the options agreement carefully and ensure your interests are well protected."

It's worth noting that, in nearly all cases, you will not receive an options agreement until well after you have accepted the offer.

I've never tried to ask for an options agreement prior to accepting an offer, but I'd imagine it would be a very difficult thing to get at most companies.


So you accept the offer, get the options agreement and if it does not work for you then you find another job and move on.


...or maybe you've quit another job, or moved across the country, or any number of things that aren't easily reversible decisions. Not everyone is 20 years old, single and childless.

Point is, negotiate a salary that meets your needs, and treat the stock options like lottery tickets, because that's what they are.


If you are not 20 year old, single and childless, you should probably not rely on options in a non-public startup to fund yourself.


If you are 20 years old, single, and childless, you still shouldn't rely on options in a non-public startup to fund yourself; your age, marital status, and children or lack thereof don't have any bearing on the fact that those options are a “maybe someday worth something" thing, not something with any reliable value or time when they will be liquid.


My understanding is that it's entirely at the mercy of whatever contract you signed.


Waiting a decade is not necessarily a bad thing unless you're just looking for a quick payout. As a customer (and honestly as an employee most of the time), I like to see a company that built a business for 10 years and wasn't rushing to a huge infusion of cash that comes with a big burden attached.


It's more than just the waiting though, it's the uncertainty and the fact that you've got this capital tied up in an investment that you could have in another investment (i.e., go work somewhere where you simply get paid instead of get stock).

Using a 10% time-value-of-money discount, your stock options are only worth ~35% of their final monetary value when you first start out in the 10-year payoff case. That's not a 35% chance that you'll make something, that's the discount on what you do make. You still need to factor in the risk that you'll get nothing or a pittance, especially if we're talking early startup where the risk that you get nothing is probably somewhere in the 90% range. You don't have to come up with very unrealistic numbers in the current environment before you're looking at applying a ~95% discount to your hopes on what your stock options might be worth in 10 years.

(IMHO, working at a startup when you're young for some hard & fast experience, if you can afford it, is possibly still worth it, but at this point in 2017, early engineers should be demanding either cash or founder-level equity grants. An in-between grant that may pay out $100,000 in ten years may sound grand from the perspective of someone about to receive that payout, but from the front-end you should value it somewhere around $5K or so, and I wouldn't fight anyone who wants to pick numbers to push that lower. On an annualized basis, $5K is more like "a minimal raise" than a reason to work at a company.)


There’s no reason not to look for quick payouts if you’re fresh out of college and looking to dive into the world of Silicon Valley style startups.

Money today is worth more than money tomorrow, and often the lump sum of money you get at the end of a startup’s liquidity event as an employee is not much greater than someone who earned money through a more traditional route, if you even get it. I know people who chased the startup life for years with nothing to show for it.

A decade later when they finally give up and resign to a more traditional career path, their cohorts who started down that path a decade ago are now impressively far ahead of them in life. I’m talking big houses with long hallways and a baby or two keeping them up at night while they ascend the ranks of a “real” company during the day.

So when playing the startup game, the only thing on your mind should be “fast money, fast money, fast money!”. If you like to see businesses that have been around for way longer than 10 years and building strong revenue that most startups can only dream of, don’t look for startups.


People should keep that in mind when getting into it, but the other part is that some people (myself included) enjoy working for small companies far more than they enjoy working for large companies, so it's not an apples to apples comparison. I generally also prefer not to work with people who have a strictly mercenary mindset.


Given that the Bay area has the highest cost of living in the US, I think 10 years is a lot to wait for payout. In that time you could have got married, had kids, bought a house, had a parent get sick, get divorce, etc. People have real lifestyle changes which make the extra $$ important to them over a 10 year period.

The standard pitch (that many recruiters abuse) was that your options would become real in 4 years but the reality is this is closer to a decade. If companies were marketing their options realistically instead of selling them like snake oil the 10 year point would be fine.

I remember interviewing with an almost unicorn and their VP of engineering literally tried to pitch their options by telling me to assume the company would IPO at XXX price within 4 years. No mention of opportunity costs, tax issues, liquidity issues, etc. He even forget to consider the strike price when "helping" me ballpark the benefit. And everyone seems to forget there is thing called the discount value of cash - $200K in 10 years is not the same as $200K in 5. It's been 2 years since I got that unicorn offer and I can say that the company is at a minimum still 4 years away from an IPO.

Stop selling the snake oil and people wouldn't be unhappy when there is a decade long payout time.


My point is more that people seem to look at going public as the one true sign of enterpreneurial success. I worked at a privately owned start up in which maybe 4 employees held all the equity, and the other 200 were simply salaried or paid hourly, and you know what came up in every Q&A? "When are we going public?" It doesn't seem like many people talk about their vision for their start ups being sustainable, or that many people think about the implications of going public for the business itself. Personally, I would be hesitant to invest much time in becoming a client of a company that was rushing to go public because it needed the cash and private investors weren't cutting it or because most of the company wanted to cash out. It's a red flag to me.

But more to your point, recruiters lie, and if you don't realize that as a grown up, college graduate, you've got bigger problems in your life, I suspect, than when a company decides to file IPO. They shouldn't lie, but recruiters tempting you with options also isn't a reason to suddenly submit to the SEC and public traders to get some cash.


What, no. The problem is that the typical arrangement is that employees must either buy their options (which have been very expensive at Dropbox for past 5 years at least, and thus out of reach and highly risky for most), or forfeit them soon after they leave.

So in practice, employees are shackled to the company until IPO happens.

(Note: some more progressive companies have been combating this dynamic a number of ways -- I don't know if Dropbox is among them)


I don't mean this facetiously, but what is different about Dropbox as a company compared to what it was 7 or 8 years ago? Their primary product seems mostly the same from an end user perspective.


Is that bad? I'm very attracted to that. Dropbox does the thing it always did, but better and more reliably.


No it isn't bad, but the comment I was responding to mentioned that they like to see a company built up over time. I just don't generally know what Dropbox has been building over that span that wasn't present very early on.


> I just don't generally know what Dropbox has been building

Customers.


Which is the exact type of thing that you can speed up with a cash infusion to increase marketing and sales efforts.


This exactly. There's very a small chance you end up at a company like Dropbox, and even if you do it could still take 10 years to see any profit from it. Add to that the significant financial risk you probably have to take on to exercise options and pay AMT, all the while completely uncertain of payoff.


These days, that is mitigated partially by salaries that are closer to market (and sometimes even higher than market) than was historically the case for startups.

But the AMT/exercising problem can be severe if you're unlucky.


More likely a new grad will get nothing: recruiters, dilution, and taxes will see to that.


Dropbox probably moved to RSUs at some point over the past few years, so this is only true of the last batch of options holders depending on the strike price.


Huge! congrats Drew and Arash on the first YC IPO


Please check box's financials [1]. They have annual revenues of $500M and can surely show a profit with non standard accounting practices (all the BS employed as disclaimers by Dropbox to spin a loss as a profit). Box's valuation is around $3.2B.

Personally, anything over a $6.5B valuation for Dropbox is grossly over valuing it, by using Box as a benchmark from the open market

[1]: https://www.google.com/search?q=NYSE:BOX#wptab=COMPANY


You can look at the relatively standard metric of EBITA (which Dropbox says is positive) right here https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/box/financials and note that it was -$100M in 2017. You can also see their revenue in 2017 were $400M, not $500M so you're kind of pulling numbers out of nowhere...


What's the down-voting for? Seems like a perfectly legitimate comparison to a public company offering the EXACT same product to the exact same market segment.


Less work for the company because the process is simpler, and allows them to "test the waters" and back out if response is cooler than they imagined it would be.

https://www.inc.com/christine-lagorio/public-offerings-how-c... is a good read.


I don't know much about the stock stuff so I am wondering why they are doing it secretly? Just because they are not ready to announce yet?


Sorry dropbox, I was one of your first few paying customers, but then you started taking features away one by one and I had to just cancel.


Out of curiosity, which features did you lose?


Public folder was a huge one that was axed. Then there was a photo gallery thing that was removed.


Would be great to know what day the IPO will be.

Why is there no easy place to see this?


It isn't set yet. This is basically a leak -- the process isn't done yet.

The day gets set much further down the line.


i probably gonna get downvoted but i don't get their product. anything they offer you can find better/cheaper elsewhere (google docs, photos etc) or not really needed (paper)


To the user Dropbox is completely, 100% transparent. It is just another folder on their computer.

That is he magic of Dropbox and what people missed in the infamous Hacker News first post.


Dropbox is the only major cloud drive service that offers official Linux app. That beats everything else for me.


They even offer it as just a daemon for linux if you want to install it in a server.

And for me, even on windows, the Dropbox client just seems so much more stable than Drive. It's very common for me to see Drive with a little "dead" icon, saying that it couldn't connect, and stopped trying, and I have no idea why.


Well it was the first. Mega has a Linux client. It's a different service though; full end-to-end encryption.


You should try to be a bit more open-minded. You sound a lot like the posters here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863


Parent sounds nothing like those comments. Whereas you see people saying, “just glue together some ftp, rsync, a little SVN, and you’re golden!”, my take on what parent is saying is, “we have offerings from Google, Microsoft, Apple, Joe’s Online Storage, what makes Dropbox special again?”

The picture you try to portray is “no wireless, less space than a nomad, lame” and that’s not the case at all, I think it is a question worth considering.


The parent is also suggesting cobbling together multiple different products (google docs, photos etc) in order to replace dropbox...


All those google products are contained within the Drive client now, and could act exactly like a dropbox folder if the user doesn't do any setup.


nothing to do with open-minded. simply checking advantages vs alternatives.


I've been using Dropbox Pro for four years, and for me the biggest thing is does one or two things and does them well. It just works. I have a hierarchy on my file system that follows me wherever I go.

I have a few gripes about how it handles conflicts and cross platform issues like capitalization, but they are minor compared to the benefits.


I almost never downvote except for posts that are egregiously outside of HN community standards, and certainly wouldn't downvote you here. But your comment does seems pretty irrelevant to the issue of their IPO (for the record, I loathe Dropbox for political & technical reasons not pertinent here). If you're getting downvotes, it may not be because people disagree with you, but they might consider you're adding noise (as am I by commenting on your noise, admittedly)?


> Dropbox has been willing to get their hands dirty in their pursuit of user-friendliness since day one

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13742251

Props to those for whom this finally pays off!


I still want to understand what makes Dropbox different from Box. Box almost never had a good time since it's IPO.


Name too close to dropbox, and Dropbox became a well-known name first.


I know I'm not being original when I say I'm really not optimistic about their future. There service is extremely easy to replicate, as seen by all the giant companies who have done so, and all of these giant companies can give better service for free just as an incentive for people to increase their dependancy on their ecosystem (like microsoft and apple do quite aggressively, and google, to a lesser degree)


To back up your point, for the same price as 1TB of storage on Dropbox you can get MS Office 365 (for 5 devices), which comes with 1TB of storage on OneDrive. Not everyone uses Office of course, but if you do you'd be nuts to pay for Dropbox. It's IE bundled free with Windows all over again.


The few times I've tried OneDrive I was met with frequent crashing and disappearing documents. They had two version for Windows 8 (the touch screen UI one and the office one) which really seemed like they conflicted with each other.

When I used OneDrive, it also didn't sync files. If you opened something in Word from OneDrive, it created it in a temp folder and resynced when you saved it (hence the disappearing documents because of their buggy implementation).

And of course, OneDrive doesn't work on Linux. It's garbage and it's one of the reasons that Microsoft latched onto Dropbox with Office integration because their product was just that horrible.


Are the Linux/OS X/iOS/Android clients for OneDrive good? Because one of the major selling points for Dropbox for me is that their native clients are uniformly excellent, and I rarely have to think about it - it just works everywhere.


I'd rather pay Dropbox more and not have to have the overhead and constant nag of the Microsoft ecosystem -- not to mention Microsoft's questionable privacy policies -- i.e. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7369163

Or the privacy mess that is Windows 10...

1TB on Dropbox is $9.99 per month. That's a bargain. I'm not really one to use an inferior product just to save a few dollars.


you're likely a dev, so a very special case of super performant user with strong ideas about computers, not very representative of the average consumer, who knows and likes the Office suite. Same goes for icloud and the iOS/Mac ecosystem, and Google drive, etc.


My personal experience is that Dropbox just works, and works well and reliably and quickly on all platforms.

OneDrive is almost as good, but Google Drive is not, especially their client is unreliable.

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