The best kind of advertising is this: a happy user telling people about your product unsolicited. This is why Dropbox will catch on. Because this post is written to celebrate something that has made life easier: Dropbox. Dropbox has satiated an enormous file organization O.C.D. and eliminated a time consuming backup process that together have eaten at my time for years. Organizing and backing up stuff is not something anyone really wants to do, they just want it done. This is very much like having a clean kitchen: you don’t want to wash dishes and wipe counters, you just want clean dishes and clean counters.
Let’s back up a bit and talk about life before Dropbox… In order to keep things straight before Dropbox, I created a folder and subfolder structure on each of four computers I use regularly; this one folder structure houses everything I care about. The same folder and subfolder structure was put onto a 16gb memory stick and a backup hard drive as well. There was a color-coded spreadsheet that got printed and a process of moving files from each computer to the memory stick, then to the main computer and eventually to the backup harddrive. The process had slowly evolved over a couple of years, and was working, but where things turned painful, however, was the dread of actually having to jump through all the hoops to keep multiple machines synced up (i.e. kitchen analogy).
Enter Dropbox: basically what Dropbox does is provide a central repository for your files that you can access from anywhere. In this regard, it’s very much like an old VAX system from when you were in college (if you’re old like me). The Dropbox folder, if used properly, can relegate your PC to a work-mule and keep your data centrally located. This is awesome if you’re always switching PC’s because of work, kids, travel, or whatever. I save a file in the kitchen because the kids are too loud, and go upstairs to a different computer to finish up and it’s like I didn’t miss a beat. I jump in the car to go to work and say “oh shit, I forgot my memory stick”? Nope, because my file is there. I pull out my laptop and say “oh shit, I forgot to save that to my memory stick”? Nope, because my file is there. I’m reiterating for emphasis because if this happens to you all the time too, you will love Dropbox and you see the point.