There Will Be No Files In The Cloud
I've spent a bunch of time talking to entrepreneurs who are building companies in and around the cloud storage space. It's not a space I like very much because I don't think we'll be using files in the cloud. Now Dropbox is a brilliant company and an amazing service and they are doing very well, but will we need a service like Dropbox when everything is in the cloud? I don't think so.
I was in DJ Woooo's Dance/Electro Turntable room last week. I heard a remix track that was super fun. I hit the button to send the track to Rdio. I went to Rdio and listened to it a few times. Then I went to SoundCloud, found the track and then reblogged it into Tumblr. Not once in that experience did I have to touch a file. If Turntable and Rdio had good links into SoundCloud (I'm sure they will in time), I would not even have had to do any searching. It would have been click this, click that, click this and I would have been done. That's how I think things are going to work when everything is in the cloud.
This is why I love Google Docs so much. I just create a document and email a link. Nobody downloads anything. There are no attachments in the email. Just a link. Just like the web, following links, getting shit done. I love it.
That's the future. I'm pretty sure of it. Mobile is a bit of a complicating factor because we are still stuck with downloadable software and unreliable and slow internet connections. But I think we'll fix all of that in good time.
So if you are working in the cloud storage space, I think you've got a bit of a conundrum. The reality of the market today is that people use files. You need to support that use case, enhance it, and make people's lives easier. But over time, that use case will go away. And what people will want is a service that doesn't have files as the atomic unit. And how do you elegantly morph from a file centric model to a document centric model? It won't be easy, I'm sure of that.