This post is an expansion on a conversation I had recently on Google Plus with Michael Mahemoff. Drop Box, in a recent funding round, raised $250m at a valuation of $4b, which I felt was a high valuation. But there’s now talk of them achieving a $40b valuation, which I feel crosses that important line passing sublime some way back.
Drop Box, for those that aren’t familiar with them, provide an online storage service – upload your files to their web-site and they provide ways for you to access and share them on a variety of devices. It’s quite a popular service in the creative sector and Cloud storage services like these are becoming (obviously!) hot properties.
So why am I downbeat about their prospects? Quite simply GDrive. So Google already has hundreds of millions of us signed up their cloud storage service, Google Docs? Ok so what. Google’s problem is often that they don’t recognise what they have and then when they do, they fail to communicate it compellingly. +Google Docs is a prime example; it’s really, really good but where’s the mainstream awareness? Nobody gets it. GDrive is Google’s big play to change that. Google already has GMail, G+, Docs, YouTube and (at least in the US) Music. Docs will become GDrive, at least the file interface will. I’d be hugely surprised if Music doesn’t get subsumed by Google+ as expands internationally. So what will you have – Communication (GMail), Social, Photos and Music (G+) and Entertainment (YouTube) all linked together by Storage (Drive).
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s by any means this battle is over, but google has all the right pieces in play and if they can build on the successes of G+ I think Drop Box (and their investors) have an awful lot to worry about.