Last week, Dropbox announced its acquisition of Droptalk, a cloud-based productivity tool allowing users to share messages, links, and files through a Google Chrome extension. Droptalk recently launched a limited beta test of the Chrome extension and had announced plans to expand to messaging and cloud storage on mobile.
Droptalk is the latest prize in a recent acquisition spree seemingly aimed at transforming Dropbox into a robust, integrated storage and communication platform to compete with behemoth productivity suites like Google.
The Real Target for Disruption
But Dropbox’s real target for disruption is not any single competitor, but work email itself. Traditional email clients can no longer keep up with today’s fast-paced, multi-task work environment, and interrupting a workflow to share notes, files, or instructions over email interrupts productivity more than it helps.
In order to support productivity rather than hinder it, tools for collaboration, sharing, and editing should be integrated as closely as possible into the relevant workflows. Digital innovators like Dropbox can help people work better not by reinventing the inbox, but developing a seamless digital communication platform that helps employees spend less time talking about work and more time actually working. All traditional businesses should look to apply the same principles while defining both internal practices and the consumer experience.
Droptalk’s founders admit the company was formed with the intention of “killing” work email and moving all office communications in-browser, so the company should fit right in with the rest of Dropbox’s 2014 acquisition class.
From A to Zulip:
Dropbox’s other 2014 Acquisitions (so far)
A mobile image storage app that creates 3D experiences from 2D images, Bubbli will enhance Dropbox’s image viewing and sharing capabilities and will likely be integrated into its new photo sharing app Carousel.
Hackpad enables lightweight, real-time document collaboration across web & mobile and has gained significant traction within company wikis, personal note-taking, and collaborative notes at events and conferences.
A popular cloud photo storage and sync service that will also bolster Dropbox’s Carousel app.
A social reading platform enabling users to share and highlight document in real time, Readmill’s technology transforms static ebooks and other documents into dynamic workspaces.
A workplace chat solution that allows users to share both public and private messages with their coworkers, with a robust functionality including drag & drop file upload, image pasting, group private messages, and missed message notifications.