Category Archives: Moving forward

Droppedbox

To be clear, I love Dropbox. The service is incredible, and it solves a real problem in my life. So much so that I upgraded to the $9.99/mo plan. If you don’t currently use it, I highly recommend signing up here. But yesterday, I downgraded back to the Free plan.

For $9.99 you get 50GB of space to store your files. “With all that space”, I thought, “it won’t be a problem auto-uploading my phone photos”. I bungled all my Wedding & Honeymoon photos on there too. It gradually became a place, because of all the extra space, that I just dumped files I ‘might’ need at some point.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading books like Lean Startup by Eric Reis, and chatting to a mate, Tim who has exceptional experience in the startup and fundraising scene. Both urged me to find £10 quid a month to spend on market research (PPC, with an optimised landing page), to test ideas and find if there’s any traction.

Now I’m at a bit of a time in my life where 10 quid a month is a bit of a stretch, unfortunately. So I looked for places I could find it. I looked at my use of Dropbox and realised that I’m spending the best part of a tenner a month (120 quid a year) to dump files in the cloud (at least that’s how my use of it has descended!). So I swiftly transferred quite a few gigs of data onto my passport harddrive, because frankly I already use that as a dumping ground so why should I also be paying $10 a month for that privilege?

Now, I’ve got that money to spend on doing the market groundwork on some of my working ideas. 

The point I’m trying to make is if you think an idea is strong enough, you need to do whatever you can to prove there’s a need. I personally am getting far more value out of spending $10 on Facebook ads than I am Dropbox. So I dropped it.

I’ll stick some results of this experiment up after a couple of months.

Social Gifting and Wrapp – the buzz is frustrating.

Maybe because it’s got some high profile backers? (not intended as a dig at those individuals, Reid Hoffman is someone I admire greatly)

In the instance of Wrapp, maybe (and more likely) it’s because you can give people free money. I was just generous enough to gift my cousin a £3 voucher for Oasis which cost me nothing.

I like Wrapp, it’s a fun way of giving a gift, but I find the excitement and buzz all hugely frustrating. Here’s why:

We need to start thinking beyond these iterations of social marketing and commerce. Yes it’s a fun app, but the whole premise does not feel progressive. Rather it feels that this should have happened 3 or 5 years ago. This is all too easy. (It’s partly true that my argument is laced with jealously and bitterness at such a simple idea being so successful!)

I suppose progression does come in small steps and I’m pleased to see that people like Wrapp are making this move. But I’ll really get excited when the integration between my activity in a brick and mortar store can be determined by suggestions, advice and recommendations provided to me by the store based on my digital profile. And if I have to, I’ll ask my friends.

I’d be interested to know what other people feel about this apparent craze, is it the future or  will it just wither out and die?