Dropbox doubled its users last year, from 100 million to 200 million. How? By constantly expanding itself into people's digital lives (while fending off the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others). "We want you to be able to say, 'I know where all my information is--it's in Dropbox. Everywhere I go, whatever device, whatever application, I know that I can pull things out of it,'" says product manager Sean Lynch.
That convenience is the result of several new tools, such as Saver and Chooser. These make it easy for any app (Yahoo Mail is a big one) to integrate with Dropbox, letting users save or retrieve files directly through Dropbox. Its new Datastore service syncs app data among multiple devices--meaning if you're playing a game on an iPad, you can switch over to a smartphone and resume at the same point.
Once marketed primarily to consumers, Dropbox has begun to court business users by adding project-management features for workplace teams. In November, it launched a new product that allows users to access personal and business storage from within the same account and allows employers to prevent unauthorized file sharing. For now, Dropbox remains private, supported by a who's who of venture capital firms--and valued at $10 billion.
[Illustration by Mick Marston]