Tim Van Damme, the lead designer at Instagram, has announced on his blog he’s joining Dropbox in early August after 18 months at Instagram.
Tim Van Damme, Hello, Dropbox
It’s time to move on, time to solve a different set of problems.
Dropbox is a fascinating company. It provides value to a wide range of people, not just those who build things.
Dropbox has been mining from a number of very social companies. The acquisition of Mailbox from Orchestra came with Gentry Underwood and his talented crew. (Remember, Orchestra also has a task management app of the same name). Soleio Cuervo, the guy behind Facebook’s “like” button joined the company in December, and Rasmus Andersson, another Facebook (and Spotify) designer joined in March.
Here’s my bet. Dropbox is going to continue their ascent. They won’t take their eyes off what has led them to where they are — which is file sync and sharing — but I am betting that they are developing something bigger. Much bigger.
My bet is that Dropbox could be that upstart startup, the one that moves in to shake everything up, just like Google did when it launched Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs.
It would be interesting to see a new take on calendars, a social take. And some real innovation in ‘word processing’ and ‘document editing’ and ‘office applications’. There is an obvious opportunity for new approaches to cooperative instead of collaborative work tools, and the background social platform of Dropbox — where files silently sync in the background while we work in the foreground — seems a great starting point for that experimentation to happen.
I will be watching closely.