I think “slow fade” is another probable outcome.
I’m reminded of FTP Software, which went like gang-busters selling a TCP/IP stack for Windows. Their revenues fell very quickly after Microsoft started shipping TCP/IP as part of the OS. (The same thing happened with all of the disk-compression companies).
Wow, was I off base! I think it’s good to evaluate big entrepreneurial and investment misses and I missed several things (at least).
First, a great product goes a long way. Dropbox has absolutely nailed the product design and user experience in virtually every aspect.
Second, the service is inherently viral. I routinely create new Dropbox users by sharing files with them.
Third, they covered every platform equally well. iCloud works well on OS X, and OneDrive is great on Windows, but Dropbox surfed the whitespace between all of the platforms. They did an excellent job on everything: the iPad version isn’t just the iPhone version running 2X and they even support Linux.
I can’t wait to see their IPO.