Dropbox Is Working On Ways To Move Beyond File Folders

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston talked to Gigaom’s Om Malik this evening at the GigaOm RoadMap conference and let slip some key insights about his company’s product roadmap, namely that he wants to get past the metaphor of a file folder as Dropbox’s sole organizing principle.

Houston described the idea of a file folder that syncs as “Chapter 1” for the company, “We think it’s just the first step …[In the beginning of Dropbox] we didn’t want to call Dropbox ‘back up’ or even use word like ‘sync’ … [Because] it’s not storage as much as it is an experience.”

He revealed that the company was looking ways of going beyond files and folders, “‘What’s the point of Dropbox if it’s just a folder? …,'” he said, “We’re really building a lot of new ways to manage and view your important stuff.”

Malik then asked if these new management and organizing principles revolved around time and space, “When you think about your [files[ you can break it down into those categories, and then not only can you have the photo itself but an index of all the data associated with photo e.g. not only where this picture was taken but what were all the other pictures taken within a ten mile radius.”

Or which Facebook friends are tagged in the photo.

And music is a whole new set of constructs. Etc, etc.

While it’s not clear exactly what this new management system will look like once/if it sees the light of day, Houston certainly has the budget and usership leeway to experiment. And one day the file folder icon will be as much an anachronism as the old iTunes CD logo.