Dropbox doesn’t want to be a storage service. It wants to be the data layer uniting your information on all apps. To get more apps and enterprises integrated with its platform, today it announced DBX, the six year-old startup’s first developer conference. To be held July 9th at San Francisco, you can request an invite for a $350 ticket to, DBX which could help Dropbox drive enterprise sales.
Dropbox tells me the three focuses of the one-day conference will be learning about newly launched features on its platform, giving developers a chance to meet and get help from Dropbox API engineers and designers, and highlighting what third-parties have built on top of Dropbox so far.
One thing pretty unique about the conference is that you can’t buy your way in. You have to request an invite and wait to hear back if you’re accepted, then pay the $350 price. The format means it can pick and choose who is in attendance to maximize impact with developers and enterprises it wants to add to or keep on its service. Going invite-only is in stark contrast to other developer conferences like Apple’s WWDC with open ticket sales which can sell out quickly, leaving developers with a real need to be there out in the cold.
Developer conferences have become all the rage with companies in the enterprise — a distinction Dropbox is chasing. Many think of it more as a consumer-facing cloud storage service with its magic folder where you can put files to make them accessible from anywhere. But Dropbox has spent the last year touting itself as a serious, secure backend for big operations.
In April it renamed Dropbox Teams to Dropbox For Business, and in February it rolled out a new set of permissions and visibility controls to serve hierarchical IT companies. Expect enterprise offerings to be a big part of DBX. The conference could help elevate it to the level of respect of enterprise-focused startups like Box and long-standing providers like Google with its Drive and Microsoft and its SkyDrive.
Dropbox hit 100 million users and 1 billion files saved a day last year, and recently acquired beloved email management app Mailbox. It’s still committed to the simplicity consumers need. But if it wants to be a financial juggernaut as well as a household name, it needs more enterprise sales. A developer conference with all the wooing that comes with it could win it those big contracts.