Dropbox is shuttering Hackpad, the collaborative document service it bought in 2014

Cloud sharing giant Dropbox announced this week it will shutter document collaboration service Hackpad, which it acquired way back in 2014, next month.

Unlike the usual (and inevitable) demise of a promising software startup following a corporate acquisition — ahem Microsoft; on at least two occasions — Dropbox deserves credit for letting Hackpad live on. Not only did it open source the service in 2015, allowing its community to build on top of it, but Hackpad (and its team) is the driving force behind the recently launched Dropbox Paper app.

“I’m so grateful for all the enthusiasm and feedback from the Hackpad community over the last several years, and I’m excited to share what’s coming next,” Igor Kofman, who founded Hackpad and now leads the Dropbox Paper team, wrote in a note.

“That feedback has been really helpful for designing Dropbox Paper — a product inspired by the Hackpad community,” he added.

Hackpad will close for good on July 19. All Hackpad notes are set to automatically migrate to Dropbox Paper before that date, but users can opt to do that now: either direct to Paper or via a zip file. Alternatively, they can opt out of the transition altogether, which will mean that their data will be deleted forever when the service is switched off.

Hackpad was backed by Y Combinator and, prior to its acquisition, it counted the likes of Airbnb, Stripe and Upworthy among its customer base. The service was a favorite for taking notes at conferences and events due to its ease of use and real-time aspects, but it was also well suited to company wikis, personal note-taking, classroom notes and more. It initially served as the inspiration for Dropbox Notes, a service that was first beta tested in 2014 and eventually morphed into Paper.