A Fast Company article by Harry McCracken has some quotes from Dropbox CEO (and co-founder) Drew Houston. This part caught my eye:
Quietly living inside file managers built by operating-system companies “served us well,” says Dropbox CEO and cofounder Drew Houston. […]
After all, Windows’ File Explorer and MacOS’s Finder haven’t changed much—and certainly aren’t optimized for the the sort of workplace collaboration that propelled Dropbox to its IPO last year. “If you went back to literally the original Finder, it’s the same experience,” says Houston. “It’s designed for a world not only before the internet, but before computers were even networked, when your whole life could fit on a couple of floppy disks.”
I’m going to go on a limb here and say that the era of the file is over. I think that a creation is really a combination of components. Look at a Photoshop “file.” What is it really? It’s a collection of fonts, images and layers of edits and other things taken in from other places, composited together. It’s a collection. All those components, those ingredients of that composition both still exist in their original form as well as their combined altered form, which is ultimately the composition you’re making in a PSD.
URLs are a good mechanism for sharing.
We experimented with a number of mechanisms for sharing documents with other users, and found that a URL model, inspired by the web, makes the most sense to users and developers. URLs can be copied and pasted, and shared via communication channels such as email or chat. Access permissions for documents beyond secret URLs remain an open research question.