3 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2020
    1. In a pure cloud world, this atomic unit of documents seems increasingly archaic. Documents are more a constraint of a pre-cloud world. And once you assume storing them online is table stakes, the question becomes where is actual collaboration happening that then leads people to wherever they need to do work.

      The document model, stored in the cloud, as pioneered by Dropbox and Box, hinges on the archaic metaphor of "a document". Kwok points out that: "documents are a constraint of a pre-cloud world". When storing documents online becomes trivial, people still need to coordinate on where (i.e. in which document) the collaboration is happening.

    2. Slack ironically is more similar to Dropbox than expected. The more time goes by the more it looks like exception handling being needed ubiquitously is a transitory product as we switch off of documents. After all, like Dropbox, Slack makes the most sense as a global communication channel when the workflows themselves don’t have communication and collaboration baked in natively. For documents this is true, but increasingly for modern apps this is false.

      If Slack is an exception handler for when apps don't have communication and collaboration baked in. And if we're increasingly moving away from a document-based model (and towards these apps), then Slack looks very much like a transitory product (not unlike Dropbox).

    3. And core Dropbox is not a solution to this. People store their documents in it. But they had to use email and other messaging apps to tell their co-workers which document to check out and what they needed help with. Dropbox understands this concern. It’s what’s driven their numerous forays into owning the workflows and communication channels themselves. With Carousel, Mailbox, and their new desktop apps all working to own that. However, there are constraints to owning the workflow when your fundamental atomic unit is documents. And they never quite owned the communication channels.

      Dropbox is not a solution to this problem, even though they've been trying with Carousel, Mailbox and other desktop apps.

      Kwok posits that Dropbox's problem is that when your fundamental atomic unit is a document, you constrain your ability to own the workflow. Besides, Kwok points out, they never owned the communication channels.