Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Consumer-Grade Innovation: Welcoming Folders to Box

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We recently acquired the technology behind a killer mobile app called Folders that was developed in France by Martin Destagnol. Martin has spent the last few weeks working closely with our iOS development team on scoping the next generation of Box for iOS, which will deeply integrate the Folders technology. We’re thrilled to be talking about Folders publicly today, and even more excited to share that we’ll be bringing many of its innovations to Box users later this year.

In addition to Folders, you may remember that we announced the acquisition of Crocodoc earlier this month. What’s behind this flurry of activity? There are always many factors that go into acquiring companies and technology, but from my point of view, with Crocodoc and Folders it all came down to the amazing impact they can have on the Box user experience.

I’m a firm believer that even applications developed primarily for the enterprise, like Box, need to be pushing the leading edge for user experience and design. They have to be “consumer-grade” in terms of their usability, simplicity, speed and performance. This definitely raises the bar for enterprise software design and engineering, but there’s no doubt that the higher standards are a big win for users and a massive opportunity for Box.

More than 15 million people at 150,000 businesses use Box because they love it. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it helps them get their work done. As Aaron would say, we’ve built “enterprise software that doesn’t suck.” But you have to continually improve, refine and innovate to maintain your edge. Crocodoc and Folders are foundational new technologies that will help us continue to deliver an incredible experience for our users and fuel our next phase of growth both in the U.S. and abroad.

With Crocodoc, their ability to quickly and smoothly extract and preview documents in web and mobile-friendly HTML5 is a breakthrough. We’ll leverage the Crocodoc team and technology to make every document experience on Box and across the web fast, striking, and “consumer-grade” in all respects.

Likewise, Martin’s work on Folders will be integral to the next-generation of Box on iOS. When we saw Folders we saw a beautiful experience and set of design patterns that we had to bring to Box’s users. Adding the Folders technology and Martin’s expertise to Box will help us to continue to improve how people collaborate and engage with their content on Post-PC devices. In the near term, Box for iOS will become cleaner, faster and more beautiful throughout 2013.

The pace of innovation in web and mobile technologies — at the device, OS, and infrastructure levels — is thrilling. We’ve developed a deep understanding of the industry’s most interesting engineering and design challenges to stay ahead of that pace. And we’ll continue to seek out and develop the technology and the talent — at Box, in Silicon Valley, and globally — to keep it that way.