Files are Important

How Dropbox and the App Store are a counterpoint to Web Apps

About five years ago a colleague and I were lamenting the fragmentation of identity and storage caused by the new crop of web apps. You could edit a Powerpoint-like presentation at one site, a photo at another, and check on your calendar at a third site. Each site required a separate login, and your content was stored in some unique new format in a cloud database that you couldn’t extract your data from. We saw a case for abstracting identity and storage to make life easier and less confusing for users and to help with archiving content beyond the life of the web site (e.g. 280Slides, which is now defunct). We were focusing on fixing identity using OpenId-like solutions, but we also thought the answer to cloud storage might be to provide a standard storage service that all the web apps could use.

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