They ruined file sharing, didn’t they

Back in the day, there used to be a ton of amazing file-sharing apps: Droplr, CloudApp, Dropbox, even Box. What happened?

Hi, I’m Levi the co-founded of Droplr. Me and my-cofounder started Droplr in 2009. We raised money and were acquired in 2019 but it had become clear years before the acquisition that we were in trouble. File sharing was floundering as a software category. It had gotten too big too quick and was scrambling to find customers, especially big business customers. In the space of a year, everyone tried to move upmarket. Dropbox did it, CloudApp did it, we did it. And you know who got left behind? The person who just needed to share files.

Suddenly every file sharing service was sprouting workflows, integrations, content collaboration, onboarding success coaches, enterprise tiers and, amazingly, the core feature of just sharing a file just got ignored. I look at Dropbox today and I’m like, “what the hell happened, guys?”. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was other services that had stepped into the breach and created a simple file sharing but there really hasn’t been anyone who has. All the small guys (like Droplr) started cargo-culting the big guys and by the time they realized the mistake they’d degraded their service beyond recognition.

Why did everyone pivot?

The problem was that file sharing was about to get really unsexy. There just wasn’t enough money in it to justify the amount of venture cash all these companies had taken. “Enterprise customers”. “Collaboration features”. “Asynchronous communication”. All of these were held up as The Thing To Do. Really it was everyone trying to copy the hot company at the time. Droplr and CloudApp’s features look indistinguishable from Loom today—even though both had started as a file sharing company, they pivoted hard into “collaboration” and “communication”. Dropbox is a mess of “Collaboration” and “Content” apps with no clear focus.

File sharing died too soon

Here’s the deal, I still need to quickly share files.

I’m not interested in a service that has collaboration features (I’m up to my ears in Gmail, Slack and Discord, thank you). I don’t want notifications. I don’t want to talk to a salesperson.

I want a simple way to share a file on the web in one step. I want the landing pages for my files not to insult my customers. No pop-ups, no ads, no trying to hack a viral loop, just share my file and make it look like it came from me.

It’s amazing that it’s 2023 and nobody’s doing this. Believe me, I’ve looked. The state of this software has gotten worse over the last decade, not better.

So I built my own answer.

Smmall Cloud

Smmall Cloud is a file sharing service. Repeat: File Sharing. It’s not a “collaboration” or “workflow” or “communication” platform.

  • It shares files on landing pages that look amazing and are totally customizable.
  • It has a tiny desktop app that allows you to share files with hotkeys or drag and drop or as a screenshot.
  • It supports all the most important file formats right in the browser.
  • It gives you data on what content is being viewed.
  • It lets you promote your other projects while you share files.
  • It’s designed for individuals like freelancers or content creators and creative teams like agencies and startups.

It’s focused and simple. I hope you enjoy.

Levi Nunnink, Designer & Developer