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為什麼 Dropbox 大成功,Syncplicity 卻沒有

February 1st, 2011 by Jamie

對於所有網路人來說,這是一個千古謎團。同樣是「雲端儲存」服務,同樣都是下載一個小軟體,就可以自動幫你備份電腦裡的資料夾,同樣都是幫使用者解決得惱人的檔案管理問題,同樣都在 2006 年推出,為什麼 Dropbox 這麼成功,Syncplicity 卻乏人問津。

要是請你一個工程師評測一下兩個產品,他絕對會跟你說 Syncplicity 比較強,因為它的功能、選項,都比 Dropbox 多太多了。而換作去問一個行銷人員,他也會跟你說 Syncplicity 比較有潛力,因為同樣是邀請一個朋友加入,Dropbox 只送 250MB 的儲存空間,但是 Syncplicity 卻送高達 1GB,所以一定比較多使用者會願意幫 Syncplicity 宣傳。

但事實不然,這場比賽的結果和大家想的完全相反,Dropbox 不但在推出的兩年內就狂掃兩百萬用戶,更在去 (2010) 年初高調宣布突破了四百萬使用者大關。回頭看 Syncplicity,不但沒獲得市場的大量採用,連網站也冷清的都快長蜘蛛絲了。

dropbox

syncplicity

這兩邊氣勢的差異,如果用 Google Trends 來分析,那勝負更是明顯:

到底為什麼會發生這樣的情況呢?大家一直不知道原因,直到前幾天,Syncplicity 的共同創辦人 Isaac Hall 突然跑到 Quora 去回答了這個問題:「Why is Dropbox more popular than other tools with similar functionality? 」這才解開了大家的疑問。

他從頭講起,給了一個非常棒的回顧,我鼓勵大家去閱讀整篇文章。不過我認為重點,在下面兩段:

…In the end, it really came down to one incredibly genius idea: Dropbox limited its feature set on purpose. It had one folder and that folder always synced without any issues – it was magic. Syncplicity could sync every folder on your computer until you hit our quota. (Unfortunately, that feature was used to synchronize C:\Windows\ for dozens of users – doh!) Our company had too many features and this created confusion amongst our customer base. This in turn led to enough customer support issues that we couldn’t innovate on the product, we were too busy fixing things…

…If you’re starting a new company, the best thing you can do is keep your feature set small and focused. Do one thing as best as you possibly can. Your users will beg and beg for more functionality. They will tell you their problems and ask you to fix it. My philosophy is that they’re right if their feature request is right only if it works for 80% of your customers. Until you have a lot of resources, stay focused on your core competency…

翻成中文就是:

..最後我們才發現,原來兩家公司的命運會有這麼大的差異,全都來自於一個致命的關鍵:Dropbox 非常刻意的縮減他們的功能數量 — 他們就只提供使用者一個資料夾,但這個資料夾永遠會自動同步,不會有任何差錯,像是魔術一樣。相對的,Syncplicity 可以同步你電腦上的任何資料夾,直到你的雲端空間用完為止 — 不幸的是,居然有人把它拿來同步 C:\Windows\。我們提供了太多的功能,結果反而讓我們的使用者迷失了。這讓我們忙著客服、忙著除蟲,而沒辦法全神貫注在創新上面…

…如果你要創業的話,你必須要做的是讓你的功能組合越小、越精準越好。把一個功能做到超級棒,然後你的使用者會求你給他們更多功能。他們會跟你說他們還有哪些問題,然後你再決定要不要幫他們修理。我的哲學是,如果這樣的東西可以讓 80% 的使用者用,那就值得做。在你拿到更多的資源之前,你必須要專注在你的核心上面…

你看,「精實創業」的觀念我們講了好多好多次了,但這是第一次有這樣一個血淋淋的案例,沒錯,Dropbox 打敗了對手 Syncplicity,靠得不是功能多,而是功能少,靠得不是資源多,而是專注。這,就是 Lean Startup 的威力。

最後,在這邊 祝大家

新年恭喜、事事順心、創業的大順利、工作的大突破

新的一年,就請你們多多照顧了。

___

歡迎在 Facebook 上追蹤我的分享

(via wetzler.me, image via shanghaidaddy@flickr under CC license)

  • 以我的親身經歴, 深有同感.

  • R.I.P 那些想包山包海的大公司

  • Mikimotoh

    我看Joel on Software也有提到80/20法則
    Strategy Letter IV: Bloatware and the 80/20 Myth
    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000020.html

    Joel認為只提供80%常用的功能的軟體會失敗,我想應該只適用在一般「Shrinkwrap Software」(熱縮膜軟體),但是如果其他20%功能是可OTA下載或是Cloud Web-App,應該沒有這缺點吧?

  • “要是請你一個工程師評測一下兩個產品,他絕對會跟你說 Syncplicity 比較強,因為它的功能、選項,都比 Dropbox 多太多了”

    那這個工程師也太混了吧, 我第一次測Dropbox就試著share 100MB的圖檔給同事, dropbox有辦法分辨兩個client 再同一個lan上, 內部先傳, 雲端後補.

    我認為光 LAN sync與Delta sync這兩個獨門功能就把其他clone打趴.
    尤其是LAN sync, 我常常覺得用Dropbox分享比Windows網路芳鄰還快

    一點都不覺得dropbox只是介面簡潔

  • LAN Sync 是 2010 初才有的,不過文章的重點是給消費者的要簡單,複雜的全都藏在背後,其實 LAN Sync 就是最好的例子,消費者不需要知道,也不用知道。

  • 現代的軟體開發和以前的很不同,以前很難 update,所以軟體出門的時候必須要有95 甚至是 99% 的功能,現在 20% 就要推出去,然後再讓市場來跟你說接下來怎麼走。

  • 是吧?

  • Yes, they should succeed by helping others succeed.

  • 更加关键的恐怕是域名吧
    这个 Syncplicity我都拼不出来,怎么推荐给朋友?
    自己用起来也不好记

  • Kent1026

    Syncplicity 限制兩台電腦之間同步 這樣當然沒人要用 公司ㄧ台 家裡ㄧ台 筆電ㄧ台 手機也要用 兩台限制哪夠用啊

  • 這點我倒不清楚,不知道 Syncplicity 一開始就是這樣,還是後來才改的。

  • 域名的確應該是關鍵,至少初期來說。但 Google 證明了一個難拼的域名還是可以成功,所以我後來比較不把它當作非常重要的因素。

  • Kosfy

    可以請問您這篇文章中user的資料來源嗎?謝謝

  • 那為何功能複雜的 facebook 大敗簡單的 twitter http://bit.ly/fTRNAV

  • Facebook 03/04 年的時候功能非常簡單,甚至連照片分享都沒有,跟 Friendster/Myspace 相比,就是一個快字。Twitter 贏過同期的 Jaiku 等服務,也不是因為功能比較多。

  • J the dreamer

    The point of the story is that its about building a great product and a great business model. “Simple” product is actually a great thing. There is a movement toward “consumerization of enterprise applications”. In today’s day & age, enterprise/business users have freedom to try many applications w/o IT constraining them. Once the apps are proliferating within the user base, corporate IT will then need to pay attention and evaluate as potential enterprise applications. Dropbox’s strategy started as an awesome consumer app, do what they do best. It succeeded in being a great, simple product, “it just works”. Syncplicity tried to cover too much right at the get-go.

  • Yes the fact that these consumer “cloud” services are so easy to use and provides such great user experience is putting more and more pressure on enterprise IT to come up with better internal solutions.

  • Anonymous

    Having been on this side of the SaaS/cloud startups, with products for the corporate IT, I am not sure if its necessary for enterprise IT to create better internal solutions. The build vs buy decision matrix has been around for a long time, I think this is the best time more than ever that enterprise IT can truly leverage alot of existing SaaS/cloud services & products out there, rather than spending millions of dollars to build things from scratch, as long as these SaaS/cloud vendors can provide 1) corporate IT admin controls & 2)security compliance measures.

  • Security compliance is key. Lots of cloud services provides great user experience to consumers but would be deemed insecure by enterprise IT.

  • Anonymous

    Yup, absolutely! Let me ask you a question abt the enterprise IT market in Taiwan/China. Would they accept like an “enterprise version” of something like Dropbox? Having files/data in public cloud, but with complete corporate IT control and certified to be security compliant etc? Here in the States, US companies are more & more open to public/private cloud, adoption of enterprise-level SaaS/cloud applications is increasing, but I am curious to see if Taiwan/China companies will now be willing to make such purchasing decisions?

  • Companies here have a long way to catch up to their US counterparts. But Dropbox in particular will face lots of competition in enterprise world, from internal VPN + shared drive and companies like EMC.

  • Anonymous

    But I think that’s the whole crust of the issue and my point. Traditional solutions like internal VPN, shared drives etc, even heavy duty solutions from EMC, are much harder to use for end-users, let alone the costs and set up required for corporate IT. Solutions like Dropbox, or even other newer solutions, present a much easier solution to use for the end-users, and a much more cost-effective/easier to setup solution for the corporate IT.

  • Which I totally agree. But the thought that their files are stored in someone else’s hard drives scares the crap out of enterprise CTO/CIOs.

  • Linjeh

    Which I also totally agree:). That public cloud, having files in the public cloud scare them, because they feel like they have no control over 3rd party data centers etc. Therefore, how abt starting with private cloud!? Or hybrid cloud model? Use your own file server but utilize these applications to create private cloud and easy yet IT compliant secure cloud access? If there were an “enterprise version of dropbox” on private internal file servers, ie hybrid/private cloud, do you think Greater China companies will then accept it and deploy it?

  • Then you face all the complexity that comes with integrating into legacy VPN/Shared Drive systems.

  • Linjeh

    Good point. Perhaps it does not have to replace the legacy systems yet, but rather complementing it and being introduced as anywhere secure cloud file system access. Also, if there are awesome migration tools, then files can eventually be porter over easily? Have you seen services like drobox being used by guineas users/groups within corporate environment? Here in America, the viral model cs be such that users adopt the service on their own first and then corporate IT have to eventually reign it in and purchase it as corporate solution.

  • If it doesn’t integrate with existing shared drives, would it still be useful for enterprise users? Or why would people choose anything over Dropbox?

  • Programming Pearls這本書裡提到 法國的飛機設計師 : 設計者確定其設計已達完美的標準是不能在減少任東西,而不是缺少什麽功能

  • 超棒的標準

  • 兩者取向不同,完全不能放在一起比較。適合一起比較的如下文 facebook/friendster/mysapce,twitter/plurk/jaiku

  • 我倒認為 facebook 和 myspace 的相似度,比 dropbox 和 syncplicity 還低很多。twitter 和 plurk 也是非常不同的產品。

  • 這篇文章說的很精闢。如何讓開發者回到最使用者需求的考量為出發點。純粹自我的觀點:其實我不是很看好 Location Based System 於”現在”的各種應用。明明是很簡單的折價卷或餐廳尋找。為何一啟動APP就需要啟動GPS,然後等待15-30秒。誰說我人在東區,就不能去天母吃飯呢?太多開發者只是想到技術而非使用者經驗。甚至在哪小小的地圖上秀出各類資訊。實在令人反感。LBS是配角還是主角?能回到使用者經驗的思考嗎?

  • 簡單專注核心功能。Simple is the best!
    尤其是在手機上,螢幕小,使用者能專注的時間能超過30秒嗎?
    如何在30秒內專注作一件令使用者感動的事就好。

  • UGP

    功能多空間大,但決定性不是很想用的原因是沒有Linux Client...

  • Tkusb

    Dropbox 的 255.255.255.255 UDP 廣播非常惹人嫌,可以關掉或限制嗎?

  • 昱圻 陳

    似乎文章內文被改變了?搜尋了共同創辦人名字後只有一篇回答,但內容不一樣。
    感謝Jamie有備份阿XD’

  • Amy

    消費者是愚蠢的,更何況非英語系國家連Syncplicity怎麼發音都不會吧
    skypee, you-tu-bee, facebook,至少還能自以為是的唸出來。

  • Sunny7sun

    Dropbox真的很好用,我想研究大家使用後的想法,
    很需要專家級的各位給予協助請幫忙填問卷, 僅供學術研究, 絕不外流資料, 謝謝喔http://www.mysurvey.tw/s/GDzspKJF請連結, 謝謝

  • ‘专注’ 是很重要的,什么都会与什么都要是行不通的产品路线!要好好检讨与学习!

  • Jamie, 我覺得這個可能跟一個公司治理有很大關聯性
    大部分公司, 尤其是較大公司, 都是年初喊個數字, 然後開始企劃產品單位開始P->C, 加上軟體/APP是一個與時間賽跑的環境, 有時上面的在1Q就希望看到東西上架, 認為行銷和業務只要靠promotion就可以達成那個數字
    如果一個軟體/app只在20%功能時送出去, 以現在軟體/app市場生態與競爭環境, 必須要花相當大的effort去維持消費者的熱度, 同時又要花費很大量的人力快速去將顧客需求反應於產品更新後版本上, 如果慢一步消費者就移情別戀
    不過話說回來, 我認為會造成這樣的狀況, 跟一個公司對行銷STP認知和重視程度,及這軟體/APP開發的專案範圍/時程/成本有絕對的關係

  • 是,根本的問題是沒有想清楚為什麼要做一個 App,和這個 App 到底要幫誰解決什麼問題。Start with why, always!

  • NOBOY

    這個文章很棒:值得推薦 在使用過雲端硬碟之後就會有深刻的感覺,現在是網路爆發的時代,但是人的科技認知水平還並沒有跟著爆發,專家們講了是一回事,但實際上用的人都不是真正的專家,如同20/80法則 我們都知道佔大多數的雖然沒有質量但是有數量,成功與否的關鍵,不是控制大部分的人,而是讓大部份的人認同。D雲成功的讓人認同:(只要把想要存的丟上去就好了) 反觀S雲:(想丟?可以?告訴我妳要怎麼丟,當然全丟也行,反正我空間大)

  • 產品設計的途中,要考慮的問題太多,經歷這麼複雜的過程還能堅持簡單,是很不容易的事情。

  • James Lin

    “If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? ” 蘋果今年WWDC的開頭影片的這句話語深深震撼著我,似乎也與這文中的意義不謀而合:)

  • 很高興你喜歡

  • Chao-Yang Chen

    現在台灣的遠通是血淋淋的例子,好家在他家的靠山是馬英九政府

  • Matt

    Syncplicity was nobody. There product never really worked (around 2008). It wouldn’t have made it even if Dropbox had never existed.

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