Simple yet powerful – why I admire Dropbox and Pinterest
I like simple ideas and I don’t trust complex ones. In my experience simple ideas are much more likely to do the trick than complex ones even for complex requirements. Even more I love it when a simple idea becomes really powerful and saves a lot of money or even makes a lot of it.
Both is true for Dropbox and Pinterest.
Dropbox saves a lot of money by not storing everything their users upload. Instead they store every unique thing their users upload. The dropbox clients calculate a checksum for each file before uploading and check with the dropbox service whether the same checksum – thus the same file – exists already. If so no upload will take place instead the already existing file will be mapped to the user account. As an additional benefit the upload process is accelerated.
Pinterest lets you pin images across the web and build collections that you can then share with your friends over Facebook. It’s basically a bookmarking service that works on image instead of texts or links.
The clever part however is how Pinterest earns some substantial money from this. They scan the images and detect whether these are products that match with an affiliate program somewhere and extend the link with their affiliate credentials.
So if you pin a Samsung TV that links to a shop then Pinterest will extend that link by its credentials and as soon as anyone clicks your pinned image and eventually buys that TV Pinterest will get a share.