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This seems like a very bizarre purchase for a file transfer company. I wonder what this means for a future strategy.
Glad to hear we surprised you!
From their site:
"Our mission is to enable the effortless transfer of ideas from one creative mind to many. We want to help our users get in, and stay in, their creative flow – that strange and beautiful state where everything comes together and great things happen."
Not that bizzare.
That's just a nice sounding mission statement. Which is fine! However, their core product is to transfer files. It's not really a creative tool (although you could do some mental gymnastics to justify it as such).
To me this signals a significant shift in strategy for WeTransfer. Especially considering FiftyThree is widely respected for their design/creativity.
If you look at Box and Dropbox you can see a similarity in WeTransfer's strategy. There is a "big fight" to become the centralized source where work happens. Many companies are tackling this from different angles from Invision, to Slack, to Microsoft, etc. As companies get bigger and find traction they find themselves with A LOT of capital and a large userbase to work with. We still have seen nothing yet once you have a lot of the working classes data in one place once ML is applied.
As designers its natural for us to think about always keeping things simple and having one core use, however as companies grow larger beyond that state there is a lot of money still on the table for them to capture. For VC funded/public companies this makes sense since they have to continuously grow in revenue for their shareholders no matter what. For bootstrapped founders like WeTransfer I imagine they get to a point where their money/lifestyle needs are met and they think about what more challenging things they can do to impact the world in some way.
Yeah I get that, I feel like that's fairly clear.
I just wonder if it works. The FastCompany article linked elsewhere in this thread talks about how this strategy kinda bombed on Dropbox's part. Mailbox doesn't exist anymore, and I don't know anyone who uses Paper.
Sometimes it goes well when companies step outside their wheelhouse, sometimes not.
Yea I agree, it's extremely hard which is why a lot of companies end up not existing outside a certain amount of years. It can be pretty cool to see the ones that do last and why.
I don't think you have to do mental gymnastics at all as their mission is to support creatives (even before this acquisition). All you have to do is spend a minute or two reading their about page, looking at their social feeds to see that the 'significant shift" you're describing isn't significant at all.
That's all just marketing. You can position yourself however you'd like, however, the core product is to transfer files. I'm not saying that's a bad thing! Transferring files well is a very useful service.
My point is, you generally wouldn't lump a paint brush and a file transfer service in the same category. It's an interesting move. I would find it hard to believe that painters see their car as a creative tool just because it gets them from their home to their studio.
I don’t know if you’ve ever used wetransfer, if you did you’d notice that they’ve always had the creative vibe to it. This fits firmly into their strategy and image.
Then again, there are no rules that prevent companies from venturing outside of their core businesses.
This seems like a very bizarre purchase for a file transfer company
Makes perfect sense, no file sync/transfer company ever wants to just be a dumb pipe they always dream of being more.
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