It’s all too easy to mentally equate Box
(formerly known as Box.net) with Dropbox; they’re both cloud storage services, they both started out with simple and consumer-facing account options, and they both have “box” in their names. For that matter, they both use a blue-and-white color scheme.
However, the two services increasingly look different. Dropbox is kind of exploding right now, increasing its integration everywhere and rapidly adding users, and the founder is quickly becoming one of those Silicon Valley tech celebs. Box flies a bit more under the radar, but the company continues to roll out compelling services and upgrades for both users and businesses alike. Today's announcement is no exception.
Box has launched the Box Innovation Network (superbly titled “/bin”). Box Vice President of Platform Chris Yeh announced /bin and discussed its goal and features. “To bring new innovation to today’s businesses quickly and at scale, we’ll be investing up to $2 million to drive the development of meaningful apps on the Box platform,” he said. “We want to build an enterprise software company that matters to people and drives innovation in a space that sorely needs it.”
Essentially, Box wants to create a big, open ecosystem of apps built on the Box platform for teh enterprise. It wants developers to use Box APIs for anything and everything. Those developers will receive funding, exposure, and a Box developer account--and some guidance and help if they need it.
On its face the whole /bin venture seems like a win all around. Customers will get some nice features added on to the products they’re using; /bin partners get an easy way to build out and offer those features; developers get work and exposure; and Box drums itself up loads of new and ongoing business.