In the end, it really came down to one incredibly genius idea: Dropbox limited its feature set on purpose.
Insightful post about why Dropbox beat out all the other competing backup solutions…
Keep it simple, stupid.
To be fair, most companies that complicate their feature set don’t do it because they enjoy writing more code and making complicated products. The reason focusing on your core competency is so difficult is that a simple product sounds boring on paper. It’s incredibly difficult to pitch to a VC or potential employee. Who wants to support a product that’s just going to sync one folder instead of your entire system? But it’s always the companies that manage to make it through that stage that succeed.
Personally, I prefer Apple’s approach with the iPhone: Make a dead simple and limited product, and then iteratively expand with what’s needed most.