How Dropbox customers keep creative energy flowing

Productivity is good—but it’s not why we work. It’s not what gets us out of bed in the morning. It’s not what drives us to try something exciting, to make something new, something we love, something that lasts. We believe creative energy is the spark that keeps us going long after office hours are over. The more energy you have for the work you love, the more energy you get back. It’s not just powerful, it’s renewable. And it’s inside every one of us.

We want to help creative problem solvers tap into that energy and keep it flowing. Because we take our inspiration from those who dig deeper to find a new way forward. And today, we want to thank a few of the many makers in our incredibly diverse, wildly inspiring community.

For their empowering energy: World Bicycle Relief: NGO

Photo of World Bike Relief
When F.K. Day and Leah Missbach Day saw the devastating impact of the Indian Ocean tsunami, they felt called to help. But they wanted to do more than just send money. After learning that bicycles were one of the best tools for helping survivors mobilize, F.K. decided to leverage his expertise as a co-founder of the SRAM corporation to make a bigger impact. So he and Leah founded World Bicycle Relief to help the people who had been relocated from their homes, schools, and places of work to get moving again.

After distributing over 20,000 bikes to the people of Sri Lanka, WBR learned that the same number of people who died in the tsunami die every two weeks in Africa from hunger and preventable disease. ”You can’t walk away from a statement like that,” said F.K. Day. “So we decided to scale up in Africa.” Using Dropbox to keep their supply chain moving, WBR has now distributed over 350,000 bicycles to the field. By providing access to critical resources, they continue their mission to mobilize the developing world one bicycle at a time.

“I look at the creative energy of good, passionate people working together in harmony—it’s an unstoppable force.”—F.K. Day

For his all-night energy: Steve Aoki: Musician, DJ, Record Producer

Photo of Steve Aoki
As a 2x Grammy-nominated international producer/DJ and electronic dance music entrepreneur, and founder of Dim Mak Records, Steve Aoki is known for collaborations ranging from Snoop Dogg to Migos to Louis Tomlinson (One Direction). On his latest album, Kolony—Steve’s first full turn into rap music—each song is a collaboration with another artist. Averaging over 250 tour dates per year, Steve creates a lot of his music on the road. In fact, he produced the entire new album while on tour, using Dropbox during every phase of production. “We’re always in new countries, new cities,” he explains. “We’re using Dropbox to constantly share wherever I am. All my sessions, they’re housed on Dropbox because I need to be able to send links of different sessions at any given time.”

“The process of making Kolony, I found it less about who I am or where I came from and more about finding that new road with the artist, creating new music, something extraordinary, something different.”—Steve Aoki

For his otherworldly energy: Future Wife: Experiential Designer

Photo of Beau Burrows of Future Wife
As an artist, Beau Burrows wants to teleport people to other worlds. Using Dropbox to collaborate and run the engineering of his installations, he invents interactive experiential installations that are tactile, escapist, and completely immersive. He’s worked with other tech-driven artists like Dave and Gabe, and created installations for everyone from Skrillex to Absolut.

Beau says he uses nature to influence his work, both directly and subconsciously. “In the same way that life has evolved in interactive processes of organisms, I think that it’s important for my work to overlap and never be finished so that a past iteration of a certain piece might turn into a new piece. That parallels evolution, but it also just feels like a more natural way to work.”

“In a way, kids are in a constant state of flow. They don’t really question where they are or what they’re doing. They just do the thing they’re interested in. That’s the kind of flow I strive for—the best results come from that state of mind.”—Beau Burrows

For her curious energy: Adi Goodrich: Photographer/Set Designer

Photo of Adi Goodrich
Before she became known for her collaborations with Sagmeister & Walsh, Paper Magazine, Target, and others, this multi-talented set designer, creative director and photographer once had a day job building and designing window displays. She’d work from 5:00 am to 2:00 pm, then race over to her friend’s loft downtown, where they would build sets for short films—until 4:00 am the next day.

So where does Adi get the energy to stay in a creative flow around the clock? “I find my inspiration everywhere,” she says. “It’s difficult for me to drive a car because I’m really stoked about the shape of the trees. When I’m walking down the street, I’m just in love with a set of tiles on a wall. Often, sets are inspired by architecture, or cracks in a road, or a sign that I saw on a trip.”

“I think pure creative energy is when you’ve stopped thinking about the outcome, right? That’s when you’re in the zone… when you’re fully unaware of what you’re making, but your mind is moving so fast, you don’t notice that you’re actually making something.”—Adi Goodrich

For their inventive energy: Canary: Home Security Tech
Photo of Canary co-founder and CEO Adam Sager

In the past, home security has been all about walls—around your house, around yourself, around your family. But Canary co-founders Adam Sager and Jon Troutman wanted to develop a new approach that was less about shutting the wrong people out, and more about letting the right ones in. So they developed a platform that combines video cameras, sensors for light, temperature, humidity, air quality, accelerometers, and a built-in siren, speaker, and microphone. As complex as the technology behind it might be, the Canary device itself is elegantly simple. It just plugs in, syncs to your phone, and keeps your home safe. Canary says Dropbox has become the connective tissue that enables their team not only to share files, but to prototype and iterate during the design phase as well.

“The creativity comes from complementing each other and jamming off of that. It’s just like music, right? What comes out of that can then be structured and operationalized and executed. But that inception happens from different perspectives coming together and building off of each other.”—Karthik Lakshmi

For their “what if” energy: Novo Reality: Virtual Reality

Photo of Novo Reality
When Novo Reality founder and CEO Justin Meltzer first tried a VR headset, it immediately reminded him of a theme park. Being immersed in a completely different world felt magical to him—and that’s when he knew he wanted to be a part of a new industry. Now Justin invites visitors into the Novo Reality event space in Brooklyn and gives them a chance to experience storytelling in a new way—through technologies that weave together live music, installation artwork, and cutting-edge virtual reality.

“To me, creative energy is about being open to new possibilities. It’s about asking the question, ‘What if?’”—Justin Meltzer

Creativity isn’t a mysterious superpower made only for “creatives.” It’s something you bring to every idea, every day. So thank you to all the problem solvers, the collaborators, the project herders, the negotiators, and all of you who tap into your creative energy and inspire us to unleash ours. Together, let’s keep it flowing.