Greg and I met at a party in Madrid. He told me about what he’d been working on for a while- not in details - after several attempts from my part to know a bit about the project. I understood he was working on a “private Dropbox project”. I will explain. First, let’s start with some context by describing the peculiar character that is Greg.
This guy is an IT beast. He is what we call a hacker. Wasn’t sure what to think when I first heard this; I’ve always been formatted to associate the term hacker with someone that indeed has special advanced IT skills, but that I cannot trust. “How can you claim to sell privacy, if you don’t inspire trust?” is the contradiction that first came to my mind. I quickly accepted, however, the following paradox: only someone with incredible IT expertise can actually build a legitimate technology that provides this much security and privacy. And true, it is always difficult to fully trust someone with such advanced knowledge, especially in IT. I mean, it wouldn’t take much effort from him to hack into my bank account and leave me homeless the next day. But at the same time why would you trust the product to be ultra private and secure if it weren’t built by an IT expert?
Greg started appreciating what a computer is at the age of 3, and started programming when he was only 8. He then went through his immature teenage years (don’t we all?) where he discovered how fun it can be to use hacking for personal fun, despite some of his actions not being entirely legitimate. That kind of went away and he began working for the French government for a few years, before realising the lifestyle wasn’t for him. He decided to change to the private sector, where he worked on a few personal projects and startups, with a strong focus on IT security, meaning, mainly cryptography. For those interested, here’s a link to his personal page.
I joined Greg on the Duple project shortly after he had started working on it, as co-founder. His focus is on the technology and user-experience, while mine is on business, marketing, PR.
The technology was first developed out of personal need: Greg had been looking for this kind of product for years without finding it, so he decided to build the product himself: a plug and play private cloud/private Dropbox solution, that is private, secure, and simple. While Dropbox is a great product in terms of functionalities and user experience, it is not private. With Dropbox you are not in control of your data, and you don't choose where your data goes. We don’t want anyone snooping around our files, and we don't want our data to get out. So Duple was born to solve this problem. As we started to notice lots of people around us were looking for a similar product, we decided to commercialise it.