MBLOK - File Sharing on a Personal Cloud
Tom Spendlove posted on May 12, 2017 | 1917 views

Anton Kabanov was frustrated when attempting to move files back and forth between his work computer and an iPad. Once his Dropbox account was full the exchange of files back and forth was difficult at best. He wanted to find a fast and efficient method of accessing files from one place to another. Mblok was born from these first ideas about what the ideal state for file sharing would be, and originally conceived as a physical device.

After a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 failed to gain funding, the team went back to the drawing board and thought about the key issues necessary to build the best possible system of file sharing. Mblok now exists as an app and a filesharing method that doesn't need the cloud but instead creates a link for you to send files to others.

Kabanov answered a few questions for us about the development of the file sharing app. He said that choosing which features to include in the app was one of the most difficult design decisions. Allowing users to create a 'spider-web like system of interconnected computers' lets people share files back and forth quickly and efficiently. Anton also makes an interesting distinction between hardware development and software. He says that hardware development issues cost the team money, but software issues cause losses in time.

Programming issues in both stability and compatibility between systems popped up at first but the code eventually was bent into shape. Building the entire platform as a small two computer file sharing system and then carefully controlling the scaling up, Anton said, has been one of the best design decisions that the team has made.

Mblok is fascinating to me in terms of engineering project management, showcasing the difference between our requirements at the beginning of a project and the way that our design can be abstract in the beginning but by launch time will require a more concrete form. We covered Mblok way back in 2014 in its physical form and it's mindblowing to see how far filesharing has come as an engineering tool, and how the company is able to capitalize on those changes. There are so many options available now to share files that it's unlikely one method or system will emerge as the clear best choice for years. It's great that Mblok is providing us with an option that will hopefully prove to be faster, more secure, and more efficient.

(Pictures and video courtesy of mblok.io, where you can also download the free app)

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