Signing off on a new venture
After 12 years of working for a large sign shop, Martin Wall decided that he especially liked the “Grand Opening” sign. Martin Sign Company was born in 2011, giving the art major a chance to develop his own handcrafted signs for the SF MoMa museum, reservations service OpenTable, and other customers. For the first time, Wall not only had creative freedom, but also the freedom to run his business the way he wanted. At his previous job, Wall wasted precious time relying on DVDs and external drives to send designs to clients. His old company’s server was not exactly user-friendly either. “The minute you left the company premises, you couldn’t access any of your files,” says Wall. Martin Sign Company’s first location was a 700-square foot “closet” in San Francisco’s Mission District, where Wall and business partner Matt Cella could keep in sync through frequent conversations and emails. But after hiring the company’s first designer, the email traffic picked up considerably. Having used a personal Dropbox account for sharing his personal art projects, Wall decided to move to Dropbox to help keep files in order at work. “We needed to get professional, and we already knew and loved Dropbox,” he says. “We really wanted to invest in the right technology and make sure we were staying current.”
With Dropbox’s flexibility, I can easily add a user at a moment’s notice or make a client’s life easier by sharing art in a folder. That scalability has allowed us to grow a lot faster than I thought was possible as a small business.