My hosting company has been sending me promos for Google Adwords for years now, and the trick of buying an ad to get dropbox referral credit seemed like a low risk way to turn an already awesome free Dropbox account into an even awesomer free Dropbox account.

Before we get started I want to be clear that I know I am not the first person to think of this. In fact one of those articles is probably where I first heard of this scheme. I use Dropbox enough that I wanted more space, but not enough to justify the monthly expense, so I decided to give the Adwords route a try!

It turns out that this plan is plagued by two issues: 1. saturation, 2. indifference. The first people to do this probably did it about 5 seconds after the first company offered referral credit. Combine that with the popularity of Dropbox and you have a lot of people who have already done this or are doing it currently. The second problem is that people are freaking lazy. Look at this partial list of my referrals:

Dropbox referrals waiting for install

7 people who have waited days to install the Dropbox client. And there are 20 more people in that list who also haven’t completed the install process.

No install = No referral credit

I did take a queue from one of the articles and reached out to all of the no-install folks with a friendly little email, but so far none of them have budged. I would easily hit my maximum referral credit if even 1/5 of those folks would finish the setup. So was it worth it? Yes! In less than one week and for the low cost of $25 (plus the $100 Adwords credit) I now have an additional 11.5GB of Dropbox storage. And if some of those slackers finish the setup it could creep up another 4.5GB.

If you don’t already have Dropbox account feel free to sign up using my referral link, just make sure you actually finish the setup.