I would like to add my voice to this comment thread. I appreciate the Box moderators' relaying customer requests to the product team, but I'm very disappointed with the product team's official response.
I agree with the philosophy that simplicity should be the guiding factor in designing all systems. But the Box product team seems not to understand that not allowing for more flexible sub-folder permissioning creates a great deal of complexity and restriction. I also appreciate that Box wants to avoid confusion, but there is clearly a sub-community of savvy Box users who will know how to use selective sub-folder permissioning appropriately. The correct answer to me would be for Box to invest in its architecture (as painful as that may be) to allow for both options. The original, waterfall structure will be applied to all users, and those who really want more flexibility should be allowed to have that ability in their accounts, even if it means paying more for their Box subscription.
Please consider this simple example of our folder structure requirements. We have an "Administration" folder where we keep track of different office Admin stuff (so we could have sub-folders for our New York and Hong Kong offices, for example). It naturally makes sense to structure our folder as follows:
- Administration a. New York i. legal documents a. entity formation documents b. lease information ii. employees a. compensation b. bios iii. IT/infrastructure b. Hong Kong etc. etc.
Let's say our COO needs access to everything. His assistant also needs access to most documents, but the assistant should not be able to see employee compensation or lease information. Under our current situation, we would have to restructure the entirely intuitive folder structure just to get around the assistant's viewing privileges. Also, let's say the COO never used to have an assistant and now has the need for one. If the folders are already set up, it would be an enormous task to figure out how to selectively change the structure so that the assistant can't view certain private information, without compromising the existing intuitive structure that the COO (and the whole organization) has been using for some time.
One of the big reasons my company chose Box over Dropbox was that Box at least had some ability to selectively permission information. In order to stay competitive, I would urge Box to seriously consider what so many of its users are asking for.