There is an entrepreneur who has made great success in recent years: Dropbox's founder, Drew Houston.
File sharing site Dropbox went public last year and attracted great attention. The startup, which was founded by two people in 2007, today has more than 1000 employees. Dropbox, serving more than 500 million people in cloud storage, has succeeded in putting its founder, Drew Houston, on the US Forbes 400 billionaires list.
However, things were not easy for Dropbox in the beginning. Drew Houston faced many difficulties trying to keep Dropbox on its feet. In other words, this success was not achieved after a few years, but at least 10 years.
Houston, on the other hand, refused to buy Dropbox during this period. Even Steve Jobs tried to buy Dropbox in 2009.
In this article, we'll take a look at Dropbox's foundation story and Drew Houston's entrepreneurship adventure.
In an interview she gave in 2017, Drew Houston stated that she started computer programming when she was 5 years old, and developed entrepreneurial ideas since her adolescence. So Houston is a name associated with technology.
Drew Houston, who took the SAT in the US for a year just before starting her university education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sweated a lot to get the highest score in the exam and enter a prestigious school like MIT.
The year was 2005 when Houston's idea was not accepted by investors, who were trying to establish a startup that focused on preparing for the SAT exam after graduation.
The foundation of Dropbox in 2007 was born out of a technical problem Houston was experiencing.
Drew Houston, who was traveling from Boston to New York by bus, realized that he had forgotten his flash drive at home. The successful entrepreneur expresses that forgetting the flash memory somewhere and that bad feeling experienced after the establishment of Dropbox was effective in the following words:
I was very upset, but this situation was happening to me constantly. I didn't want this problem to happen to me again. Then I turned on my computer and started writing code. I had no idea what this code was going to turn into.
He then re-applied to Y Combinator (startup incubator) and this time put forward the idea of Dropbox, but this time he ran into another problem. Paul Graham, one of the founders of Y Combinator, liked the idea, but said another founding partner was needed to participate in the incubation program.
“Paul expressed the need for founding partners. Because the startup world is an emotionally challenging environment. When two people set off, one of them runs out and the other gets behind the wheel. I think this is also a correct thought. "
Drew Houston found a person from the school he graduated from MIT within 2 weeks after this request. Arash Ferdowsi was a student at MIT at that time. Ferdowsi, who wanted a demo video from Houston explaining Dropbox, left school after a few hours of speaking and started working with Drew Houston. (What a courage to leave the world's most prestigious engineering school in a few hours! But Ferdowski has already paid off.)
Houston says the following about this incident:
“It was like a lightning wedding, something like love at first sight. I wanted to talk to Ferdowsi's family personally. I wanted to convince them that this venture was going to be successful, but he jumped right in and didn't hesitate. ”
Drew Houston, who was accepted to the Y Combinator with Ferdowsi, met a legendary investor during this period. The first person to invest in Dropbox was Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital. So much so that Moritz came to Houston's house to talk about this venture idea.
“I will never forget the day we received our first investment. The money in my bank account went from $ 60 to $ 1.2 million in a few seconds. "
Dropbox, which officially entered the market in 2008, was established relatively late, a year after receiving an investment from Sequoia. Because Drew Houston wanted Dropbox to be fully operational.
Some good marketing tactics have made Dropbox skyrocket. Guerrilla marketing techniques were used. Some of the videos produced during Dropbox's first beta testing process went viral and several thousand people became members of the site.
In addition, thanks to the friend referral application, people who signed up their friends to Dropbox were given extra storage space.
During this period, Apple started to be interested in Dropbox. A team from Apple went to Dropbox to learn the technical details of the project, and eventually Steve Jobs wanted to meet with Drew Houston in person.
"You guys have developed a great product." Steve Jobs, who congratulated Houston by saying, later made an offer to buy this Dropbox, but when Houston rejected this offer, the ice fell.
“Jobs trolled us a bit,” says Houston. He said that we developed a feature, did not introduce a new product, and that if we enter the market in this way, we will have a disadvantage. "
This time in 2009, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was interested in Dropbox. Because some Facebook employees had joined Dropbox at that time. But Dropbox was not sold to Facebook either.
Dropbox, which started to offer special services to companies in 2014, now provides services to more than 200,000 companies.
Dropbox's founder, Drew Houston, entered the NASDAQ with a $ 9 billion public offering in March 2018, today is considered the most successful entrepreneur to come out of the Y Combinator incubation program.More Business Posts: Business ideas