Dropbox – How Drew Houston Started The Company
Imagine that you could create a folder on your desktop. You could go to work, create a folder with the same name on your office computer and find there the same files you put in the folder at home. You could also access these files of yours via your smartphone, no matter where you are. Well, you can do all of this with a service called Dropbox (www.dropbox.com). This is a cool way of storing your information, so it’s accessible from anywhere you are, from any device you use. And here is the story about how this great business idea was born.
Drew Houston was an ordinary student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had a problem repeatedly forgetting his USB flash drive and he decided to solve this issue. During that time, there were some providers of file hosting, but they were difficult to use and anything but user-friendly. So Drew decided to create an online storage service for people like him, which was supposed to be extremely simple and at the same time functional. So in June 2007, he founded his company and named it Dropbox Inc. His business idea was backed up financially by the venture company – Y Combinator. This is how Drew had the money to start developing the site. The start of the service was officially launched about a year later, on the technology conference of TechCrunch, in 2008.
After launching, the company started expanding rapidly. Everybody liked it, because of its simple and easy to use interface. The only thing one had to do to use the service, was to sign up, install an application on his/her computer and that was all. The Dropbox folder then appeared on the desktop. The service also offered a free plan, which was limited to 2 gigabytes, completely free. By 2011, Dropbox had conquered around 14% of the market with 50 million registered users.
In September 2012, Dropbox signed a partnership with the biggest social network – Facebook. This was a wise move because all of Facebook’s users now could directly share on the group pages of Facebook, without even leaving the site. At the end of the same year, the service had reached 100 million registered users.
Today, Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage sites in the world. In February 2013, the service was responsible for 0.29% of the world’s global Internet traffic. Today the company is valued at billions of dollars and it hasn’t stopped expanding. Its uses the freemium business model – offering free basic functionality, but users have to pay for advanced features like more space, speed, etc. Interested? You can go to their site to download Dropbox and try the application right now.