The Best Lessons From Drew Houston

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Drew Houston graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in Computer Science. He’s the CEO and Founder of Dropbox, a company which he has Co-Founded with Arash Ferdowsi, the current CTO. Dropbox has been considered one of the most successful investments made by YCombinator. What impress us most is the story behind Dropbox and the way Drew Houston rejected Steve Jobs’ offer to acquire the company. As Drew recalls, he doesn’t see a “feature” (as Jobs thought) in Dropbox, but a sustainable product. The company is now valued more than $4 billion and even if the competition has increased, they are still leading the market as innovators.

In 2012, Drew Houston was named one of the world’s top innovators under 35 by the MIT Technology Review. Further he was also included in Fortune’s “40 Under 40.” Drew Houston is someone you should listen to because he started with a Minimum Viable Product (see the product demo below) and ended up with a $4 billion company, which is still growing. The growth of Dropbox was quick thanks to the support given by YCombinator and Paul Graham.

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This simple video was one of the most remarkable things Drew Houston did in the early days. As he recalls, “it drove hundreds of thousands of people to the website. Our beta waiting list went from 5,000 people to 75,000 people literally overnight. It totally blew us away.” At the end of the day, it’s more important to have a simple product with a short presentation, than a twenty pages business plan that no one will ever read.

Edoardo Moreni

Blogger, Political Activist, Computer Scientist and Italian.