9 eye-popping things you might not know about Dropbox CEO Drew Houston

March 4, 2018 8:00 am

Drew Houston

Dropbox filed for an IPO with the SEC to be listed on NASDAQ over the coming weeks under the ticker DBX.

“The move by the popular cloud storage company Dropbox makes sense, as upbeat equity market conditions should allow it to raise the $500 million it seeks at a favorable valuation,” said Forbes.

“Based on information disclosed by the company in its SEC filing, we estimate that the company is worth around $10 billion.”

A forgetful nature forced Dropbox CEO Drew Houston to come up with a solution helping him build a multi-billion-dollar company literally from scratch.

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Here are 9 amazing things you might not know about Dropbox founder Drew Houston:

The following were revealed during a New York Times interview with Houston.

1-Houston learns code as a toddler:

Using a PC Junior,  Houston’s dad helped his 5-year old son how to write his first couple lines of code in Basic, which began a journey of learning how computers work.

2-Houston gets first programming job at 14, and dad fills paperwork

Houston emailed a couple of computer developers showing them problems they faced and how  they should fix them. They wrote back: “Great, do you want to work for us?”, to which Houston asked “Is it O.K. if my dad fills out the paperwork, because I’m 14?”  and their response was “We couldn’t care less.”

3-Main leadership lesson: Find out what you don’t know that you don’t know.

The question he still asks today is “six months from now, 12 months from now, five years from now, what will I wish I had been doing today or learning today?”

4-Advice to young people: Read towards being an entrepreneur

Houston spent time on the rooftop of his fraternity (while others partied). He doesn’t understand why people scramble to have coffee with some famous entrepreneur when reading a book about them is like getting many hours of their most crystallized thoughts.

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5-Advice to new college grads: A tennis ball, a circle and 30,000

Just like when a dog gets that obsessed look on its face when you wave a tennis ball to it, that ball represents finding the thing that each if us is obsessed with. The circle is about the idea that we’re the average of our circle of five closest friends. is 30,000 how many days most people live, so we have to make every day count.

What follows was revealed during a Business Insider interview with Houston

6-He invented DropBox on a bus ride

Going from Boston to New York on the Chinatown bus, Houston forgot to bring along a thumb drive he kept carrying  to email himself files and out of frustrations of this happening time and time again, he opened up the ‘editor’ and started writing some file sharing code.

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7-He plays in a music band 

Houston says he is part of Angry Flannel, describing it as Boston’s premier ’90s-rock cover band’, where he plays guitar, and sings backup.

8-He finds out he’s a millionaire by refreshing computer  

After Mike Moritz, legendary investor for Sequoia, invested in Houston’s startup in 2007, Houston sat at home hitting refresh on his computer and watching his balance go from $60 to $1.2 million.

9-Apple founder Steve jobs makes a death threat to Houston

After inviting Houston to Apple HQ, the late Steve Jobs praised Dropbox as a ‘nice product’ but tried dissuading Houston from continuing with the venture saying the company facing numerous challenges and offered to buy DropBox. But when Houston politely declined, Houston said Jobs was like, “Alright, well I guess we’re gonna have to go kill you, basically.”

 

 

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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