Photo: Flickr/Kevin Krejci
While other kids were out playing soccer or getting into trouble, Box CEO Aaron Levie and one of his best friends, Jeff Queisser, would hang out at home and launch startups.They started something like 15 companies, Levie told ReadWrite”s Dan Lyons in an interview last week, including one called Zizap, which Levie described jokingly as “the fastest search engine on the Internet – minus Google.”
Levie says that these childhood companies were often nothing more than a few Web pages. But a few were more ambitious like an Internet kiosk for hotels and malls, a Web portal for real estate listings, reports Forbes Victoria Barret.
Eventually, in college, he would create Box with another childhood friend, Dylan Smith. Queisser would join Box a year later to lead technical operations, a job he still holds today.
Levie dropped out of college to run Box and never plans to go back. “I’m living the life I dreamed of as a 12-year-old. I don’t have hobbies. I want to build a big company, and this is it,” he told Barret.
He’s doing a good job of it. While competitors ranging from Dropbox to Microsoft to SAP are chasing him with their own enterprise cloud, file-sharing apps, Box this week just rolled out a bunch of new security features that again raises the bar on them.
This includes being one of the first business applications to work with Samsung’s new Knox technology. Knox divides a phone into two sides, business and personal, with different security settings for each and is part of Samsung’s push to beat Apple by appealing to business users.
Here’s how Levie describes his childhood startups: