Dropbox is a “hard drive in the clouds,” says the hot Silicon Valley startup’s very humble founder and CEO, an MIT grad named Drew Houston.
Drew came up with the idea upon having forgotten his USB drive on a trip from New York to Boston. Like a typical MIT student, he sat with his laptop at that magical train station and began writing the first code to solve this problem for himself (as he had forgotten his USB port) and then learned he could solve this problem not only for himself, but, for the world!
Seed funding from Y Combinator soon followed with more funding from Sequoia and Accel. And then Drew said it was “off to the races”. They have raised a total of 7.2 million, won a Crunchy Award in ’09 for best Internet application and were recently nominated for a Webby.
Dropbox is essentially a virtual hard-drive application that you can use to connect any computer and soon any device (currently they are only on the iPhone, but Android and BlackBerry are on the way). It is similar to Box.net or even Google Docs, which also offers a free online hard drive.
Dropbox’s advantage, according to the firm, at least, is that it’s more user friendly. “You don’t have to think” said Adam Gross from Dropbox sales and marketing.
Instead of having to sign in the way you do with Box.net, Dropbox sets it up so that the application is right there on your desktop and all you have to do is click save. Dropbox gives each user 2 GB — more than Google gives — and you can get more space if you refer-a-friend.
Dropbox’s 4 million plus users are all across the board; everything from agencies to travel photographers to the New York City School System uses Dropbox. While this new world is no longer being weighed down by books, but by devices, Dropbox considers themselves the connecting “fabric”.
Look for a big announcement in May! They told me Internet speculation was “warm” but not “hot” in terms of what new fun was going to be dropped into the box. I would go so far as to say it was a mobile app. “iPad?” I asked, their poker faces gave me no clues.
Jesse Draper is a professional American actress and entrepreneur. A graduate of UCLA’s School of theatre, Film and Television, she is most well known for her role as Jesse, the tutor, from Nickelodeon’s hit show “The Naked Brother’s Band”. Hoping to inspire and educate those who live a life at the office, along with those who are intimidated and bored by the word “business”, she created “The Valley Girl Show” to find the entrepreneur inside of everyone!
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