Drew Houston, CEO/Founder of Dropbox, gave an amazingly forthcoming presentation at the Startup Lessons Learned Conference chronicling his team’s path from idea to their current position as one of today’s hottest startups.
Because of the importance of protecting user data, they modified the “launch early, launch often” mantra to “learn early, learn often.” And they aspired to gain the “best understanding of customers as early as possible.”
My favorite quote from Drew’s presentation highlighted the power of focusing on what is really important: “If you make a feature matrix of Dropbox versus all the other products out there, we’ll never come out in front. We wanted to do a few things [really] well as opposed to a lot of things kind of well, presented in a way that’s confusing.”
Dropbox struggled to find effective paid marketing channels, but Drew states: “The one thing that saved us was that we put all of our effort into something that worked, that was an elegant solution.” They then empowered extremely gratified users to spread the word about Dropbox.
The result: In 15 months, Dropbox attracted 4 million users. In the last 30 days users have sent 2.8 million direct referral invites. Watch the video, you’ll definitely learn something. During my time with Dropbox, I learned how to build a sustainable startup (and business in general) the right way.