Drew Houston is an American Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Dropbox and owns a quarter of the company’s stock. He owns the most individual Dropbox shares. He serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dropbox, an online backup and storage service.
Before filing for an IPO in February 2018, he held 24.4% of the voting power in the company. Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.2 billion in May 2019.
Drew was born in Acton, Massachusetts, in 1983. He was born to Ken and Cecily Houston. He currently resides in San Francisco, California. He began coding when he was only five years old.
At the age of 15, he began working at an industrial robotics startup. He has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.
Drew pursued his elementary studies at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in the 1990s. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in January 2006, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Entrepreneurs Club.
While attending MIT, Drew founded Accolade, an SAT prep company.He worked for a year during his junior year and graduated a term early. At MIT, he also met Adam and Arash Ferdowsi, who later assisted him in establishing Dropbox.
Prior to the establishment of Dropbox, he worked on a number of other startups, including Bit9 and Hubspot. He worked as a software engineer at Bit9, Inc. from January 2006 to May 2007.
He was the technical lead for a number of interesting projects for Bit9’s application whitelisting product that had to do with how Windows works on the inside.
At age 24, he founded Dropbox with Arash Ferdowsi in January 2007. He also joined the Facebook Board of Directors in February 2020, succeeding Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who left the position in May 2019.
He is the co-founder of the technology lobbying organization FWD.us, launched in April 2013. It aimed at campaigning for immigration reforms and improvements to education.
Founder of Accolade:—
Drew founded Accolade, a bootstrapped online SAT prep company, while studying in college. He asserted that it was swiftly profitable but, most importantly, that it was a great introduction into the world of startups. He founded the company on May 1, 2004, and served until August 2007.
He established the company with the help of his former MIT teacher, Andrew Crick. The firm aimed to work in the fields of e-learning, education, and tutoring. However, he closed the company on January 8, 2008, to work for Bit9 and eventually establish Dropbox.
CEO of Dropbox:
Drew is Dropbox’s co-founder and CEO. He founded the company in 2007 with his MIT classmate Arash Ferdowsi, who is now Dropbox’s Co-Founder and CTO. It is the fastest-growing online storage company, with an $8 billion valuation and 200 million users.
They established their startup firm with initial funding from the seed accelerator Y Combinator. Dropbox is a file hosting service that provides cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization, and client software.
The application software of Dropbox has been blocked in China since 2014. There have been controversies over issues including security breaches and privacy concerns.
Drew is reminiscent of when and how his mind struck to offer cloud and backup services through Dropbox. It was when he left his thumb drive on a bus and was frustrated with the incident. He began thinking of a solution by scribbling down code in various forms, with no idea what he was going to build.
He struggled a lot while explaining to the investors the concept of Dropbox. He then thought of creating a video that would explain the work of Dropbox. As a result, a 3-minute demonstration video was released, which thoroughly explained its structure and operation in a matter of minutes.
Dropbox was publicly launched in 2008 and grew very fast, reaching 100,000 users thanks to their great marketing tactics like viral demonstration videos and referral programs.
In 2011, Steve Jobs offered to buy Dropbox. Though Steve was his inspiration, he still refused the offer. Steve then asserted that Apple would come after their market and push them out.
Honors & Awards:
Business Week named him one of the “most promising players aged 30 and under.”
Dropbox has been dubbed Y Combinator’s most successful investment to date. He was named among the top 30 under-30 entrepreneurs by Inc. Dropbox has been named one of Silicon Valley’s top 20 startups.
Courtesy: Startup Talky