Dropbox

Throw Away Your Thumb Drive

Dropbox’s story begins in 2007 when Drew Houston, a recent MIT graduate, forgot to bring his flash drive on an hours-long bus ride between Boston and New York City. He became inspired to solve the problems of file sharing, sync, and backup once and for all. This case study follows Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi through their time at Y Combinator, their successful launch, their entry into professional markets, and their eventual migration from AWS to proprietary data centers.

Keywords:
  • Cloud Storage
  • Business Model
  • Value Proposition
  • Hypothesis-driven Entrepreneurship
Industry:
  • Tech
  • Cloud Storage
Subject:
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategy

Learning Objectives

By the end of this experience, your students will be able to grasp, evaluate and articulate…

  1. The importance of aligning the business model, the sales channel, and the target customer with product design
  2. The economics of viral (freemium) marketing strategies
  3. How vertical integration choices often depend on scale
  4. That, more broadly, “scaling” often involves the conversion of variable costs to fixed costs


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