What began as a crazy idea for a consumer storage product in the cloud has evolved into one of the fastest growing enterprise services on the planet. As CEO Aaron Levie casually puts it, “In 2007, we decided to focus on the enterprise. Five years later, that's what we do. We have a few hundred people down in Los Altos just trying to build a different kind of enterprise start up.” In this First Round Town Hall Levie shares with founders what he has learned about building in the enterprise and strategies for winning in competitive marketplaces.
Box is the quintessential startup success story. What began in the proverbial garage now enables over 150,000 businesses to share files and collaborate anywhere in the world. In this First Round Town Hall, Aaron Levie shares what he’s learned about scaling a company as a first time Founder and CEO.
When most people think of Pixar they think of movies like Finding Nemo and Toy Story. But the studio has also been producing world-class film-making software for almost three decades to help bring those stories to life on the big screen. I was fortunate to work as an engineering lead on the software team at Pixar. During my time there, we utilized techniques that are commonly used in film-making to help build the studio's new software pipeline, now called Presto. This is what I learned.
Sarah Harrison, a user experience design veteran at the custom fit online lingerie store True&Co, has developed a methodology for continuously optimizing designs that mixes subjective decision-making with empirical testing.
After closing their round led by USV - and finishing YC, Zach Sims and his co-founder Ryan Bubinski turned almost all of their attention to hiring. This didn’t come easily given this was the first time either had really hired anyone. Since there were only two people in the company, every minute spent not working on the product was a minute spent interviewing and every minute spent interviewing was a minute that the product wasn't being advanced.
In 2009, Airbnb was close to going bust. Like so many startups, they had launched but barely anyone noticed. The company’s revenue was flatlined at $200 per week. Split between three young founders living in San Francisco, this meant near indefinite losses on zero growth. As everyone knows, venture investors look for companies that show hockey stick graphs, and according to co-founder Joe Gebbia, his company had a horizontal drumstick graph. The team was forced to max out their credit cards.
Scott Cook founded Intuit in 1983 - before many current Silicon Valley founders were even born - and grew it from an idea to a multi-billion dollar company that currently employs over 8,500 people and serves 60 million customers every year. In this interview, Cook cuts through management speak and shares tactical advice on how to evaluate talent, think about competition, and build a company to last, as well as sharing the one thing every first-time CEO needs to know.
Jason Putorti has made the boring beautiful and helped expand the role of software in the lives of ordinary people. As one of the founding members of the Mint team and as co-founder of the recently acquired Votizen, he’s worked on creating interfaces that inspire trust in users from the moment they lay eyes on them. Putorti also occupied the first-ever designer in residence role at any venture firm with Bessemer Ventures. He’s currently Creative Director at Causes.
Liz Ferrall-Nunge is the User Research Lead at Twitter. Before joining the flock, Liz worked at Google for over 4 years where she led UX research for mobile Maps (Android), small business needs (Google Places/Local +Pages, local monetization), geo social, and user-generated content (My Maps, reviews, community edits). In this Design+Startup Talk, she lends advice on how to best understand satisfaction. All the good stuff below belongs to Liz.
With the frequency that you hear “cloud computing” mentioned at conferences and in the tech press, you might believe it’s just a tired buzzword that salesmen use to induce boring people to get excited about buying enterprise services.