Box fmr SVP on Enterprise Software (Part 3)
Back in 2005, Box was founded by two high school kids named Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith. At the time, there wasn’t an enterprise software solution for file transfer. Instead, people would load files onto a USB drive and transfer them between computers. However, Aaron and Dylan understood that a cloud-based solution would completely streamline the file-sharing process.
In addition, the founders built the company to last. For example, Aaron is the CEO and Dylan is the CFO. It’s very rare to see founders who are still a part of the day-to-day operations in a company this size. Furthermore, they did an amazing job of raising money for the business – over $550 million to set the company up for where it is today. Each owner reduced ownership stakes in the company to make this happen. However, this approach paid off in the long-run. For reference, Box is now investing about $500 million every year in business development.
Outside of Aaron and Dylan’s leadership, there are three key developments that set up Box for sustained success:
Administrative Console: This feature enabled business leaders to manage user security and access to specific content. As you can imagine, this feature is a huge differentiator for Box and is perfect for enterprise needs.
Sharing Mechanism: The ability to share folders and invite people to join in folders enabled seamless collaboration. Getting back to the social-friendly elements mentioned earlier, this is a great example of making the overall experience much more interactive.
“Freemium” Model: This enabled mass adoption through a “land and expand” approach where we gradually seeded the product. Most importantly, we gained a huge volume of small startups in addition to large companies. As a result, we drove outstanding adoption across many business segments.
In summary, Box is a reflection of everything that enterprise software is intended to deliver. However, the introduction of social enhancements and cutting-edge technology enabled the company to take the category to a new level.
About the speaker
Chris Yeh is the SVP of Product at Box. Chris is responsible for product management, platform strategy, partner ecosystem development and third-party innovation. Prior to joining Box, Chris was the product lead for Yahoo Groups, Delicious and other community products. Chris was also the head of the Yahoo Developer Network, a third-party developer program. Prior to Yahoo, Chris was Vice President of Marketing at Tacit Software - which was acquired by Oracle in 2008.