Victoria Barret of Forbes profiles Dropbox today and reveals how co-founder Drew Houston was made an offer by Steve Jobs and that it turns out he could refuse.
In December 2009 Jobs beckoned Houston (pronounced like the New York City street, not the Texas city) and his partner, Arash Ferdowsi, for a meeting at his Cupertino office. “I mean, Steve friggin’ Jobs,” remembers Houston, now 28. “How do you even prepare for that?” When Houston whipped out his laptop for a demo, Jobs, in his signature jeans and black turtleneck, coolly waved him away: “I know what you do.”
What Houston does is Dropbox, the digital storage service that has surged to 50 million users, with another joining every second. Jobs presciently saw this sapling as a strategic asset for Apple. Houston cut Jobs’ pitch short: He was determined to build a big company, he said, and wasn’t selling, no matter the status of the bidder (Houston considered Jobs his hero) or the prospects of a nine-digit price (he and Ferdowsi drove to the meeting in a Zipcar Prius).
Jobs reportedly told Ferdowsi and Houston that he was going after their market. “He said we were a feature, not a product,” says Houston. Jobs then spent the next half hour answering questions from the pair and at WWDC 2011 revealed iCloud.
The entire article is fascinating. Give it a read.