Dropbox rejected nine-figure buyout offer from Apple in 2009

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  • Reply 61 of 123
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ForceQuit View Post


    I stand corrected! Amazing though, these guys are normally looking for an exit strategy exactly like the Apple offer.



    That's a fair point. But not every company is Groupon. Some entrepreneurs are indeed keen on building something special. Furthermore, Sequoia Partners is not your typical greedy VC. They are long term thinkers.



    The impressive thing about Dropbox is that they have been operating on roughly $7M of funding since 2007. They have been able to get away with this because they use Amazon S3 services, and therefore only pay for what they use. And they get paid for what their customers use. So it's a very nice business model.



    65 employees. 25 million customers. 250M files uploaded per day.



    $4B valuation.



    So, yeah, pretty smart of them to turn down Jobs.
  • Reply 62 of 123
    bedouinbedouin Posts: 331member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmd1033 View Post


    This was an even dumber move than when Panic Software tried to get in bed with AOL instead of Apple. Apple was looking for a platform on which to create to create iTunes and they wanted to buy Audion. http://www.panic.com/extras/audionstory/



    I didn't know about this. Sort of glad they didn't, since Apple probably wouldn't continue developing the most awesome usenet client on any platform: Unison.
  • Reply 63 of 123
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    That's a fair point. But not every company is Groupon. Some entrepreneurs are indeed keen on building something special. Furthermore, Sequoia Partners is not your typical greedy VC. They are long term thinkers.



    The impressive thing about Dropbox is that they have been operating on roughly $7M of funding since 2007. They have been able to get away with this because they use Amazon S3 services, and therefore only pay for what they use. And they get paid for what their customers use. So it's a very nice business model.



    65 employees. 25 million customers. 250M files uploaded per day.



    $4B valuation.



    So, yeah, pretty smart of them to turn down Jobs.



    That depends on how realistic the $4 B valuation is. Frankly, I don't see it, but would be interested in seeing how someone came up with that number.
  • Reply 64 of 123
    nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    Time will tell whether they made the right decision.
  • Reply 65 of 123
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    That's a fair point. But not every company is Groupon. Some entrepreneurs are indeed keen on building something special. Furthermore, Sequoia Partners is not your typical greedy VC. They are long term thinkers.



    The impressive thing about Dropbox is that they have been operating on roughly $7M of funding since 2007. They have been able to get away with this because they use Amazon S3 services, and therefore only pay for what they use. And they get paid for what their customers use. So it's a very nice business model.



    65 employees. 25 million customers. 250M files uploaded per day.



    $4B valuation.



    So, yeah, pretty smart of them to turn down Jobs.



    how many of those are paying customers? active? i have an account and never use it.



    are they profitable? what's the growth rate? how many free customers end up paying?



    as an example, Spotify is profitable right now
  • Reply 66 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    That's a fair point. But not every company is Groupon. Some entrepreneurs are indeed keen on building something special. Furthermore, Sequoia Partners is not your typical greedy VC. They are long term thinkers.



    The impressive thing about Dropbox is that they have been operating on roughly $7M of funding since 2007. They have been able to get away with this because they use Amazon S3 services, and therefore only pay for what they use. And they get paid for what their customers use. So it's a very nice business model.



    65 employees. 25 million customers. 250M files uploaded per day.



    $4B valuation.



    So, yeah, pretty smart of them to turn down Jobs.



    $4 Billion is based upon a fallacy that an IPO will happen. Not hardly.
  • Reply 67 of 123
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The details come from a new look at Dropbox from Forbes, which declares the company "tech's hottest startup.



    the Apple co-founder stopped him by saying, "I know what you do."



    Jobs then began his own sales pitch, viewing Dropbox as a strategic asset for Apple....



    The Apple chief then reportedly told Houston that Apple would enter their market,



    "Courteously, Jobs spent the next half hour waxing over tea about his return to Apple, and why not to trust investors," author Victoria Barret wrote.





    That is a strategy right out of Microsoft's playbook.



    Give them a lowball offer to buy them out, and of they say no, tell them that you will bury them.



    I guess it works sometimes, but not with a company destined to be named by Forbes as tech's hottest startup. Too bad Apple didn't make an offer that they might have been inclined to accept.
  • Reply 68 of 123
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    Don't think so. It shows how much they believe in their own strategy.



    And I just purchased Dropbox BECAUSE of iCloud. I spent hours migrating to Dropbox....Because iCloud can't even provide me the flexibility of creating my own folder structure with my own custom filetypes. iCloud as it is now, is for nitwits who create Pages documents for birthday invitations.



    even ms is moving away from folders
  • Reply 69 of 123
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post


    i am disappointed with iCloud. great idea, but half baked to work only for cetain people.



    Do you think it would have been better if Apple had been able to use Dropbox's technology and their industry licenses? Is a lack of that one of the reasons for your opinion?



    If so, it is too bad that Apple used such hamhanded negotiating techniques (if the article is accurate, which I doubt. ISTM that if Steve Jobs was negotiating it personally, he'd not have given such a buffoonish performance as the one which is portrayed here).
  • Reply 70 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Dropbox was novel for the time and is still incredibly useful, but trust me, it will become more irrrelevant as time passes. Everyone is baking in similar functionality in their ecosystems and OS, and it will be only a matter of time before dropbox is simply a service that duplicates native functionality for most people. Yes, he had 'guts' to say no, but there's a fine line between that and irrational hubris/pride/stupidity. There's something to be said of taking a good opportunity when one presents itself, after a rational look at the situation. I simply can't see dropbox becoming MORE valuable than it is now, simply less- this is the only reasonable conclusion when taking a birds-eye view of the industry.



    Excellent point. Think Yahoo! and Groupon.
  • Reply 71 of 123
    uiguyuiguy Posts: 27member
    I am not one to believe any of this venture capital valuation voodoo...



    Keepin' it real:



    1. What IP do they own?

    2. What are their revenue prospects?



    It takes a lot of revenue to make your company really worth 4B dollars. Or at least it should.



    Playing with mirrors in the fun house can make the thinnest company look fat.



    So, yeah, I would of sold. And gone on to make something else.
  • Reply 72 of 123
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Dropbox was novel for the time and is still incredibly useful, but trust me, it will become more irrrelevant as time passes.



    So will the iPad. And the iPhone. The iPod already is. And the Mac.



    But as of now, Dropbox is Tech's Hottest Startup according to Forbes magazine. ISTM that so far, so good.
  • Reply 73 of 123
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmd1033 View Post


    This was an even dumber move than when Panic Software tried to get in bed with AOL instead of Apple. Apple was looking for a platform on which to create to create iTunes and they wanted to buy Audion. http://www.panic.com/extras/audionstory/



    I just read that whole story (thanks for sharing). Panic turned down a meeting with Apple and had no idea that Apple wanted to buy them and turn Audion into iTunes (note to self: never turn down meetings with Apple). Then, when they eventually did meet with Apple, they turned down job offers to join what became the iPod/iTunes team (note to self: when Apple asks to hire you, say yes).
  • Reply 74 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I have read the iCloud and Apple privacy policies but I can't find any mention of them not using your personal data in the Calendars. I also wonder about Siri. Since it obviously remembers your name, your wife's name etc. Apple has admitted that it uses the information it collects to improve Siri but at what cost to your privacy. I think there are a lot of privacy issues about iCloud that have not been addressed. We tend to think our beloved Apple would never use our private information for their own purposes, as Google is accused of doing, but they don't make that clear anywhere in the privacy statements.



    I've wondered about this as well. Wonder if we're the only ones who are wondering?
  • Reply 75 of 123
    iDisk has sucked ass badly from day one, I wonder how come they couldn't just fix it instead of dropping it for a possible Dropbox purchase, or, as is now, dropping it altogether... Complexity in programming never ceizes to amaze me.
  • Reply 76 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    So will the iPad. And the iPhone. The iPod already is. And the Mac



    Rubbish.
  • Reply 77 of 123
    jcozjcoz Posts: 251member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Except you can't delete photos... Kinda of an important missing feature...



    I understand what you are saying, but to them it wasn't a missing feature. Photostream holds the last 1000/30days worth of photos then automatically deletes.



    It was designed for people to decide what to keep, not delete.



    I realize for some that is an issue, because there are pics some people want to delete immediately, photostream just wasn't designed with them in mind.
  • Reply 78 of 123
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    That is a strategy right out of Microsoft's playbook.



    Give them a lowball offer to buy them out, and of they say no, tell them that you will bury them.



    I guess it works sometimes, but not with a company destined to be named by Forbes as tech's hottest startup. Too bad Apple didn't make an offer that they might have been inclined to accept.



    In 2009, 9 figures would not at all be a low ball offer. In fact, you wonder if it might have been an audacious offer for a company totally reliant on Amazon.
  • Reply 79 of 123
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by UIGuy View Post


    I am not one to believe any of this venture capital valuation voodoo...



    Keepin' it real:



    1. What IP do they own?

    2. What are their revenue prospects?



    It takes a lot of revenue to make your company really worth 4B dollars. Or at least it should.



    Playing with mirrors in the fun house can make the thinnest company look fat.



    So, yeah, I would of sold. And gone on to make something else.



    What about revenue? $240M this year. And that's with only 4% of 50 million users paying for storage. Imagine the growth when 10% of the remaining 96% exceed their 2GB limit of free storage.



    As for iCloud clobbering them? Not every smartphone company has Apple's reach and those will need a storage partner. Dropbox is already in partnership with HTC.
  • Reply 80 of 123
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Stupid? They are now valued at $4B, which is 16 times what Apple offered.



    I wouldn't call them stupid. I assume they did what was right for them. More power to them. They should do what they want and those calling them stupid are clueless. Money was obviously not their primary motivation.



    So why do you presume to justify their decision based on money? They don't care what anyone here thinks about it. If you want to talk about money, Apple's offer was money in hand ? hard cash. Their valuation at $4B is just paper ? vapor ? an opinion (and not a very realistic one, I suspect.)
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