Mar 23, 2018

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston on the decision to IPO

Photo illustration: Axios visuals

File storage and sharing company Dropbox went public earlier today, and has seen its shares pop more than 40%.

Axios spoke to company co-founder and CEO Drew Houston about why Dropbox went public now ("we were ready"), his message to employees ("enjoy it") and if he sweated yesterday's market drop ("you don't like to see giant blinking red anything").

Message to Dropbox employees about today:

First, just enjoy it. Celebrate this, because it is the result of a lot of hard work. That said, this is one step in a longer, more important journey. If you look at the great Internet companies, they have most of their success and financial upside after going public.
Also, we're going to have what I'd call an outside scorecard in a market that's going to do all kinds of things. We need to be focused on our inner scorecard, which is about keeping customers happy and building good products.

Sweating yesterday's market drop?

You don't like to see giant blinking red anything the day before your IPO.

On choosing NASDAQ over NYSE:

They've been a great supporter and partner for us, and a customer. I find it fascinating how they use Dropbox to produce listing day stuff like photos.

Why go public now:

Today is the product on a long-term investment that has paid off. We felt that we're at the right balance of growth and scale and that the business is just at a really healthy place. If you look at the tech companies we've admired, they're public.

Should other software companies follow Dropbox's lead and build their own cloud infrastructure?

For 99.99% of companies the public cloud is a great fit, but we're operating one of the largest cloud companies so, for us, the decision made sense.

Any takeover offers since filing to go public?

No, we’ve been focused on being independent.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

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