Box has come a long way in two short years
Everywhere you look these days, you see news about Box, the cloud storage and collaboration service. But it wasn't that long ago--two years this month at the info360 conference--that Box was a another small cloud startup looking for attention at the conference.
In fact, when I first met the Aaron Levie, the dynamic CEO of Box and Ashley Mayer, whose current title is Senior Manager of Corporate Communications; few people had heard of their company, in spite of the fact it had been around since 2005, and most of us considered the company to be a Dropbox kind of service for saving and sharing files.
We were wrong. Box's goal as its billboards and t-shirts trumpeted was to go after nothing less than Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) SharePoint. It was aiming for the enterprise.
That day in April 2010 when I met Levie and Mayer, Box was known as Box.net. To be honest, I couldn't help but be amazed by how young they looked. Seriously, at the time Levie looked about 12.
But both were 20-something wunderkids who grew up in the same Seattle suburb, and while they were young, they were also whip smart and I couldn't help but see how they understood the new ways of working the media.
Levie had a Zuckerberg-style story because he and a friend had in fact developed Box.net in a dorm room in 2005. He too dropped out of college (much to his parents' chagrin) to pursue his goal of launching an Internet start-up.
I was actually impressed enough after that meeting to ask Levie to contribute a guest post. I had no idea how quickly this company would grow.
Levie and his small group wanted to take on the enterprise, which seemed like a lofty goal at the time, but by the time I saw Box again the following year at info360 in Washington, D.C., it had grown up with a huge booth in the center of the floor. And suddenly, everyone was talking about content management in the cloud and Box was the poster child.
- At the same show, Whitney Tidmarsh Bouck, the long-time chief marketing Officer announced she was leaving EMC and joining Box.
- Last July, Box moved into shiny new digs in Palo Alto.
- In February, it announced $48 million in funding.
- In October, Box announced another $81 million.
- At the end of last year, Box dropped the .net and became simply Box.