Dropbox CEO Drew Houston famously turned down Steve Jobs when Jobs offered to acquire the company. After the rejection, Jobs not-so-subtly implied that he’d have to put Dropbox out of business instead.
On Friday, Dropbox went public, with its stock popping 35% by the end of the first day of trading, defying the rest of the bleak market.
Houston is probably feeling pretty good about rejecting the tech legend. He’s now a billionaire a few times over.
Going into Dropbox’s IPO Friday, there were worries that the company’s valuation would be well below the billion that private investors pegged it at a few years ago. But those concerns were quickly squashed. It now has a market cap of .03 billion.
In an interview with Business Insider on Friday, CEO Houston said he wasn’t concerned about near-term stock price of his newly public company. He told his employees not to focus on what could have been, and could still be, a fluctuating stock price.
“One thing I tell the team is get used to the stock going up and down,” Houston said. “This will be a normal, everyday occurrence… that’s outside of our control. So what I make sure the team stays focused on is that our customers don’t care if we’re public or private. They just want a great experience.”
Dropbox is the first of the so-called tech unicorns — companies valued over billion — to go public this year. Music streaming service Spotify will have its IPO in the coming weeks, and Lyft, Uber, and Airbnb, are all seen as the next major tech companies likely to go public either this year or next year.
“I think we’re all excited about this cohort of companies,” Houston said. “And I’m looking forward to see Daniel [Ek] take Spotify public. A lot of these founders are my friends. It’s certainly a lot of fun to watch them scale their businesses.”
Houston’s take on Silicon Valley’s troubles
Dropbox may not be mired by accusations of spreading fake news or mishandling personal user data, but it is growing in an environment tainted by a lack of employee diversity. Dropbox released its latest employee diversity stats in February, and they don’t look much better than other Silicon Valley tech companies. Women make up 39% of Dropbox’s workforce, and the company is 55% white and 32% Asian.
Houston recently joined a group called Founders for Change, a coalition of tech companies and startups that have pledged not to take venture capital funding from groups that didn’t have a woman or person of color who could write the check.
It’s one of many efforts to fix the diversity problem in Silicon Valley, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
But one quick fix that can be made is the gender pay gap, when female employees are paid less for the same work. It’s simply a matter of analyzing salary data and making sure all employees are getting equal pay for the same work. Houston said that’s an issue Dropbox is looking at too.
“While as an industry we have a long way to go, there are things that are directly within companies’ control, and so by all means within our company we take a close look at gender pay equity, and I think everybody should,” Houston said.
And then there’s the other black eye on Silicon Valley’s reputation. Facebook’s failure to protect user data that was given to third-party developers sent the company headfirst into one of its biggest crises since its founding. In a series of interviews this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he’d be open to some form of government regulation.
Even though Dropbox isn’t a major social network, Houston did say it’s responsible for keeping user data stored on its servers secure.
“We shouldn’t wait for [regulation],” Houston said. “I think we all realize that it’s critical that we trust all the services we use, and that’s certainly top of mind for us, as you can imagine.”
“I think what the government does from a regulation standpoint, from a policy standpoint, can go in a lot of different directions,” Houston later added. “But we want to make sure that we — whether as a public company or whether as a private company — are doing everything we can to keep our user’s information safe.”
Follow Business Insider on Twitter: https://twitter.com/businessinsider
Follow BI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/businessinsider/
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/
Business Insider is the fastest growing business news site in the US. Our mission: to tell you all you need to know about the big world around you. The BI Video team focuses on technology, strategy and science with an emphasis on unique storytelling and data that appeals to the next generation of leaders – the digital generation.
More info on Dropbox CEO On His Billion IPO
Dropbox CEO On His Billion IPO - BingNews Search results
SPAC ETF issuer discusses how his product is capitalizing on the exploding trend
Defiance ETFs President Paul Dellaquila breaks down his firm's new SPAC ETF as the growing theme captures more investors' attention.
Ousted WeWork CEO Adam Neumann is cut loose from $185 million consulting deal
Marcelo Claure, who took over as WeWork's executive chairman after Neumann's ouster under investor pressure last year, made the remarks at a Wall Street Journal event on Monday.
Eargo CEO hopes more hear about company after stock nearly doubles on IPO
The valuation of #SanJose-based #hearingaid business #Eargo nearly doubled on Friday, but is actually up more than five times what private investors figured it was worth when it raised its last VC ...
Datto’s Private Equity CEO Admits ‘Serious Crimes,’ But Avoids Prosecution
Vista Equity CEO Robert Smith – which owns MSP tool provider Datto --- “committed serious crimes” federal prosecutors said as part of his involvement in what they are calling “a $2 billion tax fraud” ...
Zoom Adds Ability To Open Apps Like Dropbox And Slack, Event-Hosting Tools As Part Of Push Beyond Video Meetings
Zoom announced on Wednesday it’s launched Zapps, a feature that connects other apps directly in Zoom. By clicking a button at the bottom of Zoom’s interface, workers will be able to pull up Slack ...
From $900 in His Pocket to Building a $4.7 Billion Tech Company
By the time he took cloud software company Nutanix public, Dheeraj Pandey had learned the safest path isn't always the most successful one.
What You Need to Know About the Root IPO
Root Insurance is considered a leader in the insuretech space and the Root IPO should do quite well in the market.
Go Directly to Market: Bill Gurley on IPO Alternatives
Themes can be like a roll of the dice — some work, some don't — but this week's had to be Playing Monopoly. With the House Subcommittee on Antitrust issuing a report laying out a case against big tech ...
'Polish Amazon' Eyes Expansion Ahead Of Record IPO
Gazing out over the skyscrapers on the skyline, the head of Poland's top e-commerce company is unfazed by Amazon's imminent arrival as his business prepares for a record IPO. Instead, Frenchman ...
Charles Ergen's TMT SPAC CONX files for a $1 billion IPO
Ergen is the current chairman of DISH and has had a hand in developing numerous TMT companies throughout his tenure. He is joined by CEO Jason ... files for a $1 billion IPO originally appeared ...
Snowflake’s CEO on Having Year’s Biggest IPO: ‘So Far, So Good’
(Bloomberg) -- Snowflake Inc. Chief Executive Officer Frank Slootman took his company’s record $3.36 billion initial public ... with the biggest U.S. IPO of the year and the largest ever for ...
Snowflake CEO: Doubling of stock price after IPO reflects ‘frothy’ market
With the IPO, Slootman, who joined in April, 2019, saw his net worth grow by several billion dollars on paper. When he was hired as CEO, he received options for 13.7 million shares that vest over ...