QuestionQuestion

- Dropbox is a late mover in a crowded space. What opportunity did Houston see? Specifically, what are the key elements of Dropbox's current business model?
- Is Dropbox profitable as of June 2010? Are you optimistic about its prospects? How does your estimate of Dropbox's current profitability influence your evaluation of the venture's prospects?
- When he applied to Y Combinator (see case Exhibit 2) what hypotheses did Houston hold about key elements of Dropbox's business model? As of June 2010, which of these hypotheses have been confirmed, and which have been discarded? What is your assessment of the approach Houston used to test hypotheses? Did he waste time/resources or make notable mistakes? Can you imagine better ways to test key hypotheses?
- Imagine that at the same time Dropbox was founded, Google decided to target the opportunity that Houston had identified. How would Google's approach to pursuing "G-Drive" have differed from the approach that Dropbox's team followed?
- What should Houston do about the decision posted at the end of the case, i.e., creating a separate version for small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers? What process should he use to make this decision?

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Synchronizing the work immediately and the ability to update the files across various devices – laptops and PCs was the opportunity that was seized by Houston by developing a single product –Dropbox. Earlier software with regard to crowded space was not able to update on real-time basis and were not user-friendly. When Houston forgot his USB device during a trip, he was unable to work on his Bit9 project. This made him develop a software service that would help in synchronizing and sharing files between personal computers and laptops over the internet.
The current Business model of Dropbox was a Freemium model where the users are allowed to use Dropbox freely up to 2GB for free and had to pay for storage space above that limit which was offered at $9.99 a month for 50 GB...

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