Drew Houston, the founder and CEO of Dropbox , has revealed another chapter in the story behind Apple’s 2011 buyout attempt when Steve Jobs was still running the company. We knew that the offer on the table was $800 million and that Jobs saw the service more as a feature to be integrated into his ecosystem than as a product with potential on its own, but we didn’t know how aggressive Apple’s former CEO and co-founder was in those failed negotiations.
As Houston now tells it, Jobs assured him that if he could not acquire Dropbox he would end up going after them, implying of course that a small fish like them would have nothing to do. Six months after their meeting, Jobs would go on stage with a keynote to fulfill his promise with the introduction of iCloud.
Of course things didn’t turn out (fortunately) as Jobs expected, and the startup has not only survived the supposed threat of iCloud, but its 200 million users and a current valuation of around 8 billion dollars show what many of us have always repeated over and over again: that they are different and more importantly, that they are absolutely complementary services.
I love opening Pages on my laptop and continuing to work from where I left off by opening a document in iCloud, but I couldn’t live without the 15GB or so that I keep synced through the Dropbox cloud service. We simply aren’t ready to turn our backs on the folders and files of a lifetime, and we may never be.