Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO, Box & Mike Butcher, European Editor, TechCrunch
Box does ‘boring enterprise software’ but look to make it interesting. What they are trying to do is build simpler software, that makes it easy to use. TO MB, you are using an individual as a trojan horse into the enterprise. Now people can bring their own solutions to solve business problems, so that is where growth is coming from. AL thinks it is a massive change as to how tech adopted.
AL announced today about a move to London. 12-15% of growth from EU, this is organic. Want to double this. Will open London office and expand from there. There is massive consolidation happening, as the enterprise players cannot change fast enough, they need to buy into it. There are lots of companies where IBM used to solve problems is now too expensive, where you can now move to the cloud. The market is moving to where you need to approach tech differently in the enterprise. Tools are fragmented, so bigger players are taking opportunity to consolidate
Box also looks at collaboration tools. MB asks if can work with things like Huddle. AL thinks there are opportunities, to work together. Box are exposing platform, to allow next generation to work on top of it, so that they become more of a platform. MB asks whats to stop Saleforce entering now? AL says this is happening all the time, Google did it. Thinks there will be lots of entrants over the years. Box thinks they have a competitive offering.
The seed funding for Box came from Poker winnings…then raised more angel investment. MB thinks we need more of this in London. AL thinks you need great tech and it’s the best time to be a startup. MB thinks we may be reaching the end of a cycle…are they going to be able to get through the next cycle? Box is not near an IPO, so not impacted too much from short term Facebook stuff. It has rebounded a bit now…
MB asking about early stage startups having to raise money now? Al not sure if that is right (although would not give financial advice) It is better to have money than not, so take advantage of that opportunity.
MB asks about company culture, how do you do this, create one that works? AL says easy to create a different culture than IBM…the Valley is so competitive for talent so culture is one areas that can make you different. Build sustainable cultures helps you survive.
MB asks about how much more complex will it be? AL says yes, it will be. So Greece can impact Silicon Valley, so technology will respond to that, so you have systems that will help through this. Digital supply chains span the globe, need tech to help people work this way, across countries and people.