Latest Startups

Founding Relics

March 28, 2011

I love “founding relics” – those old documents, sketchs and pitch decks from a company’s earliest days that make it clear that even some of Silicon Valley’s biggest success stories all started out just like you – a couple of guys with a good idea and not much else, camped out amongst their servers and pizza boxes in a 2-bedroom Mountain View apartment complex.

(Side story: Barely a year after Netflix got off the ground, Reed Hastings and I flew up to Seattle to meet with Jeff Bezos who was kicking our tires for a possible acquisition.  We got to talking about our respective first monthes of business and I could see Jeff’s face lighting up as he described the bell they had rigged to ring every time an order came in).

Anyway, I’ve got a box full of old Netflix memorabilia that I’ll share with you someday.  But this post is about a particular document from the Dropbox site that I found particularly interesting; It’s the Dropbox’ Y-combinator funding application.

Some of it’s value certainly comes from seeing founder Drew Houston’s background, experience and expectations at this very early stage.

Some of it’s value comes from trying to reverse engineer what particular aspects of the business appealed to Y-combinator; since not only has Dropbox been one of their particular successs, but it is often held up as one of the few exceptions to their “no solo founders” guideline.

But a major part of it’s value comes from seeing the questions they asked.  It’s a great checklist for any early stage company.

Check it: Dropbox Y Combinator Application

View More Posts >

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *