Steve Jobs tried to buy Dropbox in 2009

According to Forbes, Steve Jobs invited Dropbox founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowski on a visit back in 2009, where Steve surprised them with a very generous offer to purchase Dropbox. It is rumored that Steve Jobs was willing to pay a nine digit-digit price.

At that time, Dropbox had only existed for two years and wasn’t as well-known around the world, as it is today. Steve recommended Drew and Arash to sell Dropbox to them, as Apple would soon be launching a competing service.

Drew and Arash turned down the offer and today Dropbox has almost 50 million users worldwide, who saves a billion files every 3 days.

Meanwhile, Apple has introduced their Dropbox competitor – iCloud, which has some advantages and disadvantages compared to Dropbox. But iCloud is not Dropbox’s only competitor these days, there are plenty of other similar services, for example However, Dropbox doesn’t just sit back and wait. Dropbox recently raised a whopping $250 million from investors and their company is now valued at $4 billion. They are also planning on moving to bigger offices where they will have room for 200 employees, compared to the just 70 employees they have now, in their San Francisco based office.

It is estimated that 96% of Dropbox users are Free users who signs up for the free 2GB plan, and the last 4% of their users are paying $10-$20 a month for extra storage space. Apparently that’s enough to make Dropbox a good business, especially because thousands of those 96% free subscribers throw in so much data each day, that they upgrade to a paid plan. Even if Dropbox doesn’t sign up a single customer in 2012, their sales will still double.

Dropbox may very well be a feature, not a product, as Steve Jobs said to the Dropbox founders, and as Forbes wrote in another recent article on how Dropbox will die – and if so, I can only say that it’s a very good feature, and free 🙂

11 thoughts on “Steve Jobs tried to buy Dropbox in 2009”

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  3. Was it their first start-up?
    It’s very tempering a to sell, especially when offered several hundred millions of dollars, usually dot com entrepreneurs are reluctant to sell only when they already had a successful start-up and an exit .

  4. It would have been great if the owners accepted Steve Job’s offer. A free Dropbox account that has unlimited storage space would have been a great feature in iPhone. I love Dropbox and I’m using a free account in my outsourcing business. It’s very convenient and makes file sharing easier.

  5. Yes, Drop Box is cool for file sharing and Steve Jobs always has vision and could’ve made it a lot bigger than it is now.

  6. I’m actually glad that they didn’t sell, because that would have meant the end for Drop Box and thereby the end for non Apple users having a service like this.

    It’s not that i hate Apple, I just like the option to choose which services I want to use and not use.
    And of course I’m using Drop Box, but just the free version. I use it to make automatic backups of my blog. 😉

  7. Dropbox is great because it’s so easy to use and other applications on the web and phones realise the potential and have used it to store the settings or other files for their apps.

    At least the sync is perfect, unlike iTunes silly syncing which often remove things from my phone when I didn’t understand fully how it works

  8. A very interesting story ..
    I believe that I accepted the offer and I’d be retired!!!!
    However, these technology companies are affected by a major economic risk
    Just think of the economic collapse of myspace

  9. Dropbox is a great tool and easy to use, well for first timers it is indeed good. And i think that’s the reason why those developers or CEO of dropbox turned down Steve jobs offer to buy their product.

  10. I wonder how the DropBox guys feel nowadays. Of course money is not everything, but such on offer comes only once in a lifetime.

    I’m sure they’ll do fine anyway. Their product is rock solid and everyone I know loves it. Keep up the good work DropGuys.


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