"There aren't a lot of people Aaron's age who are actually passionate about the enterprise -- even though that's where the money is," said analyst
Like any good chief executive, Levie won't cop to a timetable for an initial public offering, but he's well aware
So how did a college sophomore fall in love with enterprise software?
In an interview after the annual BoxWorks conference, which drew thousands of people and celebrity speakers this month to a
"I don't think anybody in that class could spell 'online storage,' " he quipped about that day in 2004. But he chose the industry because he thought it vaguely interesting. Then, after some research: Lights, camera, action! "I realized what an opportunity this actually was," he said.
Most people and businesses at the time were backing up data on external hard drives and DVDs, which could quickly become obsolete. And while a few companies in the late 1990s had tried selling remote storage via the Internet, connection speeds and data costs had driven them out of business.
Levie became convinced the time was right for "a universal, lifetime backup and sharing service." He rang up Smith, his boyhood friend from
Box's second infusion of cash arrived even more audaciously: via a cold call to billionaire tech entrepreneur
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