But while you can take the CEO out of the dorm ...
Levie is known for a zany irreverence -- his frequent Twitter posts raise the question of whether he ever sleeps. He opened the BoxWorks conference -- wearing a gray suit and his trademark neon sneakers -- by leaping onstage after a running start, then segued into what felt like a late-night TV host's monologue, complete with shots at Miley Cyrus and the America's Cup.
That said, Levie is also serious business. Box today claims 20 million users at 180,000 companies, ranging from Gap and
Thanks to the company's "freemium" pricing model, which gives users 10 gigabytes of gratis storage (roughly enough to hold 10,000 emails or 2,000 music files), "tens of thousands of people sign up for the service every day," Levie said. Once enough users establish a beachhead within a company, Box sales representatives swoop in to sell the bosses on such features as secure file sharing and collaboration. Levie said revenues will top
It's no wonder Levie now sports premature gray to match his preternatural intelligence.
By all accounts, he and Smith could have cashed out already: They rebuffed a reported
To that end, he calls an IPO "the natural step on the path," although rather remarkably, he said the company hasn't yet filed confidential paperwork with federal securities regulators to begin the process.
Box has raised
To complement the youthful co-founders, Box has brought in finance and operating veterans from
Smith acknowledges such concerns but said the board is comfortable with his track record and ability to "understand the business better than anyone."
So why is Koplowitz bullish on Box? "Clarity of focus," he said. "They know where they're going, and it doesn't waver."
Box has developed sophisticated security and network technology that reassures chief information officers, Koplowitz said. Other tools, like the recently introduced Box Notes, let users share their data with others and keep track of changes by multiple parties.
Yet what has really set Box ahead of its deeper-pocketed competition isn't its technology, Koplowitz said, but Levie's passion for the cloud and his focus almost from the beginning on enterprise customers.
"He's looking like the right guy at the right place and the right time," Koplowitz said. "And with a head-start."
The wit and wisdom of Aaron levie
People laugh about smart watches, but those are probably the same people that said the Zune would never work. Oh wait.
Hard to believe that the British monarchy survived 1,000+ years of Royal Babies before Twitter existed.
If you're waiting for encouragement from others, you're doing it wrong. By the time people think an idea is good, it's probably too late.
Climate change deniers probably don't even believe a sharknado is possible.
What's in the box?
The skinny on
20 million users at 180,000 companies
Users at 97 percent of the Fortune 500
More than 900 employees worldwide
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