updated 10:38 am EST, Thu November 21, 2013
Dropbox chief says iCloud was direct shot at Dropbox
Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston says that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs settled on killing off the popular file syncing system when Houston declined Jobs' offer of an acquisition. IT Business reported this week on Houston's remarks, which came in the course of a discussion on stage at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce.com conference in San Francisco. Houston says that the unveiling of iCloud was a direct shot at Dropbox, one he says the company has proudly survived.
"I kind of couldn't believe it when the meeting was getting set up," Houston recalled on stage. The Dropbox CEO did not specify how much Jobs offered to purchase Dropbox, but he did detail an impression of Jobs as a straight talker, and very much to the point.
Jobs recounted the reasons he returned to Apple, telling Houston that he had been frustrated that a company could convince customers to pay $7 billion a year for Apple products and still lose $1 billion. With regard to Dropbox, Houston said that Jobs was direct, saying at first that he wanted to buy the service, but telling him that if the acquisition talks failed, Apple would be coming after them with a competitor.
Six months after the meeting, Apple rolled out iCloud, which would eventually replace its underperforming MobileMe platform. Houston was watching Jobs' keynote when the new service was unveiled.
"He was calling out by name and saying he wants to kill us with iCloud," said the Dropbox chief.
Apple's cloud solution has gone on to see considerable use, due to its inclusion in Apple's bestselling iOS devices, as well as its being built in to OS X. Dropbox, though, has gone on to surpass the 200 million user mark, and without being tied to any other indispensable products. The company has continually added features for its users, and it is said to be working to push beyond simple storage and syncing into other arenas in the near future.