Drew Houston Creates Dropbox


As a graduate of MIT, Drew Houston, MIT ’05, had a knack for how the world works. He constructed an idea and started writing the first lines of code at a train station in Boston in 2007. He and his friend, Arash Ferdowsi, decided they were sick of emailing files to themselves to work from another computer. He claimed existing services at the time “suffered problems with Internet latency, large files, bugs, or just made me think too much.” He realized he was not the only one who suffered these problems, leading to the Dropbox solution.

Dropbox is a service allowing anyone to upload photos, documents, and videos, whether they are on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. There are also share options, making working in groups or collaborating with partners easier. Dropbox saw steady user growth after its inception. It surpassed the 1 million registered users milestone in April 2009, followed by 2 million in September and 3 million in November. It passed 50 million users in October 2011, 100 million in November 2012, 500 million in 2016, and 700 million in 2021.

Born in Acton, Massachusetts, in 1983, Drew attended Acton-Boxborough Regional High School and later went on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta. Before working on Dropbox, he worked on other startups, including Bit9, Accolade, and Hubspot. Drew constantly thinks of new ideas and is usually found running Dropbox’s business affairs. He still contributes to the client software and has compiled a team of hard workers to continue building the concept.