Lessons about Entrepreneurship from Box.net CEO, Aaron Levie


Aaron Levie dropped out of college and started Box.net in 2005.  In fireside chat with Paul Singh, an early stage venture investor and advisor, Levie shared lessons from his entrepreneurship journey.  Levie’s first piece of advise? If you drop out of college and do not have lot of technical expertise then surround yourself with people who do.  When box.net was started in 2005, it was based on the firm belief that everything that was to be shared or stored would be on cloud and so they built the infrastructure, storage capability etc. and were signing up consumers as well as enterprise business.  But things were changing quickly on account of companies like Amazon and Google.  While consumer space was getting challenging, “looking at enterprise, we saw a huge opportunity”, said Levie.  The company quickly pivoted and shifted all R&D to focus on the enterprise market, in 2007.  Box enables companies to store all content online, so it can be easily accessed, managed, and shared from anywhere.  The new level of content management security that Box has pioneered is easy to use, with role-based access controls, and data encryption, and is focused on customized work flows.  Levie stressed that success is strongly about speed and agility.  In hindsight, if he were to change anything, he would make some faster decisions, perhaps even a faster hire or a faster fire.  Levie is incredibly bright, full of energy, full of great ideas and very witty.  It was a great keynote.

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