A conversation with Aston Motes, Dropbox’s first employee.

Craig : What were you doing before Dropbox and how did you get involved?

Aston : I’ll go back to when I got to MIT. So, I fully expected to be a professional software engineer and to work at a big company after graduation. I assumed I would go to Microsoft or Google or maybe Amazon. Those were great jobs and a lot of my peers were going to those companies. They seemed like pretty fun places to be. You know, they had free drinks in their refrigerators! And that was kind of my ideal situation after college.

Halfway through MIT I started reading the essays of this guy named Paul Graham [PG] and learned that there was this whole other world of Silicon Valley, the startup world. Obviously, all those companies that I was just talking about came up in this culture of the venture capital backed startup, but that startup world wasn’t visible to me at the time.

I actually went to a talk by PG he gave at MIT. And I just became an acolyte of his, based on his blog posts. They shifted my perspective, and I eventually I decided I really wanted to start a startup rather than work at one of those big companies The only problem was, I didn’t have any great startup ideas. The closest my friends and I got to a real startup was, we built this book exchange website for MIT students called bookX (which is now defunct).We thought that it might be a business, but turned out it wasn’t.

Source: Employee #1: Dropbox · The Macro

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