I came across Drew Houston’s Y-Combinator application from a tweet by Dave Winer. He linked to a document online, where Drew Houston’s Y-Combinator application lie in all its glory for anyone to read. Drew Houston is the founder behind Dropbox, the file-sharing service used by millions of individuals and professionals. We use it ArcticStartup and find it extremely useful.

There are a few things of interest in the application that entrepreneurs, young and old should read. First of all, it shows the extreme talent these kids have when they enter the Y-Combinator program (or get accepted). Drew houston for example, had been programming since age 5 and working with startups since the age of 14. He’s scored 1600 on SAT and reverse engineered the poker software on a number of sites to create a money playing bot (it managed to play about break-even so no big exit there for him).

Secondly, it states how clearly Houston already saw the product in its early days. He had a very clear vision he wanted to execute on and by looking at the results today, he did it extremely well. Furthermore, it shows that he valued the company at around $1 million – which shows that there is a strong business focus in the venture as well (also, there’s a lot more business related questions, you should look at).

# If one wanted to buy you three months in (August 2007), what’s the lowest offer you’d take?
Drew: I’d rather see the idea through, but I’d probably have a hard time turning down $1m after taxes for 6 months of work.

There’s also a very clear business understanding regarding rights of possible ownerships of the software:

# Are any of the founders covered by noncompetes or intellectual property agreements that overlap with your project? Will any be working as employees or consultants for anyone else?
Drew: Some work was done at the Bit9 office; I consulted an attorney and have a signed letter indicating Bit9 has no stake/ownership of any kind in Dropbox

Nevertheless – it’s a recommended read, to better understand the founders of successful web companies and how they think of their services and capabilities. Check out the application here.

Via: Dave Winer’s tweet

No more articles