Dropbox Said No To A “Nine-Digit” Acquisition Offer From Apple, Steve Jobs

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As we were reporting the news about Dropbox’s $250 million funding round, Forbes went live with a fascinating story, detailing how co-founders Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston turned down a “nine-digit” acquisition offer from Apple back in late 2009 when the company was only two years old.

The late Steve Jobs, Apple’s iconic co-founder and former CEO, reportedly led the first (actually, only) meeting and apparently told Dropbox’s founders that they should sell because Apple would crush the company with a competing product – the recently debuted iCloud service.

From the Forbes article (and cover story), written by Victoria Barret:

In December 2009 Jobs beckoned Houston (pronounced like the New York City street, not the Texas city) and his partner, Arash Ferdowsi, for a meeting at his Cupertino office. “I mean, Steve friggin’ Jobs,” remembers Houston, now 28. “How do you even prepare for that?” When Houston whipped out his laptop for a demo, Jobs, in his signature jeans and black turtleneck, coolly waved him away: “I know what you do.”

What Houston does is Dropbox, the digital storage service that has surged to 50 million users, with another joining every second. Jobs presciently saw this sapling as a strategic asset for Apple. Houston cut Jobs’ pitch short: He was determined to build a big company, he said, and wasn’t selling, no matter the status of the bidder (Houston considered Jobs his hero) or the prospects of a nine-digit price (he and Ferdowsi drove to the meeting in a Zipcar Prius). Jobs smiled warmly as he told them he was going after their market.

Read the full story here, it’s very much worth your time.

(Image via Flickr user Images_of_Money, with permission)