Lecture 12 : Building for the Enterprise

Lecture by Aaron Levie

(c) http://tinyurl.com/hla3zfv

(c) http://tinyurl.com/hla3zfv


So basically every company in the world use technology, the great thing about being at Stanford is we study the technology. And we think of the technology industry as an industry. But in reality what is happening, is every industry is going to have a technology component of what they do. Enterprises are not going to be able to survive in the future if they do not get good at technology.


  1. Background of box.com
    The idea was discovered back in year 2004 and the company was launched in year 2005. He noticed that it was difficult to share files. Back then, It was either really expensive or really hard to move data around through corporate companies. Also, they noticed lots of factors rapidly changing in the software world. Firstly, cost of storage dropped dramatically. So they decided to open up the product for free. There were more powerful browsers and networks. Also, more locations and people to share with. They had to choose between two paths, consumer and enterprise. The path for enterprise was slow, expensive, complex and sales Although it was challenging, they decided to take this path.
  2. Major factors that changed in enterprise today
    A. Most application companies are moving to Cloud
    B. Cheaper, on demand computing from a world of expensive computing
    C. More standardised platform
    D. Able to sell to every business
    E. User-led IT model
    – nearly 2 billion smart phones in the world
    – nearly 3 billion people online
  3. Enterprises need new technologies game up their business model
    A. Accelerate multi-platform commerce :
    – Retail industry : shop in-store, shop online, on mobile and free delivery services to door step.B. Enable more personalised healthcare :
    – Better technology to deliver different healthcare experience
    – EG: paying online, medicine descriptions on mobile apps, communicating with doctors directly through mobile appsC. Global media creation and distribution :
    – Media agencies do predictive analytics to find their potential moviegoers among 3 billion users

    “Every company in the world needs better technology to work smarter, faster and more securely”

  4. Patterns to recognise to build a startup
    A. Spot technology disruptions
    – Look for new enabling technologies that create a wide gap between how things have been done and how things can be done

    B. Start small
    – You want to find the wedge that is sort of natural that you can create a product that will slip in the gaps of other existing products. But something that you think over time expands to be a more important product of the enterprise structure.

    C. Find asymmetries
    – You want to do things that incumbents can’t or won’t do because either the economics don’t make sense for them, the economics are so unusual, or because technically they can’t.D. Find the almost crazy outliers
    – You need to find the customers that are at the edge of the business, their business model, their industry and find the unique characteristics of those customers. Leverage them as your early adopters.
    – Find the customers on the bleeding edge of their market who use technology to get a head. And that use technology for performance advantages, and go work with them to see how your product can evolve.

    E. Listen to your customers
    – But don’t build exactly what they tell you
    – Translate them to the best and simplest solution for them

    F. Modularise, not customise
    – Build a platform as opposed to building all the custom technology and customer vertical experiences into the software itself.
    – Make sure you really think about openness and APIs as a way of building experiences.

    G. Focus on the user
    – Keep consumer DNA at the core of your enterprise product

    H. Your product should sell itself
    – Does not mean you dont need sales people
    – Sales should be used to navigate customers and close deals, not be a substitute for a great product