Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2011 (Revised October 2014)

Dropbox: 'It Just Works'

by Thomas R. Eisenmann, Michael Pao and Lauren Barley


Dropbox is a venture-backed Silicon Valley startup, founded in 2006, that provides online storage and backup services to millions of customers using a "freemium" (free + premium offers) business model. The case recounts Dropbox's history from conception through mid-2010, when founder/CEO Drew Houston must make strategic decisions about new product features, how to target enterprise customers, and whether to pursue distribution deals with smartphone manufacturers.

Keywords: Business Model; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Practices and Processes; Distribution; Product Design; Product Development; Internet; Service Industry; California;


Eisenmann, Thomas R., Michael Pao, and Lauren Barley. "Dropbox: 'It Just Works'." Harvard Business School Case 811-065, January 2011. (Revised October 2014.)