The rise of Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, who just made the Forbes 400 after taking his company public

Drew Houston REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

Drew Houston is on top of the world.

His company, Dropbox, recently went public, making it Y Combinator’s first startup to ever IPO.

The file-sharing service that began as a two-person team in 2007 is now a sprawling enterprise with more than a thousand employees and a stock ticker symbol that’s soon to be listed on the NASDAQ. The cloud storage giant now provides services to more than 500 million people and generates a billion dollars in annual revenue.

In October, he was named to Forbes’ 400 list for the first time, ranking among the wealthiest billionaires in the United States.

But things weren’t always easy for Houston or his company. He struggled with his initial entrepreneurial venture and faced several obstacles getting Dropbox off the ground. Dropbox has taken 10 years of growth to get to the point it’s at now.

But Houston hung in there. Despite multiple opportunities to sell his company in its early stages — including a bid from Steve Jobs in 2009 — he held on.

Here’s a rundown of Houston’s journey from a precocious tech-loving kid to the CEO of a billion-dollar enterprise:

Come see Dropbox CEO Drew Houston speak at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference December 3-4.

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