Lean Case Studies
5 mins

Dropbox - A Lean Startup

Dropbox worried people wouldn’t use it.

Dropbox is a great example of a startup that followed the Lean Startup Methodology.

Dropbox is an extremely easy-to-use file-sharing tool - one of its biggest competitive advantages is that the product works in such a seamless way that the competition struggles to emulate it.  

When the Dropbox founders started out, their leap-of-faith question was : if we can provide a superior customer experience, will people give our product a try.  They believed that file synchronisation was a problem that people didnt know they had but also realised that it was impossible to demonstrate a working prototype.  

They were right - customers didnt know what they wanted and had a hard time understanding Dropbox when the concept was explained.  Unfortunately, this made it very hard for the founders to raise venture capital as investors couldnt understand why their product was different from all the other products in their market space.

To avoid the risk of spending  years developing a product that nobody wanted, the founders created a video.  This simple 3 minute demonstration of the technology as it is meant to work,  The naration described the types of files they would liek to synchronise, and the viewer could see that the files were full of in jokes and humerous references that were appreciated by the community of early adopters.  The  video drove hundreds of thousands of people to the website and their waiting list went from 5000 people to 75,000 people overnight.

Today Dropbox is one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies. In this case the video was the Minimum Viable Product which validated the leap-of-faith assumption that customers wanted the product he was developing, not because they said so in a focus group but because they actually signed up.

You can watch the MPV video here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=7QmCUDHpNzE

Click here to learn more about why Lean is essential for your business.

December 3, 2018

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