From Zero to One Million Users

Drew Houston (Dropbox), Adam Smith (Xobni)
Social Media Marketing
Location: 2002 Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.90, 50 ratings)

Many products launch, but few reach widespread adoption. Learn how the founders of Dropbox and Xobni attracted millions of users within the first two years of launching their products on a $0 marketing spend.

The web and social media have rewritten the rules for customer acquisition and engagement, creating a new playbook of techniques for reaching huge audiences quickly on a shoestring budget.

This session will include practical tips on how to encourage word of mouth, build buzz and attract PR, and create products that people love. It will also introduce frameworks attendees can use for bootstrapping and scaling growth, acquiring and retaining users, building products that spread themselves, and turning customers into evangelists.

Drew Houston


Drew is the cofounder and CEO of Dropbox, the leading way to store and share files online. Dropbox lets you get to your important files from any of your computers or the web. The company launched at the TechCrunch50 conference in 2008 and is backed by Sequoia Capital and Y Combinator.

Drew was named one of the top “Twentysomething Entrepreneurs” by BusinessWeek in April 2008. Before founding Dropbox, he was a lead software engineer at Bit9, a venture-backed network security company, cofounded a profitable online SAT prep company called Accolade, and held engineering roles in various startups since the age of 14. He received his S.B. in computer science from MIT.

Photo of Adam Smith

Adam Smith


Adam Smith co-founded Xobni Corporation. Adam served as a Program Manager at and as a Developer at Vecna Technologies. He served as a Consultant of Siteadvisor before and after acquisition by Mcafee Corporation. His efforts were focused on the application of machine learning to email. He has been working in the email space for seven years. He is interested in machine learning, data mining, and large scale systems. Mr. Smith is a computer science graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and started his Master’s Degree at MIT doing research in the Networking and Mobile Systems research group.

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Matthew Kemph
05/06/2010 3:20am PDT

Enjoyed the approach they took for the session.

Picture of Jason Penny
Jason Penny
05/04/2010 3:23pm PDT

Great information this morning. At a minimum I’m going to check out Dropbox. I have been looking for a solution like this for a while and now it seems as if it has been dropped (pardon the pun) into my lap. Great all around presentation from Drew and Adam.

Picture of Toomas Romer
Toomas Romer
05/04/2010 3:23am PDT

Excellent presentation. I wonder how many times did you practice that because it was really smooth.

I got a page full of notes from this one and tons of motivation to actually implement those on my website. Thanks!

Michal Wachstock
05/04/2010 2:49am PDT

Totally B2C focused. Would be nice to hear some B2B angels as well.

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