An interesting start-up to watch might be Box.net. The young founders – they’re high school buddies now on leave from college – just moved the business to the Bay Area from the Seattle area. The company is an online file-storage service – an increasingly crowded filed these days. It has angel funding from Mark Cuban a group of Seattle businessmen.
We asked co-fouder Aaron Levie why he and Dylan Smith moved here and how they intended to differentiate themselves from competitors.
On the move:
My partner and I grew up together in a Seattle suburb, but then went to separate colleges. I began developing the business about a year and half ago, and then he joined on soon after. We effectively ran the company for two semesters while staying in school, but we realized that our ability to actually “grow” the business was limited because of our other time commitments. Thus, it was either work out of Seattle or the Bay, and frankly there aren’t too many exciting young startups in Seattle right now.
On why they are different:
Basically we started this business to focus on the “average” consumer and make them interested in the benefits of online storage. The industry still has plenty of years before massive adoption, so we’re working hard to position ourselves on top…We focus our attention on usability, making the service easier to use than anyone else. 24/7 customer support- we have a live 888 line and support email always available to customers (response time is generally 10 minutes). Cheaper prices than most competition. Actively developing new features (for instance, we’re the only storage service to provide users with an RSS feed of their files, www.box.net/filefeed.html)
We don’t really use online storage services, and we haven’t had a chance to play with Box.net yet, so you be the judge.