I spend a bunch of time talking to different vendors about their products and services – having done what I do for a few years now it’s interesting to see how companies that I knew when they were tiny 3 person start ups start to act once they’ve got hundreds of employees, lots of customers and (most importantly) an exciting valuation.

Case in point…. DropBox. As a favor to a friend I agreed to write a quick review of some online backup/sync products. Nothing in-depth, just a quick synopsis of the landscape to give people wanting a very high level view of the space something to go with. I drafted a series of questions (again, very high level) to flick out to vendors to help me compile the report.

I got a few emails back with quick answers, and some others promising answers in the next few days. But what I got back from DropBox’s PR team was pretty interesting;

Thanks for your interest in Dropbox! Unfortunately, the Dropbox team leads are busy focusing on the product and hiring right now, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to politely decline.

I don’t want to make this specific to DropBox but I will say that the flip side of a young company getting to an astronomical multi billion dollar valuation in the space of a couple of years is that sometimes they don’t display the maturity that they would in the event that they’d taken a more gradual approach to growth. Now I’m just a mere blogger and I don’t expect CEO Drew Houston to drop everything to speak to me. But having a third party PR company send out a simple “thanks but no thanks” article is bad form – and in contrast to other startups enjoying stellar growth who have a more mature approach towards analyst and blogger relations (I’m thinking of box.net in particular).

Hopefully Dropbox matures a little to enjoy that valuation they’ve just got…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.


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