Box CEO Aaron Levie: Startup is a State of Mind

Cloud computer pioneer Aaron Levie about Trump, the future of work & how to beat a competitor with agility

Start your business at age 19. Take it public at 30.

That sounds like the playbook of Aaron Levie, the co-founder and CEO of Box, one of the most successful and outspoken innovators in the enterprise software business who  revolutionized the collaborative office environment.  

The cloud computer pioneer started his company 15 years ago and famously cold-pitched his idea to Marc Cuban – while still an undergrad in the dorm room. Since then he has matured into a public company executive, who has guided his employees, customers and investors through various ups and downs, from taking his company to a 1.6 billion dollar IPO to fighting for market share with big incumbents such as Microsoft & Google.

In our podcast the SAAS luminary shares what he has learned on the way, from pivoting a product when the market demands it – to why startup is a state of mind (even though you’re not necessarily a startup any more, which Box of course isn’t) to how to stay sane as a founder, like when investors have a problem with your business model or you have to deal with a competitive dilemma:

The thing that gets you through those down periods in the business, is being just unbelievably passionate about the mission of the company and where you're taking it over the long run.

02:08: The Box CEO No.1 solution for startups in the current crisis
05:13: Why transparency with your stakeholders is crucial these days
06:56: How Box pivoted its product strategy and HR practices
11:24: Data protection: What founders have to know about remote work
13:10: How to find the perfect time for a product pivot  
15:41: The ups and downs of the entrepreneurial roller coaster
18:20: Beer Garden Break: How the cloud pioneer started Box at the age of 19
21:07: Why moving fast is the biggest advantage for startups to fight big tech
30:20: Either-or-game: Do not compromise on product & culture

Production: Regina Körner, Migo Fecke (professional-podcasts.com); Hubert Honold & Sophie Dechansreiter