Why didn’t Dropbox try to sell Mailbox?



Once you’ve been a VP at a BigCo … you realize … it’s not worth it.  Not usually.

First, if it’s at all a talent acquisition — you want to keep the talent, not let it go.

Second, it’s a distraction.

Third, a write-off is a write-off.  Writing off $90m of a $100m acquisition in one fell swoop is a lot easier than sell it for $10m, write off $90m, and deal with months of de-integration issues, support agreements, and all that.  Wall Street isn’t going to care if you write off $90m instead of $100m.

Just like buying something is easy … so is shutting something down.  It’s “easier” than gracefully transitioning it to a new home.

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Published on December 14, 2015
  • Tim

    Great post. Makes a lot of sense. But what if you’re thinking, geez that was a great app. Would love for someone else to have taken that over and run with it. Would it be feasible for someone to clone it – or are there dangers of Dropbox getting their lawyers after you? There’s a few companies that have acquired and then dropped products. Sure it made sense from their perspective to do this, but the world loses a lot of great products in this way. Perhaps a different approach to creating a startup? Take the ideas others throw out?

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