Morning Coffee Apr 03 2012

Dropbox Hiring 'Hordes' of Engineers

By joseph walker

The pressure is on at Dropbox, the cloud storage start-up that has raised $250 million -- most recently from Bono -- and been valued at $4 billion by its investors. That's as much as tried-and-true companies like Cablevision and Expedia,The Wall Street Journal writes.

The tech world is waiting to see if Dropbox, which has 100 employees, can sustain its momentum and justify the money that it's attracted. The company has 50 million users, thought just a handful pay for the service. And while the company says it is profitable, it's also on a hiring binge, bringing in "hordes of engineers and product managers" to fill its new 87,000 square foot San Francisco headquarters, the Journal reports.

One of the tests for Dropbox will be whether it can hire new employees quickly enough and efficiently absorb them into its operations. As companies like Yahoo have shown, having a big headcount doesn't necessarily make a company more effective. Increasing staff without a way of harnessing talent toward shipping products just leaves a bloated mess.

Then there's the competition, the most high-profile of which is a ghost from Dropbox's past: Apple, which launched its competing product, iCloud, in October. Steve Jobs famously tried to buy the fledgling start-up in 2009, but was rebuffed by Chief Executive Drew Houston. Jobs derided the company as a mere "feature," not a standalone tech behemoth in the making. (WSJ)

Hiring (FINS)

Online education company 2tor will hire up to 150 new employees this year as it expands its partnerships with universities. The company announced yesterday that it has raised $26 million.

Hitching a Ride (FINS)

In Silicon Valley, taking the bus to work is considered a sign of prestige. The luxury shuttle buses that Google, Facebook and Genentech provide aren't just a perk, they're redefining public transport in Northern California.

Negotiations (FINS via WSJ)

The relationship between a company's IT department and business operations is as complicated as any marriage. Accountability, honesty and communication are key.

Doubling Up (Bloomberg)

Square, one of the best start-ups to work for, is aiming to hire 250 new employees this year, doubling its current staff.

Hiring (CBS Detroit)

Genesis10, an IT outsourcing and consultancy firm, is looking to fill 100 positions in Detroit. Openings include those for project managers, software engineers and data management experts. The company is holding a career open-house next week.

Scrutiny (WSJ)

Groupon's revisionist accounting has led to closer scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission. A formal investigation hasn't been launched, but criticism of the daily deals company is increasing.

Switching Teams (AllThingsD)

American Express has poached eBay executive Neal Sample to become its senior vice president of technologies. The hire is part of AmEx's push into digital payments.

Founder Drama (TechCrunch)

Pinterest, one of the tech's most promising start-ups, has lost co-founder and co-chief executive Paul Sciarra. His co-founder Ben Silbermann will take the reins of the company.

Buzz Around the Office

Bloomberg's Inner Circle 2012 (YouTube)

It's a Bloomberg party!

List of the Day: Avoiding Burnout

You're wrong if you think burnout only happens to the plus-40 set. Here's how to avoid it at an early age.

1. Know when to take a break, and take one.

2. Be prepared for the low times and how you will handle them.

3. Take time to be on your own.

(Source: Forbes)

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