Dylan Smith profile picture

Dylan Smith

Chief Financial Officer, Box.net

Box provides cloud-based content management for 6 million users and 60,000 companies ranging from small businesses to the Fortune 500.

BUSINESS BRIEFING

Business goal for the next 12 months: To increase IT/CIO awareness and continue gaining traction in the Fortune 500.

Advice you wish you had received: When we started Box I was 19 and was afraid to hire senior people, but now I know that experienced leaders help you learn faster and grow faster. I also should have focused less on the bottom line early on and instead focused on growing market share.

Best business decision: Recognizing early what our best customers wanted and shifting our strategy to meet those needs. We shifted our focus from B-C to B-B, which changed the way we deliver our service and has proved extremely successful.

Toughest business decision: Knowing which opportunities to say no to. It’s possible to do too many things and dilute the limited resources we have. It’s hard to say no to clients who want to spend a lot of money for feature or interface specificity. But doing that dilutes Box’s value to everyone else.

Person most admired: I admire many people but perhaps the most is Larry Page, Google’s CEO. His role has evolved a lot but he continues to do what he loves and Google continues to stay true to its values and its original vision. That said, I’d probably admire him more if he had Vibrams like Sergey.

Like most about job: The chaos, the ability to make decisions quickly, and the ability to work closely with a great team.

Like least about job: Having to deal with the realities of scaling rapidly, such as implementing policies and having to move the company every 18 months.

Dream job: I’m doing it, and maybe someday I’ll have a similar role with a non-profit that allows me to travel.

BEHIND THE SUIT

Birthplace: Born in LA but grew up in Seattle.

Education: Duke University.

Favorite book: Growing up it was always Lord of the Ringsbut now I spend most of my time reading business books. Geoffrey Moore is probably my favorite author now.

Favorite movie: Star Wars!

Outside of work: My hours outside of work are pretty limited these days but I love to cook and I coach a Little League team.