World-famous companies that began with MVP
Many world-renowned products—Dropbox, Uber, Buffer, Twitter,
Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Airbnb, Amazon,
Foursquare, Zappos, etc.—started their way with MVP. Before
establishing “The everything store”, Bezos and team provided service
to order books directly from the distributor. This was the birth of
The initial Uber version had only two features—connecting drivers
with customers and carrying out payments. This simplicity allowed
Uber to attract investment and gradually create a multi-billion
dollar company with a support system around the world. Now, let’s go
deeper and consider how Dropbox was transformed from a startup into
a large successful company.
An example with Dropbox
Dropbox is a global software provider for storing files in the
cloud, synchronizing them across all devices, and sharing photos and
videos. The organization also delivers personal cloud and client
software. Established in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi,
Dropbox emerged as a simple tool to synchronize user files on all
On a long bus ride, Drew Houston forgot to take his USB flash drive
and began making the first version of Dropbox right on that trip.
First, he designed a prototype. Although it wasn’t ready for a
public release, the idea was to check if others encountered a file
To validate this hypothesis, Drew created a short video
demonstrating MVP in action and explaining its functionality. This
enabled to increase the number of users waiting for beta testing
from 5,000 to 75,000 overnight. With gained knowledge that many
people really needed a solution to store and access their files, he
After building an MVP, engineers gradually extended a new product.
In April 2012, Dropbox implemented a new feature to give users the
ability to easily upload photos and videos on the cloud. They were
also provided with 3 GB extra space to store them.
In November 2014, the company entered into a partnership with
Microsoft to let Office customers access Dropbox from iOS and
Android smartphones as well as edit their files in Dropbox. This
update also allowed linking Dropbox accounts directly to the Word,
Excel, and PowerPoint iPad applications.
In 2015, Dropbox improved data security by adding two-factor
authentication. In 2016, it released a mobile app version—available
on iOS and Android platforms—for its document-editing software
Founded 12,5 years ago as a small startup, now the organization
employs over 2,300 specialists and serves millions of users
worldwide (from 100 million users in 2012 to 500 million in 2016).
Currently, Dropbox offers rich functionality across all devices from
desktop to mobile.