Thursday, March 27th, 2014

My Thoughts On Box Dev: Guest Post by Steve Herrod


This week, I had the pleasure of participating in the BoxDev 2014 event in San Francisco along with ~1000 registrants – very impressive numbers. I’ve long been a fan and user of Box and have several friends and former colleagues working there. I’ve certainly enjoyed getting to know Aaron Levie as well and am pleased to have him as a co-investor in stealth start-up Illumio.


I was on the VC panel with Christine Herron, Mamoon Hamid, Jerry Chen, and moderator Sam Schillace (above courtesy of Oxygen PR). There were lots of attendees looking to create the next big enterprise startup and with plenty of questions – what should the salesforce look like, what metrics are key for fundraising, what are the opportunities in healthcare/retail/oil&gas/etc. Quite an engaged audience!

This was part of the one day event held at Fort Mason and with two tracks:

  1. Build Track: These talks focused on the APIs for Box’s platform and how startups can integrate with and build upon Box. The APIs are pretty straightforward and you can learn more about them here.
  2. Innovate Track: These talks focused on insights and lessons learned from various folks in the enterprise software space – VCs, big company CIOs, and CEOs of promising startups (including GC-backed CEOs Andrew Rubin of Illumio and Josh Reeves of ZenPayroll).

Box fits squarely into the mobile-first infrastructure theme that I’m focusing on (think I can make an ex post facto A-round investment?). In fact, it fits many of the categories core to satisfying this next stage of IT.

  • APIs before apps: This whole event has been about offering API access to users’ files and content stored in Box. These APIs allow a rich set of tools and collaboration services to be built around the core content (with the mandatorymarketplace), but also allows Box to more easily integrate into the existing enterprise infrastructure – key to adoption by bigger companies.
  • Porous perimeters: This is a core value of enterprise-ready cloud services such as Box. In a world where employees access their apps and files from inside and outside of their own firewall, you need to put protection around the most important asset (content) and this is most easily done by centralizing said content. This is the modern equivalent of enterprises pushing all data off of PCs and laptops and onto NFS and CIFS shares so more easily enable proper permissions, backup, and reporting. The big difference is that now the content needs to be ubiquitously accessible from any device and any location.
  • Identity crises: And of course core to all of this is ensuring that the right person is accessing the content under the right policy. As with all mobile-first infrastructure, single sign-on, AD/LDAP integration, group policies, and audit trails are requirements and a core part of the Box offering (and surely an area they are quizzed on regularly).

Congrats on the great event, Box!


    Thanks Stephen for your kind mention. Go BOX!

  • Anthony J. Alfidi

    It really was a well-run conference. Box Dev 2014 brought tech thought leaders together to discuss cloud enterprise sharing. Adding a hackathon will prove there’s a Box ecosystem. See you next year. BTW, I’d love to be on a panel if you like my synopsis: