Did you catch that? Steve Jobs invited Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, to his office to play Let’s Make a Deal. And Drew Houston walked away.
Why? In the written interview for Forbes and the video above you get clued into Houston’s reasoning.
- “He said we were a feature, not a product.” Apparently, Jobs was thinking that Dropbox would be a great feature… what is now iCloud. (Which is buggy and I’ve turned off, by the way.)
- “We are excited about the prospect of building a really great and independent company.“
Those two statements have great meaning if you understand how the tech industry works. In the tech ecosystem there are whales and minnows and only a few medium-sized fish in the middle. The whales go around and gobble up anything that looks tasty. If you are a minnow your goal, largely, is to get swallowed by a whale. Virtually no company survives a full life cycle from minnow start-up to medium-sized company to big great, independent company. The whales have too much money and too many lawyers. (see Patent Troll)
While at first blush every tech start-up I’ve ever met will tell you that they are excited about their product line and would love to grow into a great company, the reality is that acquisition is probably their exit strategy. If you asked them, “Would you sell to Google?” Almost everyone will say yes because as they grow they realize a couple of things.
- They are great entrepreneurs/inventors and not great managers of people.
- They have a product and not a company. It might be their 4th product which hits and makes them a household name but they can’t see past the success of their first product.
- They are starters and not sustainers. Their business model is short-sighted.
- They want to cash out to get billions, bottles, and babes.
What does this have to do with people in ministry?
- If you want to build a great ministry you have to keep innovating. You can’t get so hung up on perfecting your first “product” that you stop innovating altogether and never find the thing that hits.
- If you want to build a great ministry you have to be a great manager of people.
- If you want to build a great ministry you have to sustain. Stop looking for a better job and make your job the best job you could ever get.
- If you want to build a great ministry you better forget about billions, bottles, and babes.