Billionaire Dropbox CEO reveals hiring secrets

Billionaire Dropbox CEO reveals hiring secrets

The 33-year-old multi-billionaire CEO of internet juggernaut Dropbox has revealed some of the insights that got him to where he is today – including how he goes about hiring.

Drew Houston told The New York Times he has a list of go-to questions to gauge the suitability of candidates.

These include:

1. Who is the best in the world at what you do?

2. Who are your influences?

3. What have you learned in the last year?

4. If you were able to sit yourself down ten years ago, what advice would you give your younger self?

5. What are the most important lessons you've taken away?

He said that he thinks these five questions help him understand if a candidate has the qualities he’s after.

"I'm drawn to people who really love their craft, and treat it like a craft, and are always trying to be better and are obsessed with what separates great from good,” he said.

Houston also revealed a little of how his mind works, revealing that if he had a cheat sheet he could give himself at 22, it would have three things on it: "a tennis ball, a circle, and the number 30,000."

The tennis ball, he said, is about finding the thing you're infatuated with.

"The most successful people and successful entrepreneurs I know are all obsessed with solving a problem that really matters to them," Houston explained. "I use the tennis ball for that idea because of my dog, who gets this crazy, obsessed look on her face when you throw the ball for her."

The circle, meanwhile, is about the idea that "you're the average of your five closest friends, so make sure to put yourself in an environment that pulls the best out of you."

And lastly, the number 30,000 is about making the most of your life.

He said: "When I was 24, I came across this website that says most people live for about 30,000 days. So you have to make every day count."

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Comments (1)

  • Jay Staniforth
    Jay Staniforth
    Wed, 8 Jun 2016 12:38pm BST
    This is great, Houston's outlook is brilliant. Even in himself he simplifies the 3 complex reasons or motivations he has in his life into 3 objects.
    I love the 30,000 days concept and the circle, the tennis ball is equally good (although my dog isn't bothered by them too much). Interesting choice of questions also, focusing on the candidates love for their job (or craft as he put it). Having a passion for what you do is the only way to deliver every day, no matter how you feel, no matter what problems you are facing outside.

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