Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Welcoming Steven Sinofsky as a Box Advisor

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I’m thrilled to announce that Steven Sinofsky is officially an advisor to Box. In this role, he’ll lend his experience and insights as we take Box’s product and platform strategies and organizations to the next level. But first, a little background.

I’ve gotten to know Steven over the past six months. It all started with an unsolicited Facebook message last fall, and not only did Steven not block me, he graciously responded. In fact, he even visited Box HQ to learn about what we are working on.

Steven Sinofsky (Developer)Steven has a stronger and more fluid vision for the future of computing than almost anyone I’ve met. As we kept talking and sometimes meeting over Pho, I realized we had to get him involved with Box.

In his 20 years at Microsoft, Steven managed some of the company’s most important products and services: Windows, Office, SharePoint, and SkyDrive, among other groups. He’s seen firsthand where the market has been, and more importantly, he understands where the industry is going.

Post-Microsoft, he’s pushed his vision for the industry even further. You can see this in perhaps the best (and maybe only) 10,000 words ever written on the subject. In his latest “Continuous Productivity” piece, he predicts: “Tools will be quite different from those that grew up through the desktop PC era. At the highest level the implications about how tools are used are profound. New tools are being developed today—these are not “ports” of existing tools for mobile platforms, but ideas for new interpretations of tools or new combinations of technologies.”

Most of the software used within today’s enterprises was born in the PC era. But this is changing. At Box, we’re focused on pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the workplace. We need to do this in a way that helps customers transition comfortably from the prior paradigm, while ensuring we don’t merely port old technologies linearly to the future. While there are often challenges for some in making transitions, true leadership will come from companies that are “all in” with technology changes rather than just dipping a proverbial toe.

The way we work is changing dramatically, and the abundance of information technology available to every individual, team, and company is going to revolutionize every business process imaginable: how supply chains are organized, how marketing teams collaborate, how sales professionals engage with clients, and how we discover new drugs and conduct research. We’re going to need very different tools to enable these new kinds of productivity.

Innovations like Google Docs, WhatsApp, Quip and the iPhone have given us a glimpse into a world that’s more synchronous, connected, and mobile. These revolutions are now driving a new era in enterprise software. And ushering an old one out: the desktop is not where people want to work; the server faces economics challenges; and software that needs to installed, managed and learned is no longer acceptable.

Steven has spent much of his career thinking about technology transformations, navigating them, and — in many cases — helping to drive them. We’re very excited to have him advising us as we hopefully bring the next generation of tools to the next billion workers.