Eight years, one mission: build a business

8_year_timeline

My company, Onehub, recently celebrated its eight year anniversary. It’s crazy to think about how different the startup world was just eight years ago. In 2007, the iPhone had just launched, unicorns were still rare, and file sharing was just crossing over into the mainstream.

Over the course of those eight years, the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) space has spawned and attracted the attention of giants:

  • Dropbox took more than $1 billion in funding
  • Box went public
  • Both Microsoft and Google are making aggressive moves into the space

Faced with daunting competition like that, it would be easy to throw our hands up and throw in the towel. But we don’t, because we are too busy building a lasting business.

Om Malik wrote a piece about how Value, Not Valuations is Good Business. In it, he posits three broad reasons people start companies. From that post:

  • You personally need a product or a service and don’t see it on the market, so you decide to do something about it. Some people call it “scratching an itch.”
  • You believe in the mission so much that you don’t have a choice but to start something to make it a reality.
  • You see a market opportunity and decide to go after it, even though the reasons aren’t personal.

When we started Onehub in 2007, there were consumer file sharing and sync tools available, but there was a need for enterprise grade collaboration tools. We knew we could provide a better solution, and were compelled to make a product that suited our business needs.

The other part to Malik’s piece discusses the madness over valuations in the tech world. How X funding gives a startup Y valuation is constantly scrutinized in the Valley. He argues there’s too much focus from founders on valuations and not enough on creating value and building a business.  

Building a business is what we’ve done at Onehub for the past eight years. We’ve only taken $3 million in funding total, so chasing paper valuations has never been a distraction for us. Instead, we focus on building a better product and experience for our customers every day.

This focus on building a business is paying off as we head into year nine:

  • We have more than 1.2 million users sharing their business data through Onehub
  • We ended 2014 with a net profit for the year
  • Last month was one of our best sales months ever

All of this despite the fact that we face bigger competition on more fronts than ever before. Eight years is a long time for any startup. Thankfully for Onehub, our business is just beginning.