Software Engineer, Employee #1 at Dropbox

Aston Motes grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, a small town with plenty of computers to keep him occupied. “I always had computers around me,” Motes says in an interview with Fast Company, “…and that’s due to my dad, who I think earlier than most people not in Silicon Valley realized the power of personal computation.” He began learning about code in middle school, and by high school knew the engineering life was for him.

Motes eventually left home to study Computer Science and Engineering at MIT. During his summers, he interned at Microsoft and Google. Motes graduated with a Bachelors of Science in 2007, and became a software engineer at OkCupid in New York. Shortly after seeing Dropbox founders pitch the idea for their Y Combinator-backed company, Motes moved to San Francisco and became Employee #1 at Dropbox.

Founded in 2007 by fellow MIT students, Dropbox is a large file-hosting company, the fastest SaaS company to reach $1billion revenue run rate. “Dropbox, I used to joke, was an equal opportunity company only because we just happened to get a super, super diverse early crew.” The company still has yet to IPO, but rumors are swirling that it could be coming later this year.

Motes left Dropbox in 2012 after seeing the company grow from 3 to 130 people. He is now an entrepreneur and founder of his own company, Assorted Bits.

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