I first covered Box (then Box.net) in the summer of 2009, when the startup brazenly put up a billboard along 101 claiming that its storage service could better handle your data than Microsoft's SharePoint offering.
A bold move. Silicon Valley is littered with the carcasses of startups taking on the big guys, but instead of folding, Box launched - since then, it's grown, moved into two different headquarters, pulled in multiple rounds of funding, and hired a ton of people.
Now, Box goes to work with BoxWorks, its annual convention bringing together techies, venture capitalists, and rockers. This year promises to be entertaining, from tuesday morning's keynote by young founder (and frequent couch-jumper) Aaron Levie, to the closing concert from Weezer.
Somehow, Box has managed to (as its PR team is fond of saying) "make the Enterprise sexy." That's really not easy. Add "Enterprise" to any sentence, and you pretty much remove any sex appeal that previously existed. Try it: "Ryan Gosling/Rihanna/Robert Pattinson/Ashwari Rai (and that's just some random "R" names...) working with the Enterprise on software solutions in the cloud....."
It just never works.
And yet ..
Investors fall all over each other to invest in Box. Speculation on when it will go public fills lots of blogs. And, the company got Weezer to close out the conference.
Started by Levie and Dylan Smith as a college business project back in 1995, Box has become a true Silicon Valley success story. Now, lots of companies big and small talk up their "Cloud" offerings, while Box itself continues to grow and hire, even offering a two-story slide to its visitors when they walk into the lobby.
It's a nice, fun touch. If it took you straight up instead of down, it would be a good symbol for the company's fortunes so far.
Scott will update BoxWorks on Twitter: @scottbudman