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9 Inspirational Quotes for Startups from the Cofounder & CEO of Dropbox, Drew Houston

Drew Houston Startup QuotesDrew Houston (pronounced like the NYC street, not the town in Texas) is the man we can thank for bringing us the cloud-based file-sharing service, Dropbox. This year his company brought in the funding that put it in the 10-figure club, and Houston with it.

Dropbox is Houston’s sixth startup. Of his earlier startup attempts, he says he was “ramen profitable” at best. He graduated from MIT a term early in 2006 and was invited back in 2013 as a commencement speaker. Though only in his early 30’s, his remarks for both new graduates and entrepreneurs are based in personal experience.

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

“Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward.”

“The hardest-working people don’t work hard because they’re disciplined. They work hard because working on an exciting problem is fun.”

“Surrounding yourself with inspiring people is now just as important as being talented or working hard.”

“Where you live matters: there’s only one MIT. And there’s only one Hollywood and only one Silicon Valley. This isn’t a coincidence: for whatever you’re doing, there’s usually only one place where the top people go. You should go there. Don’t settle for anywhere else. Meeting my heroes and learning from them gave me a huge advantage. Your heroes are part of your circle too — follow them.”

“The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is that you know what you’re doing.”

“You need that hunger no matter what, because eventually the honeymoon period wears off. Somewhere between printing your business cards that say ‘founder’ on them and everything else you have to do, you realize, ‘Oh, actually this is a ton of work.’”

“A lot of times it’s an asset to not know everything about everything… A lot of really great, innovative things have happened when people just didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be possible.”

“You have to adopt a mindset that says, ‘Okay, in three months, I’ll need to know all this stuff, and then in six months there’s going to be a whole other set of things to know — again in a year, in five years.’ The tools will change, the knowledge will change, the worries will change.”

-Drew Houston, Cofounder & CEO, Dropbox