Aaron Levie: Start a mobile enterprise startup!

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Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, issued a challenge at the Startups Uncensored event in Santa Monica last week:

I bet you five dollars… that you cannot name a company that just emerged because of mobile in the enterprise… that has just exploded. Something that has fundamentally changed because of mobility.

Despite billions of new devices being introduced in a very short time, we’ve not seen a fundamental shift in B2B solutions for problems that have could suddenly have powerful solutions that were never conceivable before. Part of this is, to be sure, that rapid change can get in its way; the Blackberry roller coaster certainly threw a few extra hurdles into the mix, as well. Even so, a vast number of successful consumer products companies have emerged not just as extensions of web and social businesses, but as independent mobile-first startups.

The same can’t be said about the extremely lucrative enterprise side of the mobile-first coin. Let’s look at just one aspect of how smartphone adoption could affect the enterprise now and in the immediate future: Now that everyone has a smartphone, it’s actually feasible to have a large company implement a BYOD policy and leverage many communication and tracking opportunities while eliminating redundancies and paper waste. From the startup world’s perspective, the problems and risks associated with such a path are in fact where many of the best opportunities lie. Cross-device synchronicity, reliability, analytics, and especially security will be prized (and well rewarded). Obviously there will be competition from such enterprise powerhouses as Box and Salesforce, but if businesses employ the same people who are downloading dozens of consumer apps, it seems likely that some mobile-first companies will reach a level of traction that will be impossible to ignore.

So if any of you budding entrepreneurs are looking to start the next billion dollar company, keep Levie’s challenge in mind.

Docstoc has uploaded the video of the entire Jason Nazar interview with Aaron Levie:

[The challenge comes at 49:18]

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