As Sinatra so famously crooned years ago, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. Our Dropbox office in the heart of the city has been making it for nearly five years now, and is filled with team members of all different backgrounds. Sandeep Ayyappan, Avneesh Kohli, and Sam Jau, who all work with our product team, have had unique experiences working in the NY office — not only with each other, but with the overall tech scene in the area.
Sam didn’t always live in NYC. He worked for several years in product design in our San Francisco headquarters before moving to New York and transitioning into a managerial role. He’s found that the connection with the surrounding community in NYC, as well as internal teams, has been essential to his growth and success.
“Moving from San Francisco to New York was really about the diversity of people. In San Francisco you get some really good talent, people who are giants in the tech industry, but being out here in NYC you have people who are also really smart but are from many different backgrounds. On the design side, we’re all just much more plugged in to the wider design community, not just tech design. Many of our design events we hold will have a room full of designers from the New York Times or ad agencies or other industries. That diversity of backgrounds makes not only for stronger teams, but more interesting teams.”
Sandeep, the product lead for New York’s Premium team, is one of those team members who brings a unique set of skills to the table. He helped run a startup for a few years before meeting the previous product lead at Dropbox New York through a friend. When she explained the open product position over lunch, he was immediately interested.
“She explained to me that Dropbox really wanted to build out an entrepreneurial culture in New York, and position the New York team as one that builds out a lot of new products. I got pretty excited about the opportunity to build new things at a larger company.”
“There aren’t that many companies like Dropbox in the New York tech ecosystem, so people are usually intrigued by the fact that we have a meaningful and sizable presence in New York. There’s obviously the big ones like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, but at that next tier down in size, not that many companies in New York that have the footprint that we do. It gives us a unique position in the tech community here.”
Avneesh, a Senior Product Manager, has only worked at the NYC office for a few months. But he’s already had the opportunity to appreciate how Dropbox’s entrepreneurial presence seems to draw other tech companies in. The office hosts open events, including design meetups, product seminars, a series of engineering talks, and more.
“You get to know a much larger percentage of the people here,” said Avneesh. “It’s a much more intimate feel. I also really like the fact that we’re one of many tech companies in the general area where our office is, so not only are we able to run into other Dropbox people, but people from other companies as well, to exchange ideas and brainstorm.”
These opportunities for connection have helped the New York team to build not only innovative products for Dropbox, but their own culture as well.
Said Sam, “It’s all about building relationships. When I go to San Francisco it’s usually like ten back-to-back coffee chats, and it’s so important to do that, because that trust carries over when you’re back to New York. Being out here, the positive side is that there’s more of a chance to shape processes and culture within your team. It’s more like, ‘How do we leverage the fact that we’re remote?’”
Avneesh added, “We’re not necessarily reliant on certain disciplines that are only in San Francisco. We get to build products and our culture in a way that feels really natural to the teams and people in this office.”
Interested in putting your skills to the test in the Big Apple? Check out our jobs page for current openings.