Romeo Gonzalez on maintaining high standards
Dropbox lawyer Romeo Gonzalez explores what it means to set a high bar as the company scales.
What did you do before Dropbox?
Prior to Dropbox, I worked in the legal department at Facebook. I supported various e-commerce initiatives, and was the primary commercial attorney for partnerships involving gaming and payment processing.
Why did you decide to join Dropbox?
I admired what Dropbox had accomplished in such a short time: they had created a service that allowed its users to store, sync, and share their stuff in a seamless and elegant manner. I also figured that Dropbox would look to move into the enterprise market, and that was appealing to me because of my experience in that space. I was excited to join Dropbox not only because its aspirations resonated with my own, but also because, at a relatively early stage in the company, I felt I could contribute in a significant manner to help Dropbox achieve those aspirations.
What surprised you about Dropbox when you joined?
I was surprised by the people here, and I continue to be surprised by them every day! Everyone at Dropbox is so sharp and focused, but also so collaborative and humble. I think we’ve done a great job of preserving that culture as we continue to grow.
What do you do at Dropbox?
I’m on the commercial team in the legal group. I work with other Dropboxers and provide legal advice as we negotiate deals with other companies. I tend to work with the sales and partnerships teams, but also support our infrastructure and office teams from time to time. When Dropbox negotiates a Dropbox for Business contract with a customer, or when Dropbox finalizes a deal for distribution of Dropbox with a device manufacturer, chances are someone on the commercial team was involved in the negotiations.
What are the most challenging and exciting aspects of your job?
We have a very high standard for the quality and level of support that we provide our fellow Dropboxers. As the company grows, the most challenging thing will be to meet the increased work volume while maintaining our quality standards. One way to address this is to create resources and implement processes that make use of our legal team members in the most efficient manner possible. Being able to set the groundwork for that process is exciting because it will set the foundation for future Dropboxers.
What’s unique about being a part of the legal team at Dropbox?
This is a very exciting place to be, from a legal practice standpoint. Because the team is still pretty small, there are always opportunities to work on matters outside your own area of expertise. For example: I’ve always had an interest in real estate, and really enjoyed my real property class in law school. When I joined Dropbox, we needed someone to manage our real estate work with outside counsel, and I was happy to take on that responsibility. I don’t get too involved in the work itself, but just being able to learn a little more about that area has been a lot of fun for me.
What have been some of your favorite moments at Dropbox so far?
Hack Week this past year comes to mind. Seeing people working together into the late hours of the night, and then getting to see their projects was just amazing.
Another of my favorite moments is when we made “Two Account” available to our customers. It’s so useful to be able to toggle between your personal and work account. That hassle-free experience is what we’ve all come to expect from Dropbox, whether we work here or not.
What do you hope to see next for yourself and for Dropbox?
I am truly excited to see Dropbox continue to expand into the enterprise market. There’s so much opportunity to make it easier for people to share and collaborate with one another at work, and I think Dropbox is in a really good position to make that happen. As for myself, I’m really just looking forward to helping out wherever I can along the way.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?
I studied engineering in undergrad and worked at a large conglomerate in their aerospace division prior to attending law school. I enjoyed engineering, but was always more interested in research, particularly research on propulsion. So if I wasn’t a lawyer, I probably would be conducting research in that field, either in academia or at a government or private research facility.
How would you describe Dropbox in three words?
Energetic, collaborative, and optimistic. Our office is buzzing the majority of the time, and it can be very contagious. Everyone is dead set on helping Dropbox achieve its goals — and we have very lofty goals.
Dropbox is growing. We’d love for you to join us.