This morning, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was named as the fourth member of the Board of Directors of San Francisco-based cloud storage company Dropbox. In a surprise move this afternoon, Rice addressed Dropbox employees in a speech. Thanks to a well-placed mole, we managed to get a copy of the full text:
Good afternoon, everyone. I'd like to thank your CEO, Drew Houston, for naming me to the Board of Directors. It's a strong vote of confidence. I know that my joining the Board might be a little awkward for many of you, since I was responsible for many of the national security decisions that forced you to pretend to be from Canada during your semester abroad in Europe or—in some cases—to flee from your home countries after an American invasion. To the first group let me say, man up, already. To the second, you're welcome. I hope you like your new freedom.
I know that some of you might have had political disagreements with the Bush administration. That's okay. I'll just say this in our defense. Don't think of it like we tortured people. Think of it that maybe we disrupted their throats with water a little bit. And sure, we invaded Iraq after we were attacked by terrorists based in Afghanistan. But that's not so crazy. I mean, if your biggest threat was Google, wouldn't you want to attack Apple? That just makes sense.
In many ways, my work as a board member of Dropbox is going to be an extension of my projects as a Stanford professor and a consultant for RiceHadleyGates. Only, you know, in the cloud. So here's my advice for Dropbox moving forward. I'd like to focus on three areas—our competitors, our internal security, and the continuing protests of technology companies here in the Bay Area. I'll go in order.
What should Dropbox do about its market competitors, especially Salesforce and Box?
As I was telling my husb—as I was telling Drew Houston, we have to convince our users that Salesforce and Box represent an "axis of evil," if you will, and that Marc Benioff has acquired weapons of mass destruction, or at least the means to produce them quickly.
It doesn't matter if it's true. And it doesn't matter if Box is just basically a make-believe company with no revenue. Never pass up a chance to attack someone who isn't really a threat to you. That makes you look crazy—and that scares off your real competitors. Here's the plan: Punish Salesforce, ignore Box, and forgive Google.
What about user concerns about their privacy and security?
I think those criticisms have been overblown. In fact, I think the mainstream media hasn't told you the full story. Although Dropbox was hacked in 2012, I categorically reject the charge that our security team should have been prepared for that intrusion. It doesn't matter that the CEO's Daily Briefing a month before the break-in was titled "Hackers Determined to Strike Dropbox." It was information based on old reporting. We can't be held responsible for failing to anticipate it.
What should Dropbox do in response to that security breach? I'm told that those responsible were a rogue group of hackers, motivated by a nihilist ideology. So, obviously, the thing we need to do is to convince everyone that Salesforce has or soon will have chemical and biological weapons. The link is very clear to me. We've got to leverage the attack so that we can scale our platform.
What about the Google Bus protestors?
Um, isn't that resolved yet? Clearly, the natives are now celebrating their new freedoms, bestowed upon them in $1-per-bus-stop increments. The insurgency is obviously in its last throes. I'd advise stringing up a sign over Valencia Street that reads "Mission Accomplished" and inviting the press to take photos. That should be the last we hear of that.
To conclude, I think it would be wise to say a little about my work as National Security Advisor for the Bush administration. I'm proud of our work in keeping American safe and in spreading freedom throughout the globe.
God bless America, and God bless Dropbox.