This blog is mostly about cooking, running and life outside work, so this might be a little off-topic for many of my readers. However work/life integration (not just balance) is something that, I’m sure, we all strive for. I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while, but given that we were in stealth made it that much harder to write about, until now. I’m super excited to say that I joined Menlo Security as Chief Technology Officer earlier this February.
A number of factors influenced my decision to join this amazing team, one of which was most definitively balancing my love of adrenalin filled startup-life with equal love of endorphin inducing ultra-running (see what I learned from my 20-mile commute runs). My first conversation with Amir (co-founder and CEO) early last year started out with, “if we were to completely rethink security because we have infinite (hypothetically) compute power, what would it look like?” I was intrigued at first, but intrigue turned into amazement the more I learned about the underlying approach. There are many reasons why I chose to join Menlo Security, but these five stand out (not necessarily in the order below):
5. Menlo Security Has An Outstanding Team
Combining a great founding team with cutting-edge research coming out of the academia, this project had excitement written all over it. The founding team has a very diverse background from small startups to large companies – encompasses cloud, virtualization and security. Members of this team have been through acquisitions, ridden the startup roller coaster ride numerous times, and are super experienced in delivering great products to the market. I was genuinely blown away with how the team responded to a very large customer by getting them what they wanted in a matter of two weeks that worked flawlessly the first time around. The GSD (Get S*#$ Done) attitude is truly refreshing. Here’s a few of us at work. Hey, look I’m standing in the back wearing my totally awesome Big Basin 50K t-shirt!
4. Ginormous Market Size
When I started my last company Mu Dynamics, we were attempting to create a new category of products. While there’s no right and wrong, these kind of startups have a fairly long evangelistic phase where you are trying to explain what you do to educate customers. This time around, I was looking for the opposite – a startup focused on a very large market with an unserved or underserved need. Menlo Security seemed to fit that bill. Enterprises are tired of many security products that frankly suck wind. You read about companies getting hacked all the time in the news. These companies are spending billions of dollars on security products and yet, their security problems haven’t gone away.
3. Product Market Fit
This one’s a tough nut to crack for every single startup out there. Many of them start with a hypothesis, an idea there could be a need for a product in the market. And this takes time and money to validate. But when some of the largest enterprises come knocking on your door, I’d say you better take notice. That’s a rare occurrence and more than just dumb luck. Says a lot about how Menlo Security has the right product market fit.
2. Culmination of Three Things I Love
I have a somewhat unusual background in that, my life in Silicon Valley started out in Computer Graphics. Then I moved on to Network/Application Security and more recently built large-scale distributed systems in the cloud. I love this vantage point of seeing lines (see my last blog on an A Very Introspective Mt. Tam 50K for what I’m talking about) across a diverse set of industries that others might fail to see. And at Menlo Security, I get to exercise this vantage point in a way I haven’t done before.
1. Enterprise Software With A Personal Touch
In other words, I can explain what I do (finally!) to my Mom. Enterprise Software has always been an unwieldy, large, bloated piece of esoteric software that appeals just to businesses. Even the customers that use these products at work would rather not talk about it when they get home. Menlo Security has a unique product that solves major business problems, but is also incredibly appealing to those using it day to day. And that makes it so much more fun. So follow us on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter and we are hiring!
With that said, look forward to my next post reviewing Salomon Hydro 5 Racing Vest followed by a neat recipe for Vegan Stuffing in time for Turkey Day! And BTW, I recently added Woodside Ramble 50K to my race calendar. That would be my 12th, marathon-or-longer-distance run for the year!
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