About a year ago, I took a sabbatical. At the time, I told myself that I was doing it purely to support my kids. The pandemic had really beat them up, and I needed to spend some focused time with them.
During the sabbatical, I stayed really busy. We built a house. I took my daughter to Europe. I joined the city planning commission and the skatepark committee. I coached soccer and mountain biking.
After the holidays, I decided it was time to look for my next career adventure. Working with the folks at Pavilion, I build an “ideal job profile” - the job I really wanted. Among the things that were important to me, the top features the role needed to have were:
A cybersecurity product.
I have been in cybersecurity for at least 10 years, but in some ways much longer. One of my first jobs was making sure the master copies of Microsoft CD-ROMs were virus-free. The reason I like cybersecurity is that it’s unequivocally “good work”. You’re making money by doing good things for the world.
There are around 40,000 cybersecurity companies addressing the $200B market.
Many, if not most of those companies are copycats. They’re doing almost exactly what some other company has already done, maybe a little better, maybe a little worse. There's a saying that there is nothing new under the sun. This has never been truer than in cybersecurity. EDR, MDR, XDR, DLP, EUBA, ZTNA, etc. etc.. It’s all just a slightly different color of the same wallpaper.
An opportunity to build.
Building steam from a grain of salt is what I love to do. From individual deals to territories to products to companies, I have spent my career building from nothing to something. Taking a grand vision and then ideating, creating, iterating, and honing the pieces of the vision are what I take the most pleasure in doing.
The dumbest guy in the room.
Don't get me wrong, I don’t consider myself dumb, but I know when I’m dealing with exceptional intellects. I don’t want to be around pontificating blabbermouths who take pleasure in overruling others because of their credentials or so-called experience. The smart people I’m talking about are the ones who approach a problem with a mixture of humility and confidence, and who choose their words carefully.
Ship great product.
Most importantly, I wanted to work for a company that could ship high quality products quickly to respond to customer needs. The security landscape is constantly changing, and businesses need solutions that they can trust, and they need to get those solutions quickly and with a minimum of fuss.
After spending a lot of time talking to literally hundreds of people about my next direction, I began to think that my standards might have been a bit high. I went through a number of interviews with companies that seemed promising, but turned out to be lacking one or more of the major requirements I had laid out.
I started to get somewhat frustrated. I got pretty far down the road with a company that have been a good fit, but their product had major challenges, significant competition, and there was a 10 hour time difference. I talked with another company that had a great product which solved a new problem, but they were shipping new features slowly and didn’t want to listen to new ideas from prospects.
About this time I came across EchoMark.
Troy and the team had a crazy idea. It was something completely new that had never been tried before. The technology addressed insider risk, insider threat deterrence, and data exfiltration investigation all in one easy-to-deploy system. The solution used brand new capabilities which only became possible in the past couple of years, and combined technology with human psychology to deliver better outcomes. The team blew my mind, both with their depth of experience and their breadth of exposure.
Most importantly, this company could ship product faster than I had ever seen before. The engineering talent was stellar. The release velocity was surprising.
Don’t get me wrong, EchoMark isn’t perfect. There’s still so much we don’t know about our customer, our competition, the future motion of the market, and all kinds of other things.
What keeps me excited, and gets me out of bed every day, is that the team understands how critical it is to know these things deeply and to respond to them quickly and without regret for the time already spent. This is a company that has all the hallmarks of one that will bust through the barriers and quickly execute the pivots to deliver amazing, lasting customer relationships and build enterprise value as a result.
I couldn’t be more excited.