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The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 2 years ago

Jon Oberheide, Co-founder Duo Security - Getting Early Customers by Sending Pizza and 5-hour Energy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

After growing up in Ann Arbor and attending the University of Michigan, Jon Oberheide and his partner Dug Song started their career as offensive security researchers. 

 

They soon found that it’s really easy to break things in the security space but it's a lot harder to build something resilient. 

 

Jon joins us on this episode of The Founder Formula to share the story of their journey, and some of the simple solutions they were able to identify early on such as: 

 

 - Changing the customer experience 

 

 - Making free trials available 

 

 - Offering a solution that can deploy in 5 minutes 

 

 - Purchasing with a credit card (which at that time was unheard of!) 

 

 Listen to this and all of The Founder Formula episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

And we started a company not with a crazy idea, but with the kind of understanding that we go out we talked to customers and actually figure out what problem we should solve on their behalf. The founder Formula Brings you in behind the curtains and inside the minds of today's brave executives at the most future leaning startups. Each interview will feature a transformative leader who's behind the wheel at a fast paced and innovative tech firm. They'll give you an insiders look at how companies are envisioned, created and scaled. We hope you're ready. Let's get into the show. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the founder formula. We are rapid firing these episodes. My Name is Todd Galina, and with me is traced three chief innovation officer, Mark Campbell A. Hello, hello, hello, todd. How is Bright Sunny California? Bright Sunny California is doing just fine. Thank you. And this weekend. Are you ready for this? So this weekend I will be driving up the coast. Oh which coast? I had to put that. Hey, the people of New Zealand know what I'm talking about. We're going to be taking the ten all the way to Florida and then driving up that coast nice. You might as well. You might as well know. So we're we're heading on up to big Sir. Oh, Nice, nice, super beautiful. You know, just in case, we're not allowed to like go anywhere near the beach. The views are tremendous. But I do have some terrible news regarding one of our favorite stops. But well, what what happened? So there's this this Mexican restaurant called Free Birds. It was kind of like the first ever version of chipotle and it's in Santa Barbara and it's right here next to the college. I was actually introduced to it by somebody here works at trace three, drew kither. We all had it for for a meal one time when we were doing something in Santa Barbara and since then, anytime I drive through Santa Barbara I make kind of like the long winding journey to this place and everyone it's great. So as I'm planning this trip, I'm like, Hey, I'm going to be driving through there, it's going to be like six o'clock and I just better make sure that they're open, because my wife and my daughter loved the place and I went there and I checked and it said closed, and then they had that word that just gives you the chills. Closed permanently? No, yes, it's like forever. So it's kind of like an institution, like is it like gone, gone, or does this just mean that they don't know when they're going to open? I the sense I get as they are gone, gone. But they do have other locations. You know, they have one in Los Angeles. My understanding is they have one in Utah. So the franchise will exist, but the original is now not for ever. So the as far as how good the original was, you kind of would you kind of could be lying and we'd have no way of proving it. Yeah, yeah, but those who are listening, who are familiar with it, I'm sure that those people will all agree it was a pretty awesome place. Wow. Well, that's sad to see that. Sad to see that, you know, the passing of the guard, I guess. I guess we're starting to turn in those people that are sitting on the front porch complaining about well, these new fangled things just confuse the heck out of me. Right, we're those guys now, these these new fangled Burrito and Taco making places that look like subway to drive against nature is what it is. Exactly exactly. We've got a pretty amazing guests coming our way for today's show. Yeah, I know. This guy in on the ground floor of some kind of special has gone through the whole the whole founder's journey from,...

...you know, from the academic setting and in working in the industry, starting his own GIG, growing it up into a real behemoth, a real trendsetter in the cyber security space, sold it to large company. So I mean he's kind of done the soup to nuts in this and if there's anyone out there listening kind of wanting to know, you know, how do you do that? And end this is a guy, this is a guy that's got the secret. Yeah, for sure. And he without revealing the location. He's not coming from some of the traditional places where you would see a startup like this. No, no, found it. NOPE, coming from downtown Lower Manhattan, which is kind of NEAT. That's not where that's not where he's from. Oh, I'm all right. Well, why don't we? Why don't we get it straight from the source? And why do we introduce our guests? Yeah, absolutely, let's go. Let'Sen someone with some brains start talking. Okay, a promised our guests. Hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan and is the cofounder and Cteo of duo security, which he found it in two thousand and nine. There are cybersecurity firm specializing in two factor authentication and end points security. CISCO PURCHASE THEM IN TWO THOUSAND and eighteen for two point three five billion dollars, which which isn't too bad. please. Welcome to the show, John Ober High, John, welcome. Thank you, guys. Thanks, Sun Mark, for having me. Well, it is so great to talk with you again, John, and you know, kind of a exciting to see how your neck of the industry is really coming into its own, given the current crisis is so forth. But obviously this is kind of the this is kind of further on in the movie. Let's go back to when things started. Tell US attle bit about, you know, what your motivations were on going out and starting duo and what was you know, what was that? A big push that got you, got you into roll in the dice on the startup? Yeah, I mean there's a, you know, as a long, medium, Short version of this, but I'll start with the short version of we can. We can dig it in myself and my cofounder, Doug Song, you know, we kind of set out back in late two thousand and nine, early two thousand and ten. It's really built a different kind of security company. We both had in the industry for several decades and I'm just really wanted to kind of maybe write some of the wrongs of security vendors and how they delivered products, how they treated customers, how they built their business and at the same time focus on, you know, solving some pretty fundamental problems in computer security that we've struggled with kind of since since inception and, you know, wanted to tackle the security challenges that were faced by pretty much all organizations, kind of big and small, regardless of how much Buche you had or, you know, what attackers you were facing or how sophisticated your program was. That really guided US since the early days but also still stays with us. You know, how do we how we democratize security technology by making it easy and effective? That's our stage admission as a company. It sounds kind of simple, but at the same time that's some of the biggest challenges we faced and security industries that you know, the solutions are very complicated, very costly and often times, I actually affect of solving the problems that that organizations are facing. So John Buo is a big player in zero trust. For our listeners who may not have heard of that term, can you give them the lowdown on what exactly that means? Yeah, we see our value to customers is how do you enable secure access, you know, from any user, from any device, to any application, that you do that in a secure and usable way. You know, we used to do this in a very different way, kind of in the original model of it. A few decades back. Things were very simple. You know, we we had everything within our physical four walls. You had all of your employees going to the office building using the desktop...

...computer, you know, change of the desk, all of your applications and data servers, network resided within the four walls of your your physical office. That was fine. But you know, we decided to poke a hole in that physical perimeter to enable mobility, to enable remote work, and we call that a VPN and obviously you know it of you can enables you to act as if you are in the building on the corporate network but remotely. In the modern day of it, things are a little bit more complicated. If you call it zero trust, we call it come a deep, deep primatized model. There is no physical four walls of the the office anymore and your user populations are very distributed in the verse. It's not only your first part of employees, it's your third party contractors, as your your vendor is, your service providers, your consultants, your customers, kind of a a extended ecosystem of the enterprise. Your devices are are heterogeneous. You know, it's not your corporate issued and managed laptops anymore. It's it's moll devices. Some that are are byods from that, like the corporate issued there the you know, windows, I. Stee laptops that your employees are now using at home because they've moved to a work from home environment. It's the only device that failable to actually get their job done in this this new new environment. And your application certainly have got outside the four walls with, you know, cloud applications, hybrided while still not leading behind any of your existing kind of a product application. So it's a very complicated ecosystem and we need to apply new security controls in these different environments to make sure it's the right user, it's the right devices, right access to those applications. And in doing so, one of the niches, of course, that you guys carved out was that kind of that two factor multi factor. Can you kind of you know, maybe unpack that a little bit? How, you know what the world might look like in an age without passwords? Yeah, multi factor authentication was really our act one of the company because at that time, and you know, two thousand and ten, it still was the early days of cloud computing. You know, office, you sixty five like wasn't a thing yet. You know, iphone was launched in two thousand and seven. You know android had come out in two thousand and aid. So these big ways of cloud and mobility had just started to hit organizations and they're trying to adapt their access and their security architectures to this this new model of access. So that's really where we both kind of first act of the company of saying Hey, the real threat here is user target attacks and account take over. I guess not. It's not your day exploits. It's not people directly breaking into infrastructures and servers and networks anymore. It's just the fact that I can send you a fishing email and then get access to all of the systems and data your authorized to access already. So we saw attackers starting to really go after people. It's kind of a soft underbelly of organizations and we said Hey, you know, this is clearly the problem to solve. It does fit that kind of universal challenge that whether you're a mom and pop coffee shop with some you know, online HR systems, or your global financial or your a federal government, everyone is facing the same challenges and the current solutions out there were just kind of underwhelming, to put it politely. You know, we're competing with, you know, the R says of the world, which, Oh yeah, that's the scurity technology that, you know, we still we still love to hate was invented in one thousand nine hundred and eighty five and really had to change for several decades. So we saw that as the real called the go after. How do we just solve these fundamental question of WHO's are the other end of the computer? But they're logging into our systems but in a way that has a different, different use of guilty profiles. Kind of dope for the modern world, those humans, the soft always you know what I mean.

It's real challenge and in the industry is that he knows that kind of common refrain of like the users are stupid. So are we going to fix security? We kind of took a different approach of like users are trying their best, like we have failed them. In the technology and the the securitydustry have failed users the kind of a common common advice of like, you know, don't click on links or like don't plug things into your computer. Like how is that? How's that approachable? How is that useful? Like users job is to click on links and open emails and open attachments and flip things in their computer. So we need to build security technology that can allow a user to do their job without having to jump through, you know, a thousand hoops. No, true. It's funny when you talk about humans and security. I know one thing that I run into is every time I have to create a new password, there's always the one that's advised to me and the one that I'm going to need to remember, and some of the ones that are advised I'm like how, wondered what I ever use a password like that. So yet taught you can use posted notes. I stick mine on the edge of the Monitor. Makes a super simple it's not that hard. John, I mentioned in the intro that you are our first founder to Hail From and then Arbor. You're still there. You spent quite a bit of time there. Can you tell us what your background made you think you could start a successful company? Yeah, I think it's, you know, being a bit that foolish, on the naive of course, to to take that kind of risk to start something new. I think that's somewhat natural in in founders. It's a little bit of foolish ambition. But you know, both myself and Doug had kind of similar backgrounds. We have been on the other side of the aisle, so to speak. We have been, you know, offensive security researchers showing how to, you know, break into a number of systems and weaknesses and protocols and credentially and so on, and we'd work together at a previous company in an artcalled Arbor new works, which at the time, in the early thousands, was solving the, you know, largest cyber security problem of that decade, which was just trying to keep your website on the Internet against you know, they're not service the text. So after that experience and early two thousands, I ended up continuing in in the graduate program at that you have, which I do not recommend. So many people's great experience, but academia is a interesting place. Thankfully our research group was very kind of entrepreneurship oriented and that a lot of our students ended up going on to start great companies of themselves, both here and on the coast. And you know, Douggin I eventually kind of got back together when the time of drakes, we, you know, we realize that we always wanted to start something together, start a company, and that's kind of how we approached it. We said Hey, this is a good time personally and professionally to go started company together or the you know, there's never a good time, but the best, best time available, and we started a company not with a crazy idea but with the kind of understanding that we we go out, we talked to customers and actually figure out what problem we should solve on their behalf, which is a little different than many startups. So when you were, you know, kind of venturing to go out, you mentioned that you'd work with Arbor previous to that. What was this just something that was always like a burning desire, you know, like hey, ultimately, I know that's from Deston. Or did one day they started charging twenty five cents for coffee in the break group? was there like some like catalytic event that just charged you out the doors? This kind of a long time coming? I think it was. I think it was more of a long time coming. I always had a little bit of the entrepreneurship bug a very kind of small scale company back in high school that we continued in the college where I kind of cut my teeth on some of the just the basics of what it takes to run and build organization. But we were just a two man shop trying to trying to figure out what we could do on behalf of our clients at the...

...time. So that kind of informed, I think, my view on what I want to do professionally. Certainly wanted to kind of leverage some of my unique skill sets in the cybersecurity space and also, you know, maybe maybe its tone a little bit for our sins of being on the offensive side of things and actually build feel defensive technology. So it's really, really easy to break things in security space, but it's not harder to build things that are are resilience and, you know, actually solve some of those this core problems. Okay, so you guys decide that you want to start a company. You you're familiar with what customers want and now you've got to get your pitch together because you've got to gather up some funding. Can you tell us a little bit about that process, putting together the pitch fit at work, because you have to revise it? Did you already have a bunch of buy in from investors? Yeah, we actually, we boots dropped a company from from the start, so maybe the first year. So we're just kind of running on our own fumes and you know that that work pretty well. You know, we're able to build some some reasonable technology. That landed us a few early logos and that was right out of the gate. You know, I think we close our first customer, you know, thirty to sixty days after, you know, starting the company, and I gave us a lot of validation some of our early customer discovery. Of No, like you know, obviously there's a huge e we know fishing as a massive threat and people are, you know, being breached left and right with really simple, scaleable kind of fishing campaigns, but we really really validated the opportunity for delivering something that was different, that didn't require, you know, hardware, tokens or get a bunch of boops to jump through, and that allowed us to get some initial track action so that by the time we were going out to raise the seed round we had some some proof points under our belt. We're still only three people, probably like maybe like five customers total, but we had, you know, revenue and a working product mixed up and we're able to go do the kind of the Sandhill road show, which lets some mixed results. You know, given that we were based here and and Arbor, that was definitely a sticking point for some venture firms that kind of looked at us and said, Hey, like, can you actually build a company in Michigan? Board did. Yeah, there's there's plenty of, you know examples over the last century. You know, was a bit of a hurdle for investors to say, you know, all your customers are on the coast, like how are you going to do this? How are you going to find the talent and you know, this two factors thing like seems kind of boring. And our response was yeah, it is boring, but everyone needs it. You know, it's a if it's boring, it's likely a fundamental capability that all organizations need. And you have, you know, a multi billing dollar to am and you have, you know, incumbents that own the majority of the market that, you know, have been innovated in years and a right for disruption. So there are all these things that maybe more in hindsight that were, you know, completely obvious. You know, massive opportunities, but at the time it was a little bit of a tough sell. That's a that's amazing that, while you guys were self funded, you were able to get five customers before you walked in. You mentioned that and I think that must have been a huge motivator for your next round of funding. Yeah, definitely the the first round was certainly that the hardest. There is a firm called true ventures, coney I grew all ended up being our partner from trough that let our seat round and, you know, after we gone out to the valley they had heard kind of through the rumor bill that we were raising. The actually flew out to Michigan to visit us and spent a day with us and it was, you know, it's a you know, love it first sight. You know, we really clicked and, you know, very quickly close that round. But that was kind of the you know, the beginning the end of fundraising challenges, because after that, you know, the business really took off and we kind of had our pick up the litter from there...

...out in terms of, you know, fundraising partners and opportunities. Well, you've mentioned like landing those early logos right and kind of giving yourself a place on the map before you went out to get funding. That that, I think, of the end, wound up really putting you ahead. When you were talking to you knew exactly what you were going for. But I think, I think in order to pull that off you've got to have that initial team just be so focused. He tell us a little bit about how did you pick, you know, that founding team? I know you and Doug were in school together and so forth, but even like those couple core hires, you know, how did that all come together? Yes, good, good question, because we were maybe five or six employees for the first oh I don't know, you know, to almost two and a half years of the company. So we kept it very, very lean at the beginning. And our first kind of nonfounding higher was actually a UX designer amount of the University of Michigan, and that, that kind of early investment and user experience is what led to a lot of our, you know, business and and customer success of not necessarily building something, you know, new. I mean, you know, multi factor authentication. Again, it been around since the s. So wasn't a like we are attacking some fancy new problem or some fancy new solution. We were just trying to make what was a really poor experience just palpable. You know. Yeah, we had an early tagline that was we suck less. Really, that's ambitious. Kind of the Bar? Yeah, in security, the bars kind of on the floor. So if we can develop a user experience that adopts a lot of the kind of emerging trends at that time around consumerization of it, like how do you make it really simple? How do you make free trials and sign ups available so that someone can kick the tires on your product and not have to talk to a sales for acting? Just plug in your credit card if you want to buy it. You can deploy it on your own in five minutes. You get to experience are dual push technology, which was one of the key innovations we had within like the first thirty seconds of hitting our our website. Our documentation is on the site, not behind a pay wall. It's just a web page with like five these steps. All these things are like completely obvious for any kind of like modern enterprise SASS application these days, but back then it was those mind blowing for for prospects that we're we're coming in the door. So we really as much as we built interesting technology to solve the problem of fishing a user target attacks, we're more so kind of innovating on the business model side of things so that we could both build a really strong kind of highlost the lowtouch inside sales, you know Teles sales business for for VSB, for S and B for mid market organizations, as well as kind of layering in the traditional kind of enterprise field sale sales model so that that kind of bimodal kind of go to market across all aspects of our business allowed us to, you know, process thousands of customer transactions a year on the loan of the business and then just kind of have the more lumpy enterprise, you know six, seven to figure your deals on the top half of the business. Great hearing that your third or fourth higher was a UX designer, you know, focusing so much on user experience. And shockingly, you're not the first cofounder WHO's mentioned that to us. That seems to be pretty important out of the gate. Yeah, and if you think about you know, most people, is your average end user. Their interactions with security technology are always so negative. I'm clicking on a link and I'm being told that a bad user for clicking that link or, you know, I can't go that website, I can't open that email, I can't do this or that. Like I just want to get my job done and I security technology that's just yelling at me and, you know, telling me I'm a bad person all the time and doing things on this so you can understand why, like people reject security...

...technology because it's always it's never telling them good things. So, you know, do what was that? As one of our customers, Seasi, says, it's kind of the spoolful of sugar, and that helps thrust the medicine go down, while the other painful security controls like do us in your face, but then it just gets out of your way. So you can you know, get your job done. So that investment in kind of people centric security was so important, because you're building security for humans, not machines or infrastructure, and so our first hire was kind of a good precedent for what now is basically a really strong ratio. If we look, one designer for every six offare engineers, which is very rare. It's rary for like, you know, consumer facing companies, like a you know, Google or an apple and so on, but especially for BV Technology Companies, especially Security, security companies. Well, I'm in certainly the industry changed around you. A lot of that because you were helping to change it as you guys started developing. Did you guys have to do any of those you know mass some pivots? What did you guys just say? No, look, here's what we're doing, this is our true north. We're going to stick on this, on this path. How did you guys handle that? Yeah, it's either. There wasn't any pivots necessarily, but there was definitely some some bets that we had to stay true to. One of those is it's not rare for kind of cloud companies, which was believing that cloud of option was going to continue and that not building on prem software was the right bet to make. And so that was, you know, an assumption that we had challenged, bench challenged on many times as we were starting the company off. Of the early years, you know, organizations. I said no, I would never, I've never, outsource my authentication to a cloud service. Of course, they said the same things years before about I would never, you know, outsource my email to the cloud. I never outsourced my, you know, preductivity to cloud. I never outsourced my firewalls to the clouds on I was. As we know, that has changed pretty dramatically over the past decade. So that was a tough one to swallow and say hey, like now, this is the right thing to do. US Channel Our you know, Inner Beny off and stick with the sick was a SASS delivery models, opposed to kind of chasing the some of the more conservative enterprise deals or or verticals that at that time it was a kind of untenable approach for them, John, for many founders, you know, the early stages are pretty easy. In your case, you you connected with dug made a few key hires with UX. You're up to five people by the time you really started to ask for money. But then you've got a scale, and you got a scale pretty quickly. Did you discover anything personally for you as you started to scale the company? Was a difficult or there's some lessons you can share? Yeah, you know, we started to do with kind of the premise of like we're going to do the right thing, and that was a number of different double clicks on that. But it's like think of all the ways that security vendors treat their customers. Basically do the opposite. So it would you know, we were really kind of fed up with with the industry of ton of the defeatist attitudes of like, you know, it's not a matter of if, but when you know your breach happens or attackers are already in, what are you going to do? And as all this, you know, very kind of threat centric, naval gazing, defeatis approach, and we wanted to kind of flip that on its head and say, Hey, like, you know, our job is not to necessarily like spend all our time shront hunting or trying to figure out if this was like rush or China. It's like our job is to make our employees productive, allow them to do their job in a safe and Useabul way and we want that the same great experience that our customers and users have with the product. We want them to have that that great kind of positive experience with our company as a whole, the way that we we mark it to them, the way that we we sell, way that we on board that makes them successful and allow them to grow on our...

...our platform, even the way that they go through kind of procurement and are contracting process. I wanted to design the company around that customer journey, not just the product, not just a portion of their experience, but make sure that we had design their experiences, interactions kind of across that that full life cycle. And you know, I think that's a kind of knowing, having that gut feeling for like this is the right thing to do for customers. Is is a little rare in the security space. Like to use the example that we use internally in our on boarding presentations for new hires, a lot of amulos chasing insecurity. Oh for sure there's a because a breach. That happens. You know that that see. So their phone is running off the hook and being called by, you know, sales reups and atrs from every security company and the sales ups are trying to tell that. See, so you did a bad job and if you'd only bought our products, you would have not had this breach. And it's yeah, it's kind of created this this environment where CIS hate talking to sales reps. Oh, sure, and they don't want the inbound. They don't, you know, want some of the tell them what they should be knowing about, you know, different product categories or whatever else. And so we we said Hey, like what a breach happens? What does that team, what does that organization, actually need? They don't need US calling them and pitching our products. They can come find our products anytime if they're they're interested it. And so our sales team, instead of, you know, cool calling them, they would send pizza. We called it our pizza play on a free happens nice. Yeah, we send Tiza and we send like a case of five hour energy and we'd send it to the security team. We'd say the note that said like so sorry you're experiencing this, like hope this helps your team through this, you know, incredibly challenging time. Like feel free to call us if you want when you come up for air for some way we can help and you know, that is all. It's just kind of like one, one example, but that was what we drilled into our team. Is At level of customer empathy of like really think through how do we help a customer, you know, Multiple Times before we ask them to do anything, and we had that kind of empathy first approach across all the different functions in our organization to make sure that we were truly partnering with our our customers. And you know, we are in the authentication space, but we really want to be authentic in our brand and our marketing. It's why our logo and our colors are green instead of like red and black and scary, scary colors. That's that kind of came through, kind of see through the pores of all parts of our our organization. Yet well, and you know you guys have continued that after acquisition by Cisco. Tell us a little bit about the acquisition, right. I mean when you were first getting the initial funding, did you guys kind of talk about, Hey, maybe one day we'll sell or maybe one day, you know, we're just going to keep growing at infinite um or how was that all laid out? Yeah, it's it's it's funny. So there's you know, there's always you know, times like a fundraising around, always like an interesting inflection point of like, you know, okay, you're signing up for some more implicit expectations of the company, of your investors, of your employees, with kind of new financing round and you know, each new kind of valuation bar you're studying. You know, we always had kind of opportunities to, you know, get off the train a little earlier on, but there's just still so much kind of opportunity ahead of us in terms of our growth, in terms of the need in the the industry. We saw no, no, kind of you know, constluting down of the opportunity for sure. I mean we went through many years of hypergrowth where we're tripling our or rr and doubling our our headcount, kind of growing at that the fastest pace that we possibly thought we could responsibility without kind of the organization falling apart. You know, this this challenge that of even just still that that pretty aside kind of zero trust and it and security, kind of transformation with cloud...

...the mobility even just like the NFA market, Opportunity is still we still see so many organizations that do not have kind of full wall to wall deployments of Mfai because, you know, they don't have the skills of the resource or they don't have a solution that's kind of scalable and usable enough for all those use case is. So this is problem is global, as problem, you know, crosses every segment, every vertical and as we were kind of on this IPO kind of standalone trajectory, that's when, you know, Cisco started kind of coming out us with a lot of interest and, you know, we had raised a small bit of our ord round from Cisco Investments. We had some engagement with with their company, but it wasn't until, you know, two thousand and eighteen that it started getting a little more serious and we started seeing that, you know, this this opportunity to kind of scale the distribution of our products. The market need was there, the technology was there and we looked at, you know, Cisco's massive channel, including folks like like yourself, as this great opportunity to be able to, you know, really get at our mission of democratizing the security going from, you know, maybe a couple hundred sellers on the duo team to three hundredzero sellers in the field through Cisco's direct and partner network, and that's something that was, you know, kind of a very attractive proposition to say, hey, how do can we how can we continue to do what we're doing, just a completely different kind of order magnitude, like not tenzero organizations but hundreds of thousands of organizations, and that that along was certainly, you know, sure home to return to our investors, as well as kind of the right home and kind of platform for development for our people that joined us on this crazy journey. It checked a lot of those boxes which led us to consummating the transaction. So trace through. Was a big fan of duo even before Cisco, but you're right, that does kind of pour some hot lava on the ability to introduce duo to new customers. How much does change during the acquisition? Did you guys physically have to move in office? Do you guys still feel like your you've rec been able to retain that culture? We totally understand the ability to have more access to resources and customers, but as there been a big change from a culture perspective for you guys? Yeah, a lot of ways we took the dual organization and we just kind of plugged it into into Cisco Security Group and that's been, you know, as Cisco goes on this journey from, you know, hardware to software and on Prem to cloud and, you know, perpetual licensing to to Sass. Those are those are all things that do a represents. So not only have we had the opportunity to kind of a lash onto what's this goods doing in terms of the distributions, also been intant opportunities for us to help other parts, other groups, other be used with FANCISCO, figure out how to operationalize kind of software selling and ASSASS business model. That kind of helps groups beyond our own. So it's kind of a bidirectional sharing of values. There's just plenty of a play of companies that will acquire you and just pull you apartners its little bits and everything just kind of dissolves away. It's been, you know, the inverse in this case, where sisters not only buying us to you growing our business product, also to learn, for our from our team and what we've been able to do so far. So it's kind of that balance of trying to keep it, keep it whole and keep it successful while, you know, spending the time to learn from the company and figure out, you know what, what could we be doing more that's more like ciscoe will? Can Cisco be doing this more like more duo standale? Well, and of course the whole is...

...we managed before kind of this whole industry shifting b but especially recently there's been a renewed focus on the endpoint, as you mentioned earlier, with removing forces so forth. No one's got a crystal ball, but I mean, if you were to kind of look down, say by the end of the year and the next year, what are some of the big changes we're going to see in security, both from the consumer side and even from the tech e site? Yeah, I think, you know, this's a good point around the you know, some of the thought process around the the acquisition is Cisco has a very kind of wide breadth of a portfolio and there was kind of a big gap in terms of, you know, identity and authentication. For sure that duels was able to fill, but we are able to partner up with some of the other assets in the portfolio that are really interesting to us, like a brand point which, you know, we can say hey, you know, we know who the user is. On the other end of the device. But is the device secure enough? Is it healthy enough to gain access here? Is it heavier and point security agent on it? And certainly just go has the you know, massive market footprint in terms of remote access with kinds of any connect VPN. So we saw those as other areas where we can help pull together a platform of security astors of much broader need of our customers away from, you know, a bunch of different kind of point point products or solutions that they might get else around the market, and I think that that to you know, kind of the trends over the next you know, twenty four months, particularly in light of kind of the covid kind of work from home transition, I think that'll become even more important. Is How do you provide that securities will remote access? Then how do you consolidate some of your your spend and your vendor relationships with someone likes to go that can provide the full solution? At a time when your company's facing probably some cash crunch that's trickling down into it and security budgets, how can you pick one you should fender that's going to solve, you know, more problems for you over time? Definitely so, John, we've mentioned a bunch of times that you've hailed from the University of Michigan, but there are rumors out there that as a customer, you have engaged with Ohio states. Is True. It is true, actually Ohio states. You know, I of State University became a customer before my Alma Mater, University of Michigan. So a little tough, but we love all of our customers equally and you know the actually the see. So over at Osu Helen Patton, we have different personas on that our design team came up with and our persona for C so personas is named Helen after Helen overall. Oh, it's used. We're big fans of her and the program they're and you know the DD youth face is. It's one of the many great verticals we have across our customer base. You can say that you serve the entire big ten, almost the entire big San. I think we're missing one school, one school. I won't name them. Okay, you want to call them out. Hey. So this this has been great. Thank you so much for joining us. Is there anything that we didn't ask you or anything you'd like to share with that with our listeners. John, the thesis that we started do a specifical with of like doing the right thing for the security street can be applied to a lot different ways. But I think that you know, in starting a company and in operating in like your integrity is is everything you know, especially in the security space but in any start space. Encourage folks to think through that when you're you're building, growing your company. You know if you if you do the right thing, you'll come out on the right end one way or another. So that's that's definitely guided us as we thought about all decisions of our business. Are We free customers the way we fear our employees, and are our stakeholders? Well, the companies that had tremendous success, John. So, so well done, and thank you so much for popping on the podcast with mark and myself. It's been great, yes, and great saft you guys.

This is perfect timing because my son is now coming upstairs to he has a nice, awesome well. So much, guys and grace. We'll talk to you later. Thanks man. Thank you, guys us. But trace three is hyper focused on helping it leaders deliver business outcomes by providing a wide variety of data center solutions and consulting services. If you're looking for emerging technology to solve tried and true business problems, trace three is here to help. We believe all possibilities live in technology. You can learn more at trace threecom podcast. That's trace, the number threecom podcast you've been listening to the founder formula, the podcast for all things start up, from Silicon Valley to innovators across the country. If you want to know what it takes to lead tomorrow's tech companies, subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time,.

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