The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 1 year ago

Andrew Rubin, Founder Illumio - Leveraging the "Zero Trust" Strategy


Celebrating a massive milestone - $225 million in Series F funding for Illumio - our guest today is startup guru and network security expert, Andrew Rubin. Illumio is at the bleeding edge of the cybersecurity maelstrom with their groundbreaking work in Zero Trust Segmentation.

Andrew offers up his entertaining insights on cyber security, his history as a successful entrepreneur and fashion investor, and paying it forward by mentoring up-and-coming founders.

Here's a sneak peek:

  • Leveraging the “zero trust” strategy.
  • The importance of segmentation to prevent catastrophes.
  • Founders need a balance between being passionate and being data-driven.
  • CEOs and entrepreneurs are constantly trading notes, and constantly asking each other for advice.
  • The exciting world of investing in high fashion & being part of the Tory Burch phenom.

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the The Founder Formula podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or your preferred podcast app.

Everybody who's on this journey has somebody who helped them along the way, and those people remember that. They value it enormously and they absolutely love the even the process, even the potential of hang it forward and doing it for somebody else. 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 show. My name is Todd Vilina, and with me is the chief technical officer at trace three, Tony Old Zach. Tony, welcome back to the show. Hey, so glad to be here. Thanks for having you. Bet Today, Tony, we have somebody on the podcast that has not only an entrepreneur but was also a seed investor, and he was a seed investor in a company called Tory Birch. Have you heard of them? Oh, my wife is very excited right now. Here in the next room. She heard that immediately ran into the purse closet took a quick audit. No, it's funny. Like when I was when we were researching him, I was a bit surprised because normally we have, you know, people with a huge tech background. So that was a surprise. But it got me thinking about brands. You know big brands, big fashion brands, you know automotive brands, and I'll tell you right now, just like your wife, Tory burch is a big one to my wife. But I think the listeners want to know, Tony, what are the big brands in your life? Oh, you know, I'm going to flip the script on utahd for just a seconds, because you're always interviewing me. This must be a loaded crush. What are the brands in your life? Oh it's not, it's okay. Well, I'll tell you. Anyone who anyone who knows me, knows I'm I can be pretty frugal when it comes to clothing, like, for example, today I think I'm wearing some up top it's old navy and down low it's Costco. But I will tell you I am a bit of a fan of Lulu lemon shorts and Lululemon pants. So I hate to admit it in front of everybody, but I'm a little into the whole lululemon thing. So go ahead judge me. I'm not judge, I'm well, we are they they actually like yoga pants and yoga shorts. No, what you would think of like Lulu Lemon, you know, the Yoga Pants. Now, no, no, they're just like now I'm super selfconscious about this. No, they're they're just shorts and long pants. They're super comfy. I was given a pair as a gift and I was like, no way, that logo looks like a like a woman's head. But then next thing you know, like I'm wearing them all the time. No, just regular pants and shorts. Well, congratulations. Actually, I had no idea they didn't make just Yogat's higher. I think I'm completely out of date without brand. Yeah, I'm on the brand side. I'm actually, I don't that I'm like necessarily tied you a brand or two. I just I've got this mentality ever since I was a kid, to where I hate wasting money, and so I will either buy the cheapest brand or the most expensive brands, and I try not to buy anything that's in the middle, because I feel like I could have just spent a little bit less and save some money or spent a little bit more and had the best. And so the middle is just kind of like a big wasteful place for me. And so, like you'll find some radially different things inside my house or in my side, my side, my closet, or like the cheapest things you can find, and then some, you know, a few pieces that I'm pretty proud of. Oh, that's smart. So you'll be walking through the mall and you'll be like middle high end and you'll roll in there. Yeah, or the or the reverse. Like it it. Maybe it's, you know, something that is very inexpensive, and I'm just fine with that. You know, like I I don't like paying a premium into like that middle range for things that could be had for less. Even the same way with cars, like if you make three different versions of a car that's the same model, we'll think you like a for f one hundred and fifty. Right, you can get a for F one hundred and fifty brand new, for like low S, bare bones. You can get the same f one hundred and fifty decked out all the way to like, you know, ninetyzero dollars if you're talking about like raptor, and you know now the new lightning is coming out and all that kind of stuff, but that's way too much range. It's like, well, okay, I could have the same truck for twenty grand, and I know it's a difference, but something in my head I can't get past the fact that I don't want to spend, you know, Fiftyzero on a truck that I could have for twenty grand. It's like, HMM, and you should name it something different. You're right, that's totally true, because of to fone s go side by side and, like you said, somebody's got the K model and somebody's got the N K model. They both look at each other and they go like a driving enough one hundred and...

...fifty. Yeah, I mean that's what I think. Yeah, maybe there's some truck s knobs out there who feel differently, and more power to you if you love the nuance and you're you feel amazing with what you got out of, you know, the fifty grand version. I'd I find myself operating at the ends of the streams and maybe I'm just an extreme person, but that's just the way I think about it. I think this smart. I like it. I didn't realize it at the time, but I think I've adopted it with the whole you know, old maybe Lulu Lemon thing. Yeah, okay, that was I think we should just get to the guy that invested in Tory barks. What do you think? Let's do it. Okay, our guest is a sought after adviser of start up funding strategy who has a strong expertise and network security and compliance management. He is a founder and CEO of a Lumio, a cloud security company specializing in zero trust segmentation, and they're located in Sunnyvale, California. Just last week is company raised two hundred and twenty five million dollars in series F funding. Please, welcome to the show, Andrew Ruben. Welcome, Andrew. Thanks so much for having me, todd and you're great to have you. Before we get this thing started, just congratulations on the round. Thank you, Tony. I really appreciate it. It was really exciting news for the team or customers, obviously our channel partners all over the world, and we're excited to put our head down and keep building the company and put the money to good work. Yeah, it was exciting news when we read it, and todd and I work we're taking a look at that and some of the press that had followed your previous funding ground and we're just we're kind of curious when you look at this late run of funny as a tremendous amount of money taught. I know you had a question around the series e. You want to just lead in with that when you get started there? Yeah, no, absolutely, Tony, good idea. So there's some press around your series e when you guys raise sixty five million dollars and at the time you said that that was going to be going towards marketing and getting the brand out there. Can you share with us how that worked out for you? What? What are some of the levers you pulled to make the best use of that series e? Yeah, interestingly, at the time we raised the E, which was now a couple of years ago, you know, we were in a mode of really transitioning from what I always thought about as our early selling motion to the very beginnings of a more mature and more sort of normalized selling motion, and what I mean by that is we were going after a more diverse group of customers by industry, by size and certainly by geography. I think at that time, for the first time in a very meaningful way, the channel in all forms was becoming part of our go to market motion. Prior to that it had been a lot of early direct enterprise selling, and so in a lot of ways this series, not the dollars themselves but just where we were as a company at the time, was really about transitioning from early selling and moving into the beginnings of a more mature and, as I said, a more normalized selling model. Obviously that was a couple of years ago now, and all of those things that we started doing have become very much our selling motion today. The company is deeply engaged with channel partners in all forms literally all over the world. We're selling to a much more diverse group of customers today than we were even a year and a half or two years ago, and so obviously now our job is to really step on all of those gas petals and try and accelerate all of those things, including in some cases opening up in countries or geographies that even today we're still not in, and so I think the series F is a continuation, but really a very large acceleration of what the series, the round, started a couple of years ago. Well, that's pretty SPEC secular. This. This comes right on the tail end of some pretty newsworthy cyber security events. Does that kind of thing help at all with timing, like when you kind of get free advertising for the industry when we just had the you know, the energy event that just happened, and seems like every week there's something big that happened. Is that keep cyber scurities up of mind? Yeah, it's obviously a subject and a topic that's very near and dear to my heart and something that I'm very passionate about in the team of alumia always equally passionate about. I want to take one step back. I think the answer your question, Tony, is yes, when you see these events, when you see this on the news day after day, in some sense it does help business to the extent that it gets a lot of people talking about security. But but I do want to push us back one step because there's a question that we should all be asking, which is cyber spendings at an all time high. There's obviously no shortage of cyber vendors, both private and public out there for customers to go buy things from. So there is this sort of very obvious question, which is, how is it in a world in two thousand and twenty one, where we're spending more money on more things to protect ourselves, are outcomes are getting worse and when we miss the outcome is more catastrophic and honestly, that's a question that a lot of people don't want to ask. They just want to go buy more...

...stuff and hope to be safe. And so one of the things that I know we'll get into this at some point in the conversation when we dig in on a Lumio a little bit more. But one of the things that we were very determined to do when we started the company was not build another layer of detection and promise customers we're here to find and stop bad things. There are a lot of great companies that do that already. It's an important part of the cyber frame work. But if you want to say it openly, honestly and bluntly, our track record recently has not been very good or very successful at stopping bad things and when they happen the outcome seems to be more and more catastrophic. Each time, obviously colonial and jbs taking us to a whole new place where what was essentially a cyber event resulted in a physical world outcome from the first time. And so it's a very interesting time, it's a very interesting space and it's obviously critical to our safety and our national security that we find a way to get this right or do a better job. Yeah, no, no doubt. You know, it's it's very interesting when those events happen. You know, for those of us who were in the security fields, you see the experts pop on the the media outlets and they're they're discussing, you know, the state of things and the complexity of things, and you know when you're on the consulting end of it, which you know I've spent the bulk micer, and what you end up finding is that it's usually very basic things that are exposing all our environments to things that you keep getting some trouble. And you know, we keep talking about complexities, but if we can simplify even the way that we think about some of the basics and the core elements of managing risk and how we alleviate some the security concerns, I would love to use as an opportunity to dig into Illuminio, because I feel like what you the company that you founded in the ideas that you guys had around this are a pretty game changing and invaluable for how we start thinking about foundationally up how we think about securing environments and, you know, getting to a place where the stuff can die down a little bit. Yeah, I mean I think it actually starts with your frame of mind and I'm going to use that as a bridge to talk just for Equipmentute, and I promise only equipment it, but about what I think is one of the most important topics in cider today, which is this notion, is zero trust. And I know that it's very busy right now and I know a lot of people don't really understand or know what they should take it to mean. But the funny part about it is it shouldn't be ambiguous and it really shouldn't be vague. Zero Trust it's not a product, it's not a vendor, including a Lumio, it's not a single security control or single security layer. Zero Trust is a strategy that starts with two words, to very simple words assume breach. Now those two words have not been part of our cyber strategy. For the last thirty or so years we've assumed that we can keep ourselves safe. Unfortunately, the last ninety or so days we've proven again and again, you can make an argument the last ten or so years that assuming breach is a lot better assumption than assuming being safe. And so what I think gets people confuse is two things. One, there's this question around well, if I assume breach all the time, does that mean that I shouldn't bother trying to stop breaches? And of course the answer to that is no. Invest in detection, try and find things that are coming at you that don't belong coming at you or things that are malicious, and stop them every time you can. But what Zero Trust reminds you is that even if you are incredibly good at that, let's put a number on it. Let's say you stop ninety nine point nine nine, ninety ninety nine percent of the things that try and get into your environment that don't belong there. That's not a hundred percent, which means eventually something's going to get in, and what Zero Trust asks you to do is acknowledge that, man and then have a cyber strategy for dealing with what happens when you're breached and obviously for alumio, where where one piece, we're not the whole puzzle, where one piece of the puzzle. But segmentation is a very core piece of a zero trust puzzle, because all sedentation really means is taking an environment, big or small, cloud or data center, any point or Workliver, it doesn't matter. It's taking an environment and it's dividing it up and segmenting it or compartmentalizing it into smaller environments so if one part of the environment gets sick, it doesn't infect and get everything else in the environment stick along with it. And sometimes that can mean a single application, sometimes you can mean a set of workloads running in the cloud. But the point is zero trust gets you to acknowledge something bad can happen, probably will happen, and I have a strategy for dealing with that, just like I have a strategy for trying to prevent the incident in the first place. And I think what's happened over the last ninety two hundred eighty days, including not just the breaches but the president's executive order certainly the White...

House memo that was published a couple of weeks ago implore and Corporate America to take this seriously. I think we're finally at a tipping point where people are saying I have to cyber strategies try and prevent something bad from happening, ensure that when something bad happens it's not automatically a catastrophe, and alumio and segmentations job is really to help with that second part. Yes, maybe me. That's a good segue into alumio itself. I mean, very well said and I think it is a point that does need be cleaned up and Jim by the number of times I find myself getting approached by someone asking if they can buy zero trust. There's still a lot of mystery to be resolved. So appreciate you taking the time to give us that explanation, and very well said. So then we start thinking about alumio. Let's dive into a Lemio for a second. You know, like to your point, there's a lot of solutions out there. What does alumio do and why did you guys start it? Yeah, so I'll answer the what we do first? So we are a zero trust segmentation company. We built a software platform that now, and I say now, only because originally our software was really targeted at the workload space, meeting either data center or cloud workloads. For both. Many of our customers run very heterogeneous infrastructure environments where they've got things in data centers that they've been running for years, but they equally have things in aws us and Azure and maybe Google cloud as well, and our architecture allows us to segment workloads in all those places or across all those places. More recently we extended the platform out to now run on endpoint of states as well, literally laptops, desktops, the things that people like you and I work on every day. But ultimately this is about where I started, which is we wanted to build a software platform that allows our customers to be able to deliver real zero trust segmentation and the mission, the goal, the value proposition is very simple. In the event that one asset, a laptop and endpoint, a workload, were to be compromised, we want to make sure that the attack surface is not every other asset in the environment and so, obviously, in the most extreme version of sedimentation, you would essentially segment everything off from everything else. Obviously, security and operations are always going to have to find ways to work with one another, and perfect security is probably not achievable because it we get or make operations so difficult that you wouldn't want to go there. At the same time, we don't want to be so agile and moved so quickly that nothing's secure. So what we've done is we've built a software platform that allows our customers to segment in a way that significantly reduces risks, allows them to isolate or segment or compartmentalized their most valuable or riskiest assets, but do it in a way that's agile, do it in a way that works across their cloud, data center, an endpoint of states through literally a single pain of glass, but also do it in a way that doesn't get in the way their operations. And finding that balance is what we've been working with our customers in our partners are and for now six and a half years in market, and as a result of that we've got what we believe to be some of, if not the largest segmentation deployments in the world. We run on in a number of customers well over a hundred thousand workloads across Status Center and cloud of states, and so our job is to be able to walk into a customer where it they've got twenty workloads or two hundred thou workloads, and be able to say we can help you too, quickly and efficiently reduced risk through zero trust segmentation, and do it without bringing your operations to a crawl or having to rebuild your entire infrastructure and operating model to get there. And that's great. You really paying a vivid picture around the segmentation piece and I got to thank you because your two words that describe zero trust as assume breach. As a marketing guy, I haven't heard that one and we've been a tracery has been been asked to describe that quite a bit. Tony mentioned. How do you buy it? But well said and well described. Hey, let's step away from the company. Done a great job talking about the industry and the company that you started here and if you don't mind that I'd love to talk a little bit about you. Can you maybe share with our listeners what in your background made you think you could get into this whole entrepreneurial thing around advising folks on funding companies and then Gez starting a company on your own? Yeah, you know, it's not. It's not a straight line. In other words, I think one of the things about being an entrepreneur is that there's something that's sort of there's something inside of you that just convinces you that this is something that you need to do, that you want to do. But there's a word, and I know it often comes up in any conversation about entrepreneurship in any setting, which is something that you're passionate about, and I always, at least my compass what guided me, was always trying to remember that passion is nonnegotiable. In other words, you really do have... be passionate, in particular about being an entrepreneur and certainly about starting a company. There is a butt to that, though, which is passion doesn't carry you through everything. You still need to understand on the market you're going to operate it. You have to understand why your product is unique and better than your competition. You need to understand if you have a product market fit. And as passionate as I am about cybersecurity and certainly about a Lumio, I also want to balance that with data and I want to analyze that data and I want to learn from me and when we do things well, we want to figure that out and we want to step on the gas and do it faster and do more of it. And equally, when we do something and it doesn't work, we want to understand very quickly what was the assumption that let us astray and what do we do to go fix that and get it right, to do it better next time? And so there's some balance between being incredibly passionate, that drives you, but then also being very data driven and very much willing to confront reality and be realistic about the winds and the losses and what's working and what's broken. And I think somehow, when you blend those things together, you end up with a very powerful result because, you know, and the best way I've heard it said, and I definitely believe that it's a fair description for me, is there's a difference of being an optimist and being an optimistic realist, and I think really incredible entrepreneurs somehow are more optimistic realists then they are purely optimists, and I try and remind myself of that and that's the balance that I've tried to achieve and I think it goes all the way back to the beginning of a loom me out. Obviously, there was a real recognition that there was an opportunity to build a different cyber company, but there was also enough desire to understand the reality of what we were walking into. For PJ and I that it wasn't just hey, we're really passionate and excited, let's go do something. It was what's really going on? Where is the whole in Cyber Security? Why is it not been filled? If we try and fill it, can we do it well at work? Can the product really scale? What is our competitive landscape going to look like? And that's all the realism that I think you have to have along the way to actually execute and build the company. Andre You you've had experience as a fund raising verse start up consultants as well. Did that give you the kind of the insight into successes and pivots or even, you know, failures maybe that you've seen over the years in order to make it easier to found something like the Lumio and then ultimately even you secure or first round of funding? Yeah, I mean I think that you know, if you put on the advisor had as opposed to the CEO hat of the founder. CEO had, I think it. A lot of ways you're leaning on those exact same disciplines. In other words, the companies that I'm lucky enough to spend time with, we're advising them, and a lot of times it is around sort of all the things that I've been living through at a Lumio and maybe I'm just a step to ahead of the CEO that I'm spending time with, not ten or twenty or fifty steps ahead, but even just a steparate. To ahead means that I have a little bit of perspective that that they don't have yet. And a lot of times, when it comes to fundraising, you know, the same conversations I'm having with them are the ones that I had with my mentors and advisors, where I was asking questions like, well, how do we position the company and how do we understand on the market that we're in, and are we being realistic about the assumptions in the plan? Because anybody can sort of throw a bunch of things in slides, but then you got to get up and you got to talk to it, you have to defend it when people who are, quite frankly, very smart and very, very experienced at going through this, in other words the investors on the other side of the table, like what happens when they start some questions, not even based on your slides, but on the hundreds of companies they've been involved with and the pattern recognition they're able to do as a result. Have we really thought through our sumptions and have we essentially turned the table on ourself before walking in the room in order to try and poke holes in our own story? And so a lot of times, what I'm having those conversations, whearing my advisor had, all I'm doing is reminding them of the things I've gone through and really passing down information and knowledge that I collected from mentors who did it from me along the way as well. And the same is true, by the way. We talked about it in the context of fundraising, but you can imagine that when I'm having a CEO to CEO Conversation where a lot of times living the same things. We're talking about fundraising, we're talking about hiring an executive team, we're talking about culture. There's a set of things that were obviously all spending a lot of time on it, and it doesn't matter if the company is forty people, where we were a number of years ago for a hundred or so people where we are today, and you can imagine, I'm leaning on my mentors saying, look, what do I need to be thinking about when we're a thousand people or twenty five hundred people, hopefully a couple of years from now? And... in a lot of ways I sort of think about it in the exact same context as an advisor. It sounds like, you know, you walked in there and you handed them the pitch and then they read it over and they looked at each other and said, he's thought of everything, let's just give him all the money he wants. It is. That is the exact antithesis of how it really happens. I'm sure there is an option srepreneur somewhere that you're going to have on this podcast that's going to tell you know, but that's exactly what happened to me. It's just not going to be needed at it's funny. We kind of had one like that, but Um, double clicking on this, a little bit about your exposure beforehand, we're going to be having a mirror from Menlo and you are on involved with them early in advising their company. Does this give you a leg up on potentially finding the right people to build your founding team. Yeah, you know, first of all, I'm thrilled to find out that you're going to be talking to a mirror and menloe. It's an amazing company and, quite honestly, I remember chatting with a mirror and picking his brain very early on in a Lumeo's life, because he's a repeat entrepreneur and and a repeat successful entrepreneur, and he's got an incredible team as well, and I'm lucky enough to expense the time with some of them as well. I think that that is the perfect example of sharing in all directions, and the reason I say that is I'm obviously going to share anything I can with them that helps them to build men love, and I'm equally going to ask a mirror and some of the folks on his team that I know well, Hey, what about this? I heard you guys are working with this particular customer. Not can you introduce me to them? Those are easy questions, but what do I need to know about the nuance of what they care about? Talk to me about how you got this channel partner excited about your story, because my story is different. So I have to go do the same thing, but but you know them and I don't, and there's all this little nuance and context that we have the ability to share back and forth and I think it's wonderful. And so it happens to be a story I know and a team that I've been lucky enough to spend time with, but it happens all the time. I think you find it. CEOS and entrepreneurs are constantly trading notes and constantly asking each other for advice, and sometimes it's on very big and important things and, quite honestly, a lot of times it's just, Hey, I want to pick your bread on this for five minutes. It's one of my favorite parts of my job is that I've got a network, and hopefully on part of other people's network, where we can sort of help each other out along the way. Andrew, on that note, you know we've had different people on the on the podcast. You have come from different backgrounds and are in different stages of where they are today. How early in your journey, because we've heard a lot of people say, you know, something the effect of like Hey, you should go out there and try to do as much as possible before you seek funding and you know, before you do X, Y and Z, like get your idea out there, you know, go dotesting. How early in that process should someone seek out advice from someone like yourself, or an advisor or someone like yourself? And then, if they're early stage and they haven't necessarily developed, you know, mature network, what's the best way to go about doing it? So two separate questions there on our home apart. Hopefully to answer both. So first of all, in terms of when, it's literally never too early. There's obviously different ways to do this. And if you're asking this specific question around, well, when what is the right time to form an advisory board? When is the right time to put together a more formal group? Maybe that's a little bit later on. You may not need to do that on day one. But if you're asking the question, when is the right time to go ask people who are smarter than you, more experienced than you, who have been through what you're trying to go through? When is the right time to ask them for advice, help, just to talk to them? It is literally never too early. I'm a huge believer in it. I have a mentor network that I've spent now years building and some of them I talk to literally weekly or even daily. In some cases, maybe not every day, but that type of cadence. Others who I may check in with once a quarter or even less frequently. But but there was never a moment where I said the company is now this size, this stage, this sale, now I should go ask people for help or advice. I think you could start before day one and it's to your benefit to do it. So I think that's sort of the mindset that you adopt. And the other question around, well, how do you do it? You know, it sounds funny, but there's a really simple answer to it. Talk to everybody. Talk to people. In other words, if you're a founder CEO and you're lucky enough to be able to raise money from, let's say a venture capital firm, you've already got a network built. You just have an access to yet, because that venture capital firm is funded lots of other companies, all of whom have a founder and a CEO, sometimes of founder CEO, but there's a network of people there, some of whom are probably further along in the journey than you are. Go ask. Go ask the BC, go ask the venture capitalist and say,...

Hey, can you connect me to a couple of CEOS. I'd love to get to know them. Obviously, precovid a lot of this happened much more organically, because they would be conferences and events that tended to pull all of us together, and it seems like that's starting to happen again. I certainly know my calendar for the back half of this year is starting to look very different than my calendar for the past year. But even over zoom and over Webex and over teams for the last, you know, year plus now, I've still stayed in touch with all my mentors. I've still managed to get online and send time with them. So find a way to do it. But the answer is, don't put a lot of work into figuring out how to do it. Just go talk to people. And the one thing I will tell you, and I believe this very, very deeply, I certainly have been lucky enough to live at myself. If you're hesitant or you're worried that the person that you reach out to and say hey, I love to say hello, I'd love to pick your brain, you're a few steps ahead of me and my journey. If you're worried that their answer is going to be. No, I don't have time. I can't promise you that that won't happen to you, but I can certainly tell you that it will be the minority of the responses, not the majority, because everybody who's on this journey has somebody who helped them along the way and those people remember that, they value it enormously and they absolutely love the even the prospect, even the potential, of hang it forward and doing it for somebody else. And so I know it sounds really easy and I know it's probably a bit of a surprise that the best answer I have is just go talk to people, but that truly is my answer. Is just pick up the phone, get online or, you know, meet some money for a cup of coffee and and I think you'd be very surprised at how it all works. It sounds like mostly people just got to get over their fear of reaching out to others, because I think you're right. I think inherently people want to help one another and, as you said, pay it forward. You just got to be able to push that button on. That's great advice. Yeah, rapper. When I was living in La a rapper friend of mine and once summed up by saying a closed mouth don't get fed, so don't bet for it. Ask that is that is definitely a much more elegant and eloquent way of saying it, but I couldn't agree more with the state of it. That's just Tony's way of saying his network is filled with rappers. He's trying to impress everybody here. Andrew, tell us a little bit about developing culture at alumio. How do you guys do it? What's important to you? Yeah, I mean I think that a lot of times, you know, people talk about culture as if it is this thing unto itself, in other words that somehow there's culture and then there's everything else. I don't believe that. I think that these things are all intertwined. The company has a mission, which is help our customers to realize the future without high profile breaches. Notice again, back to our earlier conversation, we don't say that our mission is to stop breaches. We don't say that our mission is to prevent all bad things from happening. We believe, in his Eero Trust world, that the first step is acknowledging that these things are going to happen. So there's lots of great companies out there trying to minimize the number of times that they happen. Our job is to prevent them from becoming catastrophes, and so the only reason why I sought there, even though the question is about culture, is I think when you share our mission, if you get four hundred people together, as we have, all of whom are rowing in the same direction, passionate about a mission, in our case to help our customers to be safer and more secure, I think that the culture in a lot of ways almost becomes embedded in that. Right there's this shared mission, there's a shared set of goals, for sure, and then there's obviously very much alignment around what we need to do to get there, what we need to do to build a sustainable, durable, successful, valuable company. But all of it's only got to ultimately come from one thing, which is let's make our customers really successful and help to keep them safer than they otherwise would be if we didn't exist. And so certainly we make a real investment in culture. Our people team does an incredible job of making sure, especially through the pandemic, that people fell very much connected and in touch that, despite all being at home now for I don't know, about sixteen months that we kept the community of a Lumio together. But ultimately I don't think that culture is this thing in a box off to the side by itself. I've never believed that it's about the meals that we provide or the tshirts that we may or may not give out. It really is sort of about why are we all doing this and why are we on this journey together and what is it that we really want to build together? And so if you start with a mission that everybody cares deeply about, if you're realistic about the goals necessary to achieve that mission, I think very quickly the culture becomes not a byproduct of it, but it becomes a part of that. And so now the company is eight and a half years old. We've been in market for about six and a half years.

I still think we're an infant, but let's just say that we're an infant that's growing up. You know, I think that our culture is very much a reflection of what we care about and why we get up in the morning and do this every day. And you know, I guess the one thing I would say is that certainly the CEO's job, but really the entire leadership team's job, is just to make sure that we remind everybody of these things, that we make sure that they remain at the forefront, but also equally, or maybe even more importantly, as people join the company, especially as its scales it becomes more globally distributed, that the people who are joining understand why we all feel the way we do, why we're so passionate, what our mission is. And the best way to really make sure that the culture is part of the company is to make sure that as you build the company and New People join the company, that you share it openly and that people understand where the company is coming from and how it got here and why it's important for us to do this going forward. And you know, obviously during the pandemic we've had to work a lot harder to make sure that those communications, in those stories and that passion can be seen through, because we're not all in a building together or a few buildings together around the world. We're really very much sitting at home, disconnected in a lot of ways. But I think we've all learned that it can be done and you know, and it's a critical part of the company's success. Yeah, great advice. You know, I was just talking to a gentleman of the day who did a stint at a very wellknown company and the comment he made was, you know, we were losing hundreds of millions of dollars, but we sure had some great clothing, you know, branded tshirts and yeah, kids and and it's a yes, I think sometimes it does get a lot some people that this isn't just something that you know, just happens in a box in the side like it has to be intertwined into the business and then what you believe and and you know the kind of people you recruit are out of the gate. Yeah, I mean I and that's one of the reason why I made the comment I did about you know, there's so many pieces of the puzzle that get put together to build a company and I don't want to in any way, shape or form, sort of say here's the lists and these things are important and these things are not because, first of all, they're different for every company and every organization. But I think when we talk about our mission, when we talk about the culture of the company, it's just those things that you mentioned are not really on the list. In other words, they may be on a different list and, by the way, they may be important on a different list. But when we talk about our mission, our mission is to protect our customers. We want to be really clear about those things because I think that's what gets people, quite frankly, to sign up for the journey. I think it's what gets them passionate and excited to be on the journey. It's what keeps them on the journey, and so I think it's just incredibly important to be very clear about all these things right and that's why I don't in any way, shape or form look at it through the Lens of there's only one right answer for any of these questions. Every company finds a way to navigate their own journey. But I do think when you talk about things like mission, there should be no confusion. Right our our mission is not to raise the series F round. Our mission is not about how many employees we have. These are all artifacts of US doing what's important, which is let's build great software and make the customers successfully using it. And if we really nail it, then what's going to happen? As we're going to protect our customers and keep people and company safe? As a result, and if we get that right, all these other things become very important artifacts along the way of US building a successful company. Yeah, it's a great mission to I mean one that's, you know, critical to the the health of the economy, the health of the world and in securing people's lives in general. So applaud you guys for having a great one. When, when you think about that space, Andrew, there's, you know, we've been tracking out of our research and innovation teams. You know, hundreds of startups that do different kinds of things. You talked earlier about market fits. Do you track your competition at all? Do you even feel like you have competition and what you guys are trying to do? Yeah, absolutely, there's no doubt about it. One of the things that we talk a lot about nowadays that a Lumiou is the fact that our competitive landscape has changed very dramatically even over the last year or so. You know, one of the things about being a zero trust segmentation company is that a in a half years ago, when we started the company, the Word Zero Trust fairly existed in certainly we're not buzzing the way they are today. And segmentation literally didn't exist. I mean nobody used the word firewall. Was the closest thing that you could find. Obviously firewalls haven't been around for a long time, but sepentation as a concept, and certainly sedentations limit in software, really was not in existence. And so one of the things that I used to say often to the team is we know where early. We're probably even earlier than we realize in the market. But don't ever think that because you don't have competition that means that somehow you figure it out something really great and that that's going to last. And the reason I say that is every real market, every important... and certainly every market a size and scale has competition. There's a reason why there's lots of different auto manufacturers, there's a reason why there's lots of different EDR companies. By the way, if you want to very closer to home, segmentation didn't have a really robust competitive landscape because segmentation was a very, very early market when we got there. Perhaps it was even information. I don't know if I could differentiate that literally, but it was certainly very early. And so over the last couple of years really literally, and I say a couple. Not generically, over the last one to three years we've seen a very dramatic change in the competitive landscape and although there is a list and I could go through them one by one and certainly do comparison contrast on all of them, I'm sure that's not necessarily the best use of the podcast time. What I will tell you is this. It is very, very in a very what may seem like a very strange way, it's very, very good in my eyes to see a robust competitive landscape. Sure, it makes our job harder day in and day out, in that we now have to go out and we have to compete in order to win business. Short, it means that within the channel partner community, we have to work that much harder now to make sure that they understand why our solution is the best for their customers, including some very large incumbents that they may have very large businesses built with already in other areas besides, zero trust in segmentation. But the reason why it's such a great thing to see the competitive landscape ped up so much is not because of a Lumio, not because of our competitors and not even because of our channel partners. It's because what it means is that customers are now vocalizing their need for Gero Trust segmentation. Companies don't decide to enter a market just because they wake up in the morning and say, let's go do it, it'll be interesting. They do it, especially when they have an existing business that's not in that market. They do it predominantly because their customers say I need this and I need you to do it for me. And so, for a Lumia, we started the company to do this. This was our clean sheet of paper. We built the entire company around zero trust segmentation. It is essentially our mission. It is also our bet. For some of our competitors, they've been in business for years, in some cases decades, doing many other things very successfully, but they're hearing from their customers what we're hearing from ours, which is we need this and we need it now. And so I actually think the fact that the competitive landscape has gotten much more real, that it's gone from a couple of competitors to a robust list, although, as I said, it makes the day to day job a little bit tougher, it's an enormous validation of the need for zero trust segmentation. It's a good thing for us, it's a good thing for our competitors but, most importantly, it's a good thing for the customers. Well said, awesome well, Andrew. You know, looking out beyond, you know what comes through it for you next, like when you when you think about the future and other ideas or things you'd like to do later in life. We heard that you were in investor, even in women's fashion. Tell us more about rotory Birch. Yeah, I know you can't see me right now, but I'm smiling as you said that, because just hearing the words you were an investor in women's fashion immediately makes me sort of smile and, to be honest, makes me laugh because it implies I know anything at all about women's fashion, and I assure you I don't. But I do think that it's a really great anecdote about investing, because when I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to invest in Tory Burch, it was truly literally two people in what we would all sort of call a garage. In this case it was an apartment in New York City. So the founders of the company were Christ and Tory Birch, and I was lucky enough to know both of them way back when. Then they started the company and I am very serious when I say I know absolutely nothing about women's fashion. It's been about fifteen years. I've learned tiny, miniscule little bit. I think we could still call it nothing. But what I did was I took a bet on people. You know, Chris it had a background in fashion and had been in the business for a long time. Tory equally had been in the business. All be at a different part of it, but they're too spactacular entrepreneurs and it was just obvious that they were passionate about what they were starting, they were excited about the space they were in, they were knowledgeable about the space they were in and so for me, as a potential investor, you could say I truly took the bet on Tory Birch, but the realities I took the bet on Christ and Tory as entrepreneur worse, and it was. It was the first investment I ever made like that, you know, and truly an early stage, or in this case it really was a true start up. We were all incredibly lucky to be a part of the Tory Birch ride they've built an incredible global brand and company, but it was also a real reminder about at the the end of the day, all of this falls down to bedding on people, that that's really what it is, whether...'re manufacturing women's clothes or your building cyber security software. Also like, the end of the day, it's a team that gets up every day, get passionate about what they do, they go to work. It helps if their experience, it really helps if they're the best in the business that they're in, but there's no doubt about it that it does start with the people and it ends with the people, and so I just I feel so fortunate that I was able to invest in the company, that I was able to go for the ride and be on the journey with them, and I still speak to them today and, you know, I just I can't tell you how proud I am of what they built. It's incredible. It's a great book in to this whole conversation because it goes back to you investing in people, but people who have a ton of passion. And you know, you mentioned earlier passion is is nonnegotiable, but doesn't carry you through everything. And it sounds like the Tory Birch experience is another example of that. It definitely is. I'll just pile on for one quick second and say I literally remember sitting with them as they were putting together at the beginnings of the company, and of course it's a little bit of funding they raised to get it off the ground. I'm the passion was obvious, but you know, the common around having the expertise, you know, the realism, as I described it, that was that combination was was truly I mean it was the secret sauce, and so you know that may be part of the reason why I'm so passionate about that point of view is because I was lucky enough to see it many years ago in what Christ and Tory did and how they brought the right perspective, experience and resources to the table and then narrowed up with a desire to go out and completely change the fashion world. And you know, here we are fifteen years later or a little bit more than that, and we can all see what happens when you get it right. Oh, for sure, huge brand. Tory burchess is so nice and want you know, very high end brand that I that I went big and bought my wife some Tory Birch flip flops for Christmas. That's type of Guy I am. Well, I'll say thank you on behalf of the company for doing it. I actually remember standing in their store in Nolita in New York, which was the very first store they opened on Elizabeth Street, if I remember correctly, and I remember walking in for the first time after the store opened and, believe it or not, the very first item I picked up was a pair of flip flops. So and it was. It was a long time ago, but I remember it as if it was yesterday because obviously, you know, some of these moments get sort of indelibly imprinted on you when you look back and realize what that moment was at the time was so incidental. But look at what what was built as a result of that. And so I remember saying there with the flip flops in my aunt. And for anyone out there listening wondering about flip flops for Christmas and todd story, flipflops for Christmas is a very sacal thing to do. So congratulations done. It also kept me from having to buy a purse. They are they're expensive anyways. Hey, and this has been incredible. Is there? Is there anything else that we didn't cover that you'd like to share with our audience? You know, there's only one last thing and I'd be remiss if I didn't do my day job for at least a quick second. You gave me the windows, so I am going to take the opportunity. I was actually speaking to a group a couple of weeks ago and at the very end of the conversation somebody asked the question, not an unusual one actually around cyber, but they asked the question very specifically what is our biggest cyber challenge today? And just given the conversation that we had had, which was really focus on cyber and zero trust, it wasn't really about entrepreneurship or company building, I think that the expectation was that my answer was going to be something around we needed different technology platform customers need to segment more, and that was not where my answer went and, to be honest, it wasn't a prepped question, so I really had sort of the need jurk answer and my needs your answer at the time. Over the last couple of weeks I've decided to adopt it as what I really believe to be the single biggest challenge cyber faces today, which is we need to change our mindset. And the only reason why I bring that up at the conclusion is because, like I said, it is part of my day job, but it's equally something that I'm very passionate about. We are living our entire lives connected and it's not changing. If anything, we're going to find ways to connect even more than we then we are today, and I know that seems impossible, but trust me, give us time, we'll figure it out. We've essentially created the largest attack surface in the history of human kind and I think the minute that we wake up and we say we're going to really work hard to protect it, but we're equally acknowledge that at times it will be taken advantage of, I think that shift in mindset is as important or more important than any product that gets built or any product that gets bought to protect ourselves. And so I'm just really imploring everybody, from a cio to assist so to a board member, to an individual who goes to work every day, to just say law except the reality that breaches happen. Don't be happy about it, but accept it because it's real and it's not going to stop...

...ever again, and let's build a cyber strategy that protects us in every way that's required in that world and that requires us to do something that people are terrible at doing, which is acknowledging that sometimes we fail. We talked a lot about entrepreneurship today. One of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur is acknowledging failures. A matter of fact, not only acknowledging it, but just being comfortable with it. Well, in Cyber it's time that we acknowledge that we're going to fail, we are going to miss, there are going to be breaches and we have to be okay with that and our job is to protect ourselves in always, and so I just feel very strongly about that being a thread. And just given the conversation around entrepreneurship, I actually think that you are a lot more related than people realize. So well said. Thanks for the message, Andrew. I think it's it's needed. Your advice is is great. Appreciate you sharing with us today. You've been amazing to have on the show. congrats again on the series of funding and whatsh you guys tremendous luck for the future. Are Very excited to see where you go next and what happens with alomeo. Really appreciate you guys, having me with such a pleasure to do it, and thank you again. Thanks, Andrew. 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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