Which entrepreneurs do you admire and why?
I have tons of admiration for entrepreneurs who have the awareness and willingness to change direction. I feel pivoting is key to success in any business. Some leaders have a great eye for this, while others stay steadfast despite signals that change is necessary. I love hearing stories about when leadership identifies and capitalizes on opportunities to pivot for the better.
Why did you start Defendify? What was it about its mission/value that made you want to go all in?
A couple of years ago, Andrew and I realized small businesses were all facing a similar problem: a lack of comprehensive cybersecurity options specifically designed for them. Many small business owners were trying to understand what cybersecurity really meant, and we had heard from them that they were feeling lost when trying to get started with cybersecurity. It became clear that, even if they were aware of the importance of cybersecurity protection, they didn’t know where to begin. We felt we had a great concept to help solve this problem and we really wanted to make cybersecurity possible for smaller businesses.
What’s one piece of information you know now that you wish you had known when you started your company?
I’ve built multiple companies and have noticed a recurring theme: there is always more work to do than can realistically be done by the team. I’ve come to realize that acknowledging and embracing this fact is essential. The team needs to understand this and focus on identifying and then accomplishing the key strategic tasks.
As an Entrepreneur, what motivates you?
Recently, I was on a panel discussion with a few of our customers and I was able to directly hear from them how Defendify has assisted in transforming their cybersecurity posture for the better. They shared how we have helped protect their company, employees and customers. Now that is motivating! I’ve been in the security industry for over 20 years, and I have seen businesses suffer setbacks after a security incident numerous times. It’s feels awesome to know that we are truly helping!
In your opinion, who are the type of people who are successful working at startups?
There are so many key traits, but one is that they need to be extremely agile. Startups can grow and change quickly, forcing people to step into new roles and take on new responsibilities without much notice. Being able to take this in stride and wear multiple hats makes an employee exceptionally valuable to a startup. This flexibility requires a special mindset with an excitement about change.