After taking a year to explore the Boston tech community and figure out what I want to do next professionally, I learned a lot about myself and the ecosystem as a whole. One big hole in our ecosystem is pillar companies - companies big enough to make large acquisitions, create enough wealth to spur new angel investors and serve as training grounds for people to grow their careers and then spin off and start new companies. We have a couple companies on the verge of being like this, but we need more and I want to help build another one. That is what I plan to do as CMO at Cybereason (official press release).
Here is why I'm excited about being CMO at Cybereason:
- Cybersecurity is a giant problem that is getting worse. Political commentary aside, I thought it was interesting that both Clinton and Trump spent the majority of their time talking about cybersecurity when they were asked about national security in the first debate. China, Russia, North Korea and other nations are now actively hacking not only into the US government but also into US companies to steal data. The most advanced hacking tools and techniques have been leaked or transferred from governments to criminal organizations. Cybersecurity is among the top 5 concerns in most boardrooms today, and it is only getting worse. Someone needs to change the game. And of course in business terms this means that there is a huge and growing market for cybersecurity software.
- Cybereason has a world class team. The founders are all from the elite cyber war unit within the Israeli military. They are literally the best hackers in the world, now using their expertise to help companies be more secure.
- Amazing technology and product. Customers love the product, and I've heard from a number of experts that it is by far the best technology and user experience they have seen in cybersecurity.
- Marketing is a key challenge. The cybersecurity industry is red hot and growing fast, which also means there are tons of companies entering the market and there is a lot of noise. Standing out from that noise is very difficult, which means that there are some interesting marketing challenges to work on and think about.
- Work with great investors. I've been able to work with some of the top VCs in Boston in my career thus far, and I'm excited to work with two new ones at Cybereason. CRV and Spark have both funded some amazing startups (Twitter, ZenDesk, DropBox, Tumblr, Slack, Quantopian, Wayfair) and I'm excited to build a deeper relationship with them.
- Company is already on a great path. The early results are amazing, Cybereason is growing faster than HubSpot was at this same stage. I know how hard it is to achieve this type of growth and I am so excited to join a company where I can help take the growth from great to even greater.
- Boston is growing into a the hub of cybersecurity. There are a lot of cybersecurity companies in Boston: Rapid7 (IPO), CyberArk (IPO), Veracode (IPO coming?), Carbon Black (IPO coming?), Conjur, CounterTack, Pwnie Express, Threat Stack, Barkly, and more. We have an opportunity to build a strong hub for the industry right here. In order for that to happen, we need a few of them to break out and become huge pillar companies that are the industry leaders.
- Build another pillar company in Boston. Cybereason has the right technology and market to build a company that creates thousands of jobs, acquires other companies, and spins off new startups. We need more companies like that in Boston, and I'm excited to take what I have learned from building one of those companies to help build another one.
I will stay involved in the overall tech community in Boston, but I will naturally have to cut way back on office hours, advising and investing. I will remain on the board of Repsly, and will make an occasional angel investment.
PS - I'm hiring so check out the jobs we have posted. Or if you are awesome and don't fit any of those profiles, just make up the marketing job you want and let me know why you should do that job at Cybereason.