Monday, May 30, 2016

How Common Is It To Underestimate Customer Acquisition Costs?

I'm not a marketing guy. I always figured that if you build a solution that solves a hard problem, the customers will come. Right now, every marketing guy reading this is falling down laughing, but I really did believe that.

In 2011 and 2012, after participating in dozens of post-breach consultations with multi-nationals, I learned about a problem with no viable solution (how can a company with millions of files determine which are most valuable to a potential adversary).

From 2013-2015, I devised a solution, recruited a team to build it, and found angel investors to finance it. The solution was so simple, so based in common sense, and so easy to implement, that I was certain that our customers would embrace it the moment that we presented it to them. Boy, was I wrong.

I underestimated customer acquisition, and I overestimated product adoption. As I speak with some peers in the industry about it, I'm learning that I'm not alone in making this mistake. I'm working on some ways to remedy that problem for my company, and in the process I've put together a plan to help other startups avoid that same mistake. I'm kicking that plan off today with this post.

Our sixth annual Suits and Spooks DC event (Jan 11-12, 2017) will be all about cyber espionage, APT actors, and the cybersecurity companies and startups that can help companies and government agencies defend against it.

Day one will explore and identify the high value technologies that are being targeted, and by whom.

Day two will give 12 cyber security startups fifteen minutes to demo their product or service to our attendees; at least 50% of whom will be decision-makers from our startups' list of target customers. They'll be attending free of charge.

Sound good? Sign your startup or company up as a sponsor today and we'll spend the next six months working with you to identify, connect with, and invite as many executives at the director level or higher at your target companies that we can - free of charge. By letting my team help you win new customers, you'll help us generate income for our own marketing efforts. I think it's a win-win. If you agree, please connect with me on LinkedIn and ask for a sponsorship package.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cyber Espionage's Three-Legged Stool Dilemma

Cyber espionage is a worldwide multi-billion dollar problem for every technologically advanced nation; even the ones that the U.S. traditionally considers its adversaries (Russia and China). 

Think of it as a stool with three legs: Targets (High Value Technologies), Actors (both State and non-State), and Defenses (ways that we can protect those HVTs). 

The reason why companies and government agencies continue to lose their expensive HVTs to their rivals and adversaries is that their three legged stool is missing one or more of its legs. It's really as simple as that.

At Suits and Spooks DC (January 11-12, 2017) we'll take a deep dive into how governments and corporations need to assess these three components by discovering answers to the following questions:

What are the most valuable technologies of 2017 and beyond?
Which threat actors are targeting those technologies, and how?
How can you best defend your technologies against those threat actors?

Day one will address the first two questions while day two will showcase about a dozen companies whose focus is defending against acts of cyber espionage.

Seats are limited to no more than 100 people. Register today and save 60%.

If you have a topic in mind that you think would be a good fit for our event, send over a title, abstract, and your bio. Our current speakers include Dr. David Bray (CIO at the FCC) and Lewis Shepherd (formerly with Microsoft and the Defense Intelligence Agency).

If you work for a cyber security company and would like to be considered for a 15 minute slot on day two to showcase your product for our government and corporate attendees, contact me at your earliest opportunity. We're only going to feature 12 companies.