It really is hard to believe that two years have already passed since the company was started, as well as equally amazing to see what has been accomplished during those two years. Coming in as employee #8, I still laugh at my first day sitting down with our Founder over a fold-up table in his living room when he handed me a laptop, tells me it has Quickbooks installed and if I can get payroll entered the next day. Welcome to the start-up world!
Fortunately I had already done an honest self-assessment and knew the dedication it was going to take to play a role in the building of this company and the necessary pieces I would need to put in place to have a solid foundation. I knew that I was going to have to hire people that had an equal dedication and focus. While Stuart was going to need to keep a laser focus on the product side of the house and assemble his technical “A-Team”, I was going to need to focus on everything else that would support that mission. I also knew that I was going to have to modify my approach and decrease the level of rigidity in my operational approach since we would have a heavily dynamic environment that was likely going to be changing on a constant basis. However, there needed to be one basic premise that everyone would need to operate under….Deliver what you promise. It becomes apparent, and very quickly, that there is no place to hide in a start-up.
In order for people to deliver on what was necessary we needed to have the proper tools in place. Two years later, it’s very satisfying to reflect on the systems we’ve been able to implement and track the progression of our business and the contributions of individuals. In many respects, while not the grandiose scope of SAP (thankfully), we have an incredibly robust reporting and forecasting structure that started with the implementation of Salesforce.com. We then added additional platforms that have resulted in a seamless flow of information from identification of an opportunity to final invoicing. We’re in the process of implementing additional functionality with the addition of a revenue recognition module to track what is a rapidly growing product offering.
Systems and reporting aside, how can you not be motivated to deliver when other members of the team have developed a fantastic product that is not amazing in our own minds, but being recognized throughout the industry?!?!
- Cylance was the runner up at the 2014 RSA Innovation Sandbox program. This was only 18-months into our existence as a company. Amazing!
- Cylance has just been named one of CRN’s 2014 Hottest Emerging Technology vendors.
When I look at the customer base that we have assembled I see a virtual mirror of the customer base that I was servicing during my time with a Schneider division that supported a variety of customer ranging from SMB’s, to Large Enterprise, and Government. We had a $125 million Services & Product business that employed over 300. While we are still on the upward revenue trajectory, it took them decades to build a quality customer base…and we’re 2-years in. Really a fantastic accomplishment!
It’s all the base hits along the way, and the reflection of those, that really keep me motivated and excited about what lays ahead for Cylance.
- The creation of a team that is intensely focused on delivering the Cylance mission.
- The establishment of a successful and profitable Services business
- The creation of a truly industry disruptive technology that is already being embraced by a notable customer base.
- The continued development of relationships with key financial partners, as well as new partners brought in during a successful Series-B.
- Establishment and collaboration with Board level committees adding additional oversight to the business.
- Successful onboarding of a key accounting partner for additional oversight & auditing.
- Successful onboarding of a new Director of Human Resources and the continual building of an already successful program.
It’s been a pretty darn fantastic ride over the last two years and I can only imagine where we’ll be in another two years with the team and partners we have in place. The only thing that will limit us moving forward will be the limitations we place on ourselves and our inability to properly plan for the success ahead.
Thanks for reading…