18/ MARCIN KLECZYNSKI
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, MalwareBytes
The Silicon Valley legend is the college drop-out who made billions… but what if instead they stayed in the dorm room? What if they actually finished school *while* building the business? And if the soul of the business itself was helping people rather than harvesting every last penny from their pockets?
This is the intriguing story of Marcin Kleczynski and MalwareBytes, told in a candid ~1-hour interview where he explains how his company was built in vivid detail. Marcin takes us through his formative moments as a Polish immigrant in Illinois helping his family’s cleaning business to his choice to remain in school at his mother’s insistence while MalwareBytes was making millions. Marcin’s retelling of what it was like, many years later, to take his mother through the MalwareBytes office to meet the hundreds of employees in his company is one of our favorite moments in any Security Voices episode.
Our Interview with Marcin balances his journey as a founder/CEO with an in-depth conversation on the endpoint security business itself. Dave and Marcin discuss key product questions such as how much is too much product functionality to give away, how to work with the channel, whether or not you can effectively serve both consumer and enterprise markets and the future of endpoint protection. He also explains why it still makes sense to build a great office when the world feels like it’s shifting quickly to a remote workforce. Somewhat less importantly, we also find out why you should never send deep dish pizza to people in California.
Marcin is the founder and CEO of Malwarebytes, a company he started while he attended college in Illinois as a computer science student and a technician at a Chicago computer repair shop. Born out his frustration with the spyware and malware epidemic in 2004, MalwareBytes focused on threat removal rather than detecting and blocking malware which was the norm at the time.
By offering free versions of their tool to clean millions of computers, MalwareBytes and Marcin earned a well-deserved reputation as the "good guys" of the anti-malware community. This reputation has translated into business results as MalwareBytes has grown steadily throughout the years since it's formal inception in 2008 to present day in 2019 where it stands as a company with longstanding success in both consumer and the enterprise market.
In 2014, Marcin won the Silicon Valley Business Journal's 40 Under 40 award and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2015 he was named one of Forbes Magazine's '30 Under 30' Rising Stars of Enterprise Technology. Marcin received his B.S. from the University of Illinois in 2012 and recently fulfilled a lifelong goal of becoming a licensed airplane pilot.