23/ HAROON MEER
Founder & CEO, Thinkst
Could you create a fake cyber security company and rack up industry awards overnight? How about fabricating a founder and scoring them impressive job offers? Haroon Meer did both of these recently for a presentation titled “The Products We Deserve” as an exploration and commentary on the state of the industry. Jack, Dave & Haroon take on snake oil in security during an hour long conversation to determine exactly how someone could create a great company amidst the pressures that threaten to pull one in the wrong direction.
The catalyst for Haroon’s presentation and our discussion is his personal experience at Thinkst where he has focused on building a “bottoms-up”, product first company that has grown steadily since its inception without venture capital. His thoughts, from how to deal with industry analysts to “ball pit marketing” at conferences, come from Thinkst’s direct experience aiming to not only grow the company, but grow it in a way that is true to their own values.
How Haroon and Thinkst navigate challenges such as having a strong presence for the company at the RSA Conference (sans shenanigans) is an exercise in creative problem solving versus rejecting the experience entirely or simply following the crowd. While it would be easy for an episode such as this to be bleak or even angry, Haroon’s thoughtful approach and optimism give us a portrait of how we might emerge from our awkward adolescence as an industry into a better future.
Haroon Meer is the founder of Thinkst, the company behind the well regarded Thinkst Canary. Haroon has contributed to several books on information security and has published a number of papers and tools on various topics related to the field. Over the past almost two decades, he has delivered research, talks, and keynotes at conferences around the world.
The presentation "The Products We Deserve" can be found on Virus Bulletin's site.
You can reach Haroon on Twitter @Haroonmeer.