Episode 72

Episode 72 - Vivek Ramachandran - Founder of SquareX

From Cybersecurity Nerd to CEO: Vivek's Journey with SquareX

In this episode, we sit down with Vivek, the founder and CEO of SquareX, to discuss his inspirational journey from a deep tech cybersecurity expert to a successful entrepreneur. Vivek shares how his previous ventures, including research at Cisco and founding Pentester Academy, culminated in the creation of SquareX, a company dedicated to helping organizations detect, mitigate, and hunt web threats in real-time. He emphasizes the importance of tenacity and customer feedback in validating ideas and discusses the critical phases of building a startup, from hiring talent to managing cross-time zone teams.

Vivek also delves into the balance of technical skills and salesmanship necessary for leading a tech startup, the challenges with funding, and his unique approach to team morale and company culture. This insightful conversation offers a blend of technical depth and practical business wisdom, making it a must-listen for aspiring entrepreneurs and cybersecurity professionals alike.

00:00 Introduction and Guest Welcome

00:54 Overview of SquareX

01:15 Vivek's Background and Previous Ventures

02:04 Inspiration Behind SquareX

03:07 From Idea to Product

04:33 Navigating Competition and Market

06:13 Building the Team and Company Culture

09:25 Challenges of Global Operations

12:42 Transitioning from Technical to Sales

15:52 Hiring Early Stage Salespeople

16:13 Onboarding Process

17:32 Sales and Security Dynamics

17:56 Task Management Strategies

18:22 Focus on Product and Market Fit

19:29 Adopting Task-Based Approaches

20:28 Understanding OKRs

21:51 Budget Allocation for GTM

23:49 Work-Life Balance Realities

25:38 Handling Disappointments

27:26 Challenges with Investors and Hires

29:32 Concluding Thoughts

About the Podcast

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Cyber Inspiration
Cyber Inspiration

About your host

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Evgeniy Kharam

Evgeniy has the opportunity to spend more than 40,000 hours working in cybersecurity,
providing pre and post-sales support in various technologies and later as an architect and principal consultant.
Evgeniy is very passionate about technology, vendors, and architecture. He brings a lot of knowledge about VAR, MSSP, and technical pre-sales. He believes in connected infrastructure that there is a significant need for vendor consolidation and the ability for security control to integrate and share information.
Evgeniy is proficient in speaking on most cyber security technical domains, which include: Endpoint Security, Network Security, SIEM/SOC/SOAR, SASE/SEE, VMS, and many more.
In 2020, Evgeniy co-hosted a Security Architecture Podcast. The podcast format focuses on architecture and vendor integration into the customer environment
In 2022 he founded the Cyber Inspiration podcast; the podcast explored the minds of CTOs and CEOs when they started their cyber security company!
Personal: Evgeniy has four kids, a daughter, a son, and twins (boy and girl) . Twins are a great way to learn to multitask, and nothing scares me anymore :)(besides snakes)
Hobbies: Photography, podcasting, public speaking, snowboarding, whitewater canoeing, SUP, mountain biking, motorcycles, breathing techniques, and gadgets