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The Cyber Why: What We Read This Week...
... and why you should too! (12/9/2022)
Welcome back to the weekly installment with The Cyber Why! I’ve got you covered on the latest news, trends, insights, and tips to help you stay ahead of the game. Whether you're a tech enthusiast, a cybersecurity expert, or an investor, there's something for everyone. This week I touch on “equating cyber security to Star Wars”, “The true cost of the twitter implosion”, “Product led growth taking over the business world”, and much more.
So sit back, relax, and let us help you stay on top of the latest developments in the world of tech, cybersecurity, and investments.
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Will Microsoft Become The Next Cybersecurity Juggernaut? (Lytical Ventures)
I have been hearing more and more discussions from CISOs and security teams where they say they are “all in on Microsoft”. Microsoft has acquired a handful of security companies while simultaneously extending their security product called “Defender”. Are they planning to use the same bundling playbook that has won them previous markets in the past? If they do, I think they just might be successful!
Threats: What Every Engineer Should Learn From Star Wars (Adam Shostack)
I just saw this cruise past my sights. I nearly missed it. Adam Shostack is a very accomplished cyber security professional who is extremely well known for his leadership in threat modeling and risk analysis. Apparently he is writing a book equating lessons learned from Star Wars to securing software. This is absolutely going on my “to read” list!
Frankly Speaking - Why Security Is Easy (Frank Wang)
Clickbait title, but good article. I agree with Frank. Contrary to popular belief, security isn’t “hard”. It’s no harder than any other engineering discipline. You just have to know what to focus on and how to build something from nothing. In this article, Frank lays out the requirements to making security easy.
A Founder’s Guide To Hiring A CMO (Openview Partners)
Generally these types of articles are horrible. They tend to give bad advice and don’t break down the data correctly. This one, however, is spot on. The ranges in dollars may vary, but when you are hiring a marketing leader, you have to understand how the new hire will fit into the very complex system that is your GTM. Must read for any CEO looking to build a go to market engine.
Down Rounds, Debt, and Decisions (Holden Spaht)
I love the way Holden talks about the concept of “normal”. I agree with him that we haven’t had a “normal” in high tech startup valuations in nearly a decade. Everything has been abnormal for a long time and founders have to get past their expectations of “normal” and learn what’s real. The article also discusses the impacts of debt financing on high growth tech companies. Don’t kick the can down the road - bite the bullet now and let’s get our valuations back to “normal”.
Daily Crunch: Airtable lays off 250+ as CEO cites importance of ‘being a lean organization’ (TechCrunch)
Survival is difficult — no matter your current brand, status, or company maturity. This is an example of the exact type of action that Holden Sphat shared in his LinkedIn post above. Organizations like Airtable are adjusting their business towards the new “normal” and are focused on the fact that: “being a lean organization becomes doubly important in times of economic uncertainty.” Layoffs are multiplying quickly but at least companies are taking the right actions for a higher chance of success in 2023.
AI and Product-Led Growth Will Disrupt the Business Stack (Tyler Jewell)
Besides having an awesome first name, Tyler Jewell is an extremely smart technology investor with Dell Technology Capital. He researches and builds some of the most well thought out investment thesis I have ever read. This article focuses on product lead growth (PLG) and the new marketing stack. Like Tyler, I believe we are tracking towards a new way of building GTM however I don’t think the new stack actually replaces the old one. Enterprises won’t run without a “system of record” where instead they have a system of “system of interaction” - Instead all of the new stack will augment the data collected as we drive improvements in the systems of record we already have. The marketing “funnel” doesn’t die, it just gets smarter, better, faster, and stronger.
How to show traction beyond revenue (Michelle Moon)
It’s easy to show progress when you have significant increases in revenue quarter over quarter and year over year. It’s a lot harder to demonstrate progress when you are super early stage and focused on learning and iterating your product. This piece is a great piece on what you can use as progress metrics when looking to raise super early stage funding.
We’re in Denial About the True Cost of a Twitter Implosion (Wired)
This one is a massively long article, and I must admit I didn’t read the entire thing. There are a lot of great points in the piece about the value of twitter which got me thinking. If Twitter dies will anyone care? So here we go with another Cyber Why poll.
For those of you that live under a rock, ChatGPT is a ground breaking AI based service that can essentially conduct human level conversations that come very close to passing (if not actually passing) the Turing Test. These conversations are backed by the global Internet of knowledge and have the potential to completely reinvent nearly everything we do in technology. ChatGPT and OpenAI as an innovation really is a massive game changer. Think about this like the invention of the personal computer only taken to a staggering next level. This is huge!
Since I’ve seen OpenAI’s ChatGPT come up in the news quite a bit, I decided I would try my hand at the AI offering by asking it a very basic question.
I asked ChatGPT to comment on its eventual take over of creative writing:
I feel like this response is just something a sentient AI would say to avoid offending humans before it took over the world. Maybe the robot uprising is coming, maybe it’s not, but either way this is what the response would be!
Besides writing content and responses from simple questions – apparently, ChatGPT can help do other things as well. In the last few weeks, people have use ChatGPT to deploy a virtual machine, detect security vulnerabilities and POC exploits, and even write code! Should enterprises start incorporating AI tools like this to their workflows.. that’s a good question. One thing I can be sure about is that ChatGPT has implications across multiple markets making it very interesting to watch how AI evolves over the next few years.
Here’s one final piece of food for thought. What if we connected ChatGPT based conversation with robots using lethal force - Could we get to a point where the robot is smart enough to have a conversation with the potential target of lethal force before they kill them!? Now I’m really scared! (See last week’s Cyber Why to catch the reference)