What are the principles you use to define a company strategy and how frequently do you correct course?

Evan is the CEO and co-founder of Abnormal Security. In this class, Evan breaks down what a functional and effective culture of leadership means at enterprise startups, and the best ways to foster that culture. Prior to Abnormal, Evan most recently led product and machine learning teams at Twitter after co-founding successful companies including Bloomspot, acquired by JPMorgan Chase, and AdStack, acquired by TellApart.

So I think when we think about company strategy, there's a couple of key principles we use to,to, to influence what we do. And those principles, are not, there were like key criteria, Are key themes right. Across the more functional strategies.

Product strategy, the F or the marketing strategies, et cetera. So I think one is that, and this sounds maybe a little bit,audacious, but, we want to be a market leading company. We want to be the best cybersecurity company that has the biggest impact on cyber crime. So that's, that right there is actually a driving principle, right?

Evan: If we can't be number one in a market, then we don't want to enter that market. If we can't be number one in what we're doing, then nothing else matters until we are number one. So it seems like a simple principle, but it's actually really important. for our first product, We're not going to work on anything else other than that first product. And so we feel like we're on [00:40:00] track to be like the number one in the market with a no compromise, a solution relative to our competitors. So I think the first one is just, really having ambition to be a market leader in anything we do.

the second one is that we try to be extremely, customer-focused. We don't spend a lot of time, without, thinking about our ideas for what we should be doing. We try to just talk to as many customers as possible to get their feedback and,try to understand like what type of company do they want to see, Every, not that every customer has the right answer, But if you talk to a hundred of them, you can start seeing the trends and how they think the market will evolved what it takes for a company to win longterm in the market. And, and,ultimately, you know what's required for you to be successful as a company.

So that's the second one. And the third one is,we know that for us to have the biggest impact for our customers and for our mission of stopping crime. we want to have,we want to be, have a rigorous way of scaling the company. So this kind of theme of like operational excellence and kind of scalability, I think that's really important for our [00:41:00] planning, right?

So we need to think of. How do we, how can we grow our customers by 50% per quarter? that's, more than four X per year, right? So if you want to do things that way, Then it kind of changes, how you need to plan. it means you actually have to start planning a little bit further because the future's comes very fast when you have those type of growth rates.

So we think about, okay, what can we, what kind of infrastructure we have to be building this, like this quarter, even though we don't need it right. But we will need it very fast. We may not have time to build in the future. So we try to think about, how do we really build scalability,earlier than needed into the company, which I know is like an anti-pattern for many startups.

But I think that works well for us, right? Given that we have, very high product market fit in a very high demand market. It's very competitive. So for us, we're trying to grow extremely quickly. And we just do that with very high kind of rigor and operational excellence to make sure that we can scale without kind of thing, without wheels falling off.

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