SSW Episode17

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Episode Audio

Opening Discussion

This week on Startup Security Weekly Paul and Michael interview Tyler Shields of Signal Science.

  • Don't forget to take our Listener Feedback Survey at https://www.securityweekly.com/survey to let us know how we can improve our content to make your podcast listening experience more enjoyable!

Interview Questions

Tyler Shields, Vice President Marketing, Partnerships, and Strategy at Signal Sciences Corp

I am a highly competitive, visionary, strategic thinker with the expertise to challenge accepted norms, motivate, and clearly communicate ideas. My strengths include an innate ability to build interpersonal relationships using direct and clear communications, coupled with the skills to lead and motivate teams of people. My leadership style revolves around building and understanding the needs and motivations of the team and market and helping them to align and meet common goals.

Prior experience includes starting, leading, and growing consulting groups and product divisions within companies including Veracode, Symantec, LURHQ, Secureworks, and @Stake. I am a well known expert in entrepreneurship and innovation in the mobile and cloud security space, having spoken at many major industry conferences. I also mentor and advise start up companies emerging in the mobile, social, cloud, and security markets. In my free time I operate as an entrepreneurial coach for the University of North Carolina MBA program.

My expert commentary has been referenced online and in print by publishers such as Rolling Stone, Bloomberg, Forbes, Reuters, and the LA Times. Additionally, I've contributed to multiple television and radio interviews for both National Public Radio and the BBC.


  • What is unique about running a security startup?
  • How about moving from a services/consulting company to a product company?
  • What are some unique things investors are interested in when talking to security startups?
  • Where are the best opportunities in the market for security startups?
  • What advice do you have for those who may have an idea and want to create a security startup?
  • What are some of the most exciting security startups in the industry right now and why?
  • What advice do you have for enterprises looking at solution and considering (or not) a solution for a security startup?

Startup Stories


Listener Feedback

Matt wrote in with some thoughts we inspired during episode 14

"Customers are your number one investor. When you have an investor as a startup, what do you use that money for? R&D, asset purchases, rent, maybe some employee salary if you have them all ready. You treat those investors like gold. Here is the thing, once you are running and making sales (hopefully), then revenue does all of that and hopefully the founders get some money and if really lucky maybe some profit. Bottom line, revenue pays the same sort of operating costs both Cap-ex and Op-ex that the investor money paid. The result is you need to treat your customers as investors. Give them that same feeling and you will grow the business."

Ben wrote in with a situation where he needs some Straight Talk

  • Michael needs to sanitize it - but it's a great scenario for startups and established companies alike. He'll break it down and we'll bring it to you soon.
  • We connected on LinkedIn - and we'll figure it out. Look for the cliff notes in the coming weeks.
  • My question for you - what's the cost of inaction? When you let the friction build up? How do you overcome that?
  • If you have a Straight Talk Challenge - let Michael know

Michael's Stories

Companies watch:

Paul's Stories

The Startup Grind: updates

Michael's Straight Talk Framework

  • Decided to change up the approach and it was key
  • Focusing on teams - key pivot of the year
  • Narrowing focus even more

Paul's Journey