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Life at Cyral: All-Hands with Dave Kellogg

Life at Cyral – or the Parliament of Owls, as we affectionately call it – has so far been somewhat of an underexposed notion. Owls are solitary creatures by nature, and when in public, we chose to give back and pay it forward to the wonderful cyber community with our weekly security digest and tech blogs. 

However, nature is not destiny, so, in the spirit of change and experimentation, we want to sprinkle our technical content with a series of semi-regular blog posts where we’ll shed a light on the more casual aspects of the #lifeatcyral – our friendly gatherings, musings, and the conversations we are lucky to have with our great community of advisors and security practitioners.

In our inaugural post, we’ll talk about our recent guest of honor and a dear friend of the Parliament – Dave Kellogg. If you aren’t familiar with Dave, he’s a tenured Enterprise IT professional with decades of experience as CEO, CMO and Board Director, a consultant, independent director, advisor, and blogger focused on enterprise software startups. Dave visited us recently during our properly socially-distanced virtual all-hands meeting to share a few words of wisdom with our inquisitive Parliament. Here are just a few of the many gems we loved from this conversation:

  • The companies that become leaders talk clearly, proclaim their leadership, and move fast. How fast you can grow determines how fast you can hire. And it’s almost impossible to grow too fast. 
  • If you build with simplicity in mind, even if you miss, you’ll still have a better product than everybody else. The reverse – a complex product that becomes great – is almost impossible.
  • COVID-19 has made a lot of companies stronger. They have learned to work with the uncertainty, the shorter attention span, and the new formats of communication, and that makes us more efficient. 
  • Product management jobs are one of the hardest in any company. In product management, you are the center hub, and if you move things 1/16 of an inch for each department, you don’t move things at all. It’s a lot better to move something one inch for one person and get everyone else one inch in the next sprint. It’s so easy to settle on a consensus, and that’s a sure way to a failure. Use data, prioritize ruthlessly, and be prepared to make difficult decisions.
  • The one common thing in good messaging is that it doesn’t sound like it was written by a marketing agency. There are no platitudes. Of course, it needs to be differentiated, but even then, it’s like two professionals talking to each other.
  • There’s one piece of advice that is often given, and equally often ignored: Focus. It’s the one thing that too many companies regret not having done.

We thank Dave for stopping by and sharing his wisdom with our Parliament, and invite you to follow him at https://kellblog.com. That’s owl for now, but stay tuned for future updates!

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