GreyNoise

Pillars

  • Company Culture (CC)
  • Products (PROD)
  • Engineering (ENG)
  • Sales (S)
  • Community (COMM)
  • Customer Success/Experience (CUST)
  • Marketing (M)
  • Finance (FIN)
  • Partnerships (PART)

Principles

Company Culture (CC)

  • (CC) GreyNoise can not love you back
    • ...but we can care about each other.
    • Companies are incapable of feeling loyalty or love
    • If the money runs out, we all go home
  • (CC) Be honest about what sucks
  • (CC) Be clinical
  • (CC) Empathize deeply with the user and with the customer
  • (CC) Pain can teach you a lot
  • (CC) Scrappy companies cannot be killed
  • (CC) Growth
    • Up and to the right to keep investors happy while we build more value
  • (CC) Do not over-optimize for speculative pain, unfelt pain, or potential future pain
  • (CC) Quality of life
    • Don't work late unless you want to.
    • Be available during business hours and during emergencies. That is all.
    • Don't forget that it's just a job. Don't let it interfere with your personal life.
  • (CC) Nothing matters, except what does
    • Be good at your job, jive with your colleagues.
  • (CC) Look out for one another
  • (CC) Being political on social media is completely acceptable.
  • (CC) Differentiate between good pain and bad pain
    • Bad pain: we didn't plan enough and we hit a problem that we didn't foresee
    • Bad pain: we didn't communicate well enough and the ball got dropped
    • Good pain: we're hitting scale limits of this technology
    • Good pain: we're hitting throughput limits of our team
  • (CC) Interpersonal conflicts will come up between you and the rest of the team. When they do, talk them out as soon as possible.
  • (CC) Automate your way out of your own job
  • (CC) Be clinical with technology, empathetic with people
  • (CC) Be good to your future self
  • (CC) Box out future competitors
  • (CC) Allow the chirpers to underestimate us
  • (CC) Either ignore or learn from the competition, nothing else
    • Obsessing over competitors is a sign of weakness
  • (CC) "Hero culture" is to be stamped out like vermin at every opportunity.
  • (CC) Give your early (employees, investors, customers) a good deal
  • (CC) There is no substitution for quality in-person time
  • (CC) Nobody can read your mind
  • (CC) You aren't good at everything
  • (CC) Slow is smooth, smooth is fast
  • (CC) Look to the data for answers
  • (CC) Don't get greedy
  • (CC) We will always out-innovate our previous selves
  • (CC) Unexecuted ideas are useless, distracting, and a waste of time
  • (CC) There is absolutely no secret to success
  • (CC) The way that you deliver feedback to one another matters just as much as the feedback itself
  • (CC) A lot of problems go away when you mentally accept giving someone a great deal
  • (CC) "Trust" is knowing that the undesired outcome may occur, and proceeding regardless
  • (CC) Everybody has a superpower and an achilles heel
  • (CC) Always assume good faith
  • (CC) Default to communications in open channels: reply all, slack rooms, etc.
  • (CC) Complexity is the enemy of transparency
  • (CC) Employees first, customers and free users second, investors third
  • (CC) Nobody will care more about our success than we do
  • (CC) The measure of a team member’s effectiveness is how well the rest of the team operates in their unexpected absence
  • (CC) Ideas are livestock, not pets

ENGINEERING (ENG)

  • (ENG) Readability of code is judged by the reviewer, not the author
  • (ENG) Tech is cheap, don't be afraid to throw it away
  • (ENG) Write tests out of respect for your colleagues
  • (ENG) If you can't write a test, issue a proof-of-work in your pull request
  • (ENG) Distinguish internal customers from external customers
  • (ENG) Technical compromises are good
  • (ENG) Utility and adoption is factored into the success criteria of all prototypes

PRODUCTS (PROD)

  • (PROD)(ENG) Usability is judged by the user, not the creator
  • (PROD) If you can't get someone to use something for free, you won't be able to get someone to pay for it.
  • (PROD) If the customer has to write code to use the product, it isn't a product.
  • (PROD) Never forget that the data we collect literally sprays around the entire Internet and anyone else can get access to it
    • The raw data is not defensible. The story, brand, reputation, analytics, and integrations are defensible.
  • (PROD) Practice solution reversal
    • "We've discovered that people use our technology to do X"
    • "What are other technical ways we can enable them to do X?"
  • (PROD) Allow users to use the exact same product that they will be buying.
  • (PROD) Creating value is hard, monetizing value is easy
  • (PROD) Capturing unoccupied market space is cheaper and easier than competing for contested market space
  • (PROD) The people who steal your product most likely wouldn't buy it
    • So you aren’t really losing any money
  • (PROD) Do not punish the user for using the product more

CUSTOMER SUCCESS / EXPERIENCE (CUST)

  • (CUST) Losing a customer
    • Be clinical
    • Revenue does not care about how we feel about losing a customer
    • What can you learn?
    • Could it have been prevented?

FINANCE (FIN)

  • (FIN) Informed investors are better evangelists than uninformed investors
  • (FIN) Healthy balance sheets buy you sovereignty
  • (FIN) The size of the total addressable market only matters when you're raising money or approaching saturation

PARTNERSHIPS (PART)

  • (PART) Partnerships are good, as long as we have a way out.

COMMUNITY USERS (COMM)

  • (COMM) Happy, excited free users are better than any sales and marketing team
  • (COMM) Every security person is a GreyNoise community user who hasn't signed up yet
    • Every GreyNoise commuity user is a potential customer in their next job
  • (COMM) Users get promoted to buyers
  • (COMM) Community users are first class citizens

SALES (S)

  • (S) Pricing models need to be simple and transparent
  • (S) Be liberal about giving access to our bulk data for partners and customers
    • Our data goes stale in a week and we can revoke access at any moment.
  • (S) We will do just about any deal for one year
  • (PROD)(S) Consider giving that new thing away for free
  • (S) A mediocre deal is usually better than no deal
  • (S) While we still have no competitors, it's important to acquire as many enterprise customers as humanly possible.
    • We can optimize for revenue maximization later
  • (S) It's okay to leave money on the table
    • This allows us to "borrow" from the future

MARKETING (M)

  • (M) Security practitioners absolutely hate being "sold" to
    • Security practitioners also absolutely hate being "marketed" to
  • (M) Poor and mediocre quality swag is strictly forbidden
  • (M) All marketing communications to free users must include tactically useful information or something they can use for free.
  • (M) Email blast campaigns are to be used extremely rarely