Stuart McClure is the founder and CEO of Cylance, the first endpoint cybersecurity company that revolutionized the way the industry detects and protects endpoints using machine learning. Prior to founding Cylance, Stuart ran the security business at McAfee, co-founded Foundstone and held leadership roles at small and large security companies. He is now a board member and advisor for many security companies. He is also the lead author for the best selling security book series of all times “Hacking Exposed”.
If you’re remotely interested in enterprise security in any capacity, you don't want to miss this episode.
(This is summarized sections of conversation with Stuart on our pod)
(01:52) Upbringing- Stuart was born in LA but grew up in Guam. His stay in Guam taught him to “negotiate the world” as there were times, he was badly bullied there.
He has also had a near-death experience when the plane he was flying with crashed due to some technical fault. This incident early on in his life made him realize life is too short to be unhappy and shaped his character motivating him to make the right decisions.
Professionally, when he was working at InfoWorld, he got the idea to write a simple book about hacking and security and that is how the best-selling series “Hacking Exposed” came into being.
After InfoWorld, Stuart joined E&Y and then left it in a year and founded the company Foundstone.
(27:18) On Founding Cylance- As Stuart enunciates, the impetus behind Cylance was to not just detect a problem and stop it but to predict it and prevent it. It was to move away from classification to prediction and to do it in real-time
Cylance showcased its uniqueness to clients by doing live demos which is what helped it to stand out amongst the herd.
(41:58) Company Culture- Stuart’s experiences in Guam and his near-death experience made humility a big part of him which eventually became a big part of Cylance culture. His motto to everyone in the company was - “we are here to protect people from ransomware attacks”. If the employees do not believe in the same philosophy, they are better off working somewhere else.
He also added that to avoid employee burnout, depending on the tenure of the employee, they are offered 4-6 weeks off. Further, the company encourages healthy living and mindfulness. But the most important is - it is okay to say no to a deal as not every hill needs to be climbed.
(48:03) Tips on how to grow as a serial entrepreneur- Stuart suggests to first find a problem you are passionate about fixing and then dedicate yourself to it in terms of time and passion. Find like-minded people who can help you and keep you on track
The other thing is to fail fast i.e. don't just try everything and then fail quick and then just change and pivot but take a mindful approach to decision-making.
The third is to never give up
(50:37) Getting over the inner fear of failure- Stuart explains that the fear of failure is very natural but it is important to look past and believe in yourself. Further, surround yourself with people who have achieved those things and thus proved to you that it is doable.
You can read the detailed transcript here
Editing by - Pod PostPro