In this Founder Stories video, Paul Paget, CEO of Black Kite, discusses the company’s journey and mission to reduce cyber risk within an ecosystem of interconnected third-party companies. He emphasizes the importance of doing the job well, especially paying attention to small details. He explains how they focused on understanding their customer’s needs and building strong relationships with them. Despite various challenges they’ve faced, including the pandemic and economic downturns, Paget emphasizes the importance of staying focused, believing in their mission, and overcoming obstacles. He ends by highlighting the support they have received from their investors and the importance of sticking together as a team.
Hi, I’m Paul Paget, CEO of Black Kite. We looked at what were the kinds of common themes that we all signed up for. One was to do your job. You know, we’re here in New England, but doing your job was really, really important, and doing the little things really well. Because if you do that well, that leads to really good outcomes. And one of the little things that we realized as we were trying to get the product right, so we had to get the customer relationships working really well, we really had to listen carefully to really understand what they’re trying to achieve and understand the difference between what they ask for feature-wise and what the goal is of what you’re trying to achieve. And our goal was really to reduce the cyber risk to the ecosystem of third parties and companies that are all tied together. And so that was the idea and how to do that and do that well and make good decisions about where your problems are, where you focus your resources. That was really the challenge. So we were very keen on keeping aligned, aligned with everything from the board to the management team to staff as we started to hire people into the team, that became really critical. You work for 4 or 5 years to get to almost the starting line, hoping that the market will be there when you get there. Now, the market is developing. You could see it happening, but all of a sudden, it started to open up.
And one of the keys was to build a brand that people trusted. And along that journey, once we got the product right, we built the brand. The brand is only two years old, and the concept behind the Black Kite and seeing far it’s a hawk sees eight times better than humans. That sort of concept started to resonate because the product could deliver that. And as we started to market the company, we were in a very strong position to get people’s attention. There was frustration with the legacy products and we took advantage of that. I think the keys to early success are to get your product and get the support from customers, get that right, get that mix, and do your in-market work with the technology.
Don’t just stay in the lab forever. Get it out there. Put it out there. Even if it’s in raw form. Get feedback. Make sure you understand if you got it right, right before you spend your marketing dollars in the investment environment where a lot of money came in, a lot of companies all at once, turned on the marketing spigot too soon. So we were very, very disciplined about holding back until we were ready, until we had the brand, until we had the positioning, and we could deliver that on the product. Those things have to line up as we go forward. The thing that we’re really keen on is the fact that we’re now covering a lot of the third party ecosystems for companies. We’re covering their IT vendors, their suppliers, and their distributors, and we’re helping customers look at the entire ecosystems. Hygiene. From a cyber standpoint, is it possible to actually reduce the risk across hundreds of thousands of companies that you rely on? That’s a big idea and we’re starting to deliver on that for big brand name companies. That’s very exciting. People don’t think it’s possible and we’re actually making it happen. The obstacles will always come. They’ll always be there. You just have to be radically focused on what you’re doing, believe in what you’re doing, and just stick to what you’re doing as best you can. There are things that can knock you out of the box for sure, but if you let those things get to you, you’ll fail. You have to believe that you can overcome any kind of obstacle, and the obstacles are there. We have seen everything from pandemic to economic pullback to our team in Turkey, where we’ve just seen devastating earthquakes in Turkey. So there’s no there’s no lack of drama that will happen along the way. And you just have to believe and stick to your guns and your and you have to stick together as a group. And our investors have stuck with us. We’ve stuck together. And that’s what makes it go.