Episode 14 with Guest Shira Shamban

Shira Shamban

In this episode our host Tanya Janca (also known as SheHacksPurple), talks to our guest Shira Shamban to learn what it’s like to be the CEO of the rapidly growing Isreali cloud security startup Solvo! She tells of us her military service, what it’s like to start a company in Israel, what rapid growth is like, and when you know your company is ‘real’.

59:56 Shownotes


welcome to the we hack purple podcast where each week we interview a different member of the information security industry to learn what it’s like to do all sorts of different types of jobs we are taking an inside sneak peek at all sorts of interesting types of jobs people backgrounds and basically experiences we want to build you up so that you can have an amazing career in information security as you well know i am tanya janca your host and we hack purple is a training academy and community and if you go to wehackpurple.com you can visit it this week we have our guest shira shamban who is the ceo of solvo ,a brand new and very exciting startup out of israel and our amazing wonderful repeat sponsor threadfix powered by denim group and because i cannot help myself i have made a slide to show you my book and so i’m going to reveal the image of my book to you which is now a bestseller so alice and bob learn application security has now hit bestseller on amazon.com and amazon.ca and you can get it from wiley indigo chapters etc if you want to have the most beautiful of the security books it has the prettiest cover you can get alice and bob learn appsec but i know what you’re waiting for same thing as me you want to meet shira okay so here she is and boom hello hey tanya it’s so good to be here and congratulations for for the great achievement with the book it was so nice to read written so well anyone can learn out of it anyone who is interested any junior even seniors in the cyber security industry so i highly recommend everyone to go ahead and get their digital copy thank you thank you so much for those that don’t know shira and i are friends and i think she’s totally amazing and so i’m so so so excited and actually some of the other members if we hack purple have heard of you and they’re like oh my gosh this week i’m like i know i know it’s happening it’s happening yes finally finally um what did we do your show is so popular i had to wait a few months to get my slot i know when i when i it like started inviting people i honestly never realized that most the people would say yes i feel so honored we just booked six more guests for may and april of 2021. i’m just absolutely astounded at the amazing humans that have been saying yes okay but without further ado let’s talk about you and if you could please introduce yourself and tell us what your job title is and then describe your job sure so my name is shira and i’m the ceo of solvo solvo is a relatively new startup we we officially [Music] founded in april of 2020 with you you know this year has been so crazy so why not do just another crazy thing um even though i knew i’m gonna start the company a long time before um having my own company was was kind of a dream or it kind of felt like the only thing that made sense to me in in career-wise or job-wise it really made sense and i was only waiting for for the right timing we could probably talk about it more later so so solvo is uh solving a problem in the cloud security world where software developers when they get you know credentials to their aws account or any other cloud vendor they have a lot of power and uh along the process of creating an application in the cloud the developer also has to give security permissions to the cloud services they’re using and provisioning but software developers don’t always have enough knowledge about that so they use a lot of wild cards or a permission that someone else created for them or something something that aws created for them but it’s never you know the best uh thing for your specific application because every application is unique and different so when they go for a general a kind of permission something very generic very often it includes excessive permissions and these excessive permissions are sometimes exploitable or they’re just redundant why keep them if they’re unnecessary right so what we do is tell developers listen we know that you have a hard time with this just don’t do it solvo is getting into your ci cd pipeline and giving by creating and giving those permissions specifically for your application uniquely created for you don’t worry about it we got your back so this is what we do um and you know it came out of a real need uh it wasn’t like i had a dream about it and it made sense we went to talk to you know different personas in different organizations from developers to the cso and everyone in between to hear about their pains now you asked about my average day [Music] it really changes but as the ceo you do a little bit of everything especially today when we are a small startup so we don’t have you know vp sales vp marketing uh we use a lot of contractors and at the end of the day i sometimes feel like a conductor like i stand above and kind of make sure it all plays well um and at the at the beginning and at the end of the day it’s my responsibility i’m the boss i am on top of the pyramid so i have to make sure that everything works perfectly or works the best we can and it’s my responsibility more than anyone else um this is the way i see my job no one day is you know identical to the other i come in the morning around 10 a.m i will usually be back home anywhere between uh 7 to nine pm depends on how busy the day was i really like the the later hours just because they’re more quiet and more calm so i can do you know things with myself on the computer throughout the day i have a lot of zoom meetings with this and that about our website and about the that customer and something legal uh so i get to look at a lot of things i learned a lot from our legal team just about you know life um so yeah yes it’s very very very interesting i told my lawyer that maybe after we’re done with salvo he will hire me as you know as an intern just because it was so interesting and just interesting to work with him um so yeah so so yeah do you feel as the ceo that you’re that person that kind of knows how to do every other person’s job but no one knows how to do your job so you can’t like really call in sick absolutely not i i don’t think that i need to know as much as anyone else about their job i think that it’s my job to hire the best people who are definitely smarter than me and are more capable than me in something for example in marketing so i have like the idea of how i think we should do marketing like generally talk to these people generally do these things yeah seo for example um you know making sure you come up on google yeah make sure we have to do it right yeah but now go ahead and do the research around the best words and and how to use them so you need to bring in professional to do that and you know i sit in the same room with our developers uh am i you know the best person to talk to about design absolutely not no absolutely nothing i hear what you’re saying i like that though that sounds like a really smart ceo move to know that i don’t do everyone’s job i just have to make sure everyone gets taken care of like you’re you’re leading you’re kind of like steering the ship yep absolutely so someone in the chat um ahmed says congratulations on salvo thank you and if anyone wants to ask questions to shikha in the chat just put it in there and if you are listening later to this or watching later then you are going to have to catch her on twitter and i’m going to put her twitter handle down below but i’m going to say it so that people can hear it and so it’s shamban i t so it’s s h a m b a n and then i t like information technology so it should exactly last name and then i t because there are there a lot of cham bands out there and am i saying that correctly you’re you’re saying it perfectly and it’s only like every shamban we’re all from the same clan we just have to figure out how exactly are we related but all of us are are from the same ancestors uh cool yeah it’s a unique name very cool like mine there are not very many jancas out there for better or worse um so so i have a question that i wanted to add to this is how did you know when you had a company like what moment clicked this is a great um question because there wasn’t a single moment um every day or every week i have like this you know light bulb like in the cartoons that says like wow it’s like it’s real i have to pinch myself and say it’s not a dream this is really really happening so i remember when i you know i quit my job so here i am jobless uh so that was the first moment when it was real and uh when i came up with a name and bought the domain and kind of had the idea of what we’re gonna do but and and then you know i wanted to pitch about the idea and i was like i can’t believe they’re buying this i mean i mean it’s just an idea and some slides you’re very convincing they were listening yeah they were listening um and and then one moment was when we officially you know opened a company legally opened the company and i remember the day when we signed the papers for our investment i was sitting here at home alone telling myself listen you can still back out of this i mean no this is your moment they believed you about the pitch but but this is you taking a lot of money right now i mean do you want to reconsider you there is no pressure no one is going to be angry with you if you decide not to take the money i had that moment but good for you for going just going on anyway being like i got this yeah and then you know every week something happens that makes it more real our first office our first employee uh our first product our first customer our first paying customer so everything is happening for the first time so every week we have a happy hour in the office and every week i’m like listen you know what happened this week it’s it’s amazing and and i get that feeling every week it’s really real it’s it’s not a dream it’s something that they dreamed about and then executed oh it’s so exciting this is our chance to tell the audience no one is going to come to you and say hey here’s the ceo position please take it i mean unless you’re super super super uh experienced in being a ceo but you always have your first time what is going to be your first time when you decide it’s your first time oh my gosh is so true i would like to note that bravery is when you’re scared but you go and do the right thing anyway i like it you never know if it’s the right thing or not you just know that it burns in you that you have to do it that’s the only thing that’s gonna you know that’s the only indication that you’re going to have um yeah yeah i agree okay so that totally leads me into the next question which is what types of personality traits or or maybe aptitudes does a person need to have to make for a good ceo um that’s an excellent question and i guess uh there isn’t a uh one answer um you know like like everything you’ve met some successful ceos who seem to be they’re still successful for some reason so i think that there are two main ideas that are leading me okay the first is that i’m here to build a successful company and how can we tell if a company is successful by you know saying how much money are they making or how much money are they worth how much money is someone willing to pay for it this is how we know a company is successful and how many people you’re helping too because if you have tons and tons of customers that’s a good sign yeah the impact that you’re creating you have customers you’re saving their time you’re making them more secured absolutely and then the other uh vector is uh the impact that you’re making on your team and your employees and i know that some people neglect that but for me these are these two pillars are equally important i want my team to come to the office and feel like they came to their second home or their second family and and feel good where they are feel feel good get a good feeling get the feeling that we care about them we care about their personal involvement um we care that they feel important that they feel valuable um and and i think as a ceo you need to make sure that you’re using all the tools to make all of that work uh and orchestrate well um so so you need to be very empathetic to your team and to your customers you have to be half a psychologist like listen to them yeah you have problems in your cloud yeah it’s so unique no one is having these problems tell me more you you have to listen and smile and say that you understand that it is very very difficult what you’re facing we’re here to help you um and you are and you are there to help them yes yes yes i’m not uh sarcastic it sounded a little sarcastic but it’s real it’s very real um so i think that you know a lot of people say yeah i’m not the best engineer and this is a security company or this is a technology company so i’m not a good quali i’m not qualified to be the ceo and i don’t think that’s true you don’t have to be the best engineer you don’t have to be the best marketing person you don’t have to be the best sales person you just need to be responsible and understand that this is a good time to bring a salesperson i’m going to hire the best fit for the company and the best sales person i can i can get this is your job as the ceo someone someone just put in the chat oh my gosh i hope she shira and tyrone are friends because we had someone else named tyrone who was a ceo and he’s the ceo of a cyber security training company but they teach different stuff than we hack purple does and um just so many things that you said are like bringing memories back of the interview with tyrone where he basically like it’s like your words are coming out of his mouth or vice versa wow yeah i’ll have a chat with him interest later nice absolutely so so this so first of all um if you are watching or listening to this later please click the thumbs up button or write us a review and tell us how great you think this show is okay now onto real questions so do you feel that someone needs to have technical skills to become the ceo of a cyber security or cloud security company and if so what are they so i definitely think you need skills that are relevant to the cyber security domain that you’re in i mean i i don’t have any reverse engineering capabilities and that’s okay because i’m not in the reverse engineering business so i think the the more solid background that you have in your domain you will be perceived as a relevant person to solve this problem um and again i you know i don’t have 30 years of experience in security and the cloud has only been around for for this many years he’s going to say wow shira before it even existed amazing yes you know i was me and jeff we’re sitting together i was five years old [Laughter] but you don’t the more solid background and the more professional you are in that domain the more seriously people will take you and and how do you create that you know that experience first of all you need to learn and you you need to learn all the time i still explore in my demo aws account well how does this work let’s connect this what’s going to happen with this um i i still try out things when when i have some time um and yeah when i go and talk to a potential customer or or a colleague or whatever i know what i’m talking about i know that when i talk about aws and and misconfiguration i know i i speak in their language they know they can talk to me and i will understand and maybe i will even have a good advice for them um and no matter in which domain you want to start a company you need to to make sure that you can have an intelligent conversation with the person in front of you um and and it has to be good enough and you will never be you know the best in all domains but i mean you have to to at least try to to understand a little bit so that you can talk about them and don’t forget to write notes about you know something new that you heard today and need to go and take a to to read a little bit or watch a youtube movie and learn more about it so that’s always keep learning that’s a good tip speaking of your experience so i am from canada and uh you are from israel and you have a very interesting career path or i find it very interesting would you be open to sharing some of that of course of course um so as some of you may know in israel we have a mandatory military service men and women both have to go to the military for a period yeah for a period of two to three years basically that’s the mandatory service you can’t choose uh where you want to serve you just you take some tests and then you get notified where they chose to to put you so um i had no idea what am i going to do i got to intelligence i didn’t know that’s going to happen um and and one thing led to worse as i said before i was always you know the person who does a little extra um just because not because someone told me to so i know i’m gonna go i’m gonna take officers training just because you know i am the kind of person who sees something is done in a weird way and i’m like instead of just complaining about oh how long the line is wait let’s just uh work it in a different way and and make sure it goes faster like i don’t wait for someone to do it and just go ahead and say let’s do it differently yeah so sometimes you need your ranks to to do things differently just like sometimes you need to be the ceo to do things differently yes so i just you know took the officers training just to make things differently um and one thing led to another and i stayed in the military for 13 years uh so that’s a little more than the two mandatory years a little bit more yeah and and during that time i got to do many different and interesting things uh that has to do with cyber security with intelligence with the counterterrorism um many different domains that are technology related and are intelligence related so that was a fascinating time and it really opened my mind about this world and about how you know when when you connect to the internet you can be anywhere you want from the comfort of your living room that it’s that amazing uh i think it’s great and it’s a great enabler for us but also as everyone knows it’s also dangerous and people sometimes exploit it so that was that and after 13 years i felt like i’m not sure i want to do this until i retire so maybe it’s a good time to take a break and see the real life uh and you know when you’re in the military i didn’t have a linkedin account i didn’t have a twitter account no one knew me i’m like what is this linkedin thing and why do i have to be connected to people so i had to start from scratch from absolutely nothing i had to build a network and i started just yeah i just started talking to people like asking them for coffee and this is actually a very good tip for anyone listening to us right now ask people for to grab coffee with them and and get their thoughts about something i rarely got to know rarely what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen right someone is going to say sorry i don’t have time today with zoom people are just going to say yeah let’s do it over zoom so don’t be afraid to just find an interesting person and and ask them for 30 minutes of their time people really like to be asked to help so took a lot of coffees with different people and figured that maybe a product manager position is going to be the best thing for me um during that time i also met another uh friend who was a ceo of another startup a rather successful startup and talking to you about what kind of roles there are in in in the real world like a product manager or a sales engineer or customer success the more we talked i was like yeah you know i feel like i i need to sit in your chair um like it made the best sense and he’s like you can’t sit in my chair you need to start your own company if you want to be a ceo and of course i didn’t literally mean his chair like i’m gonna like get up that way i was like listen after everything you told me like it feels the right thing to the right position for me to be at something yeah okay okay i’ll have to start my own company then uh and you know i i still knew that since you know i’m just coming out of military which is a very different um you know organization i have to to take a detour and stop in another company just to learn a little bit about how it works and this is how i got to do9 and really at the beginning i came as a product manager for a new product that does intrusion detection in the cloud but very soon i found that i was doing many other things and not just products first of all i opened the research team so here i am doing some security and and in addition to that i was working closely with marketing sales sales engineers all the other personas in the organization and no one told me to work with them or here is an important task for you to do no i just felt that i cared so much about the product that i wanted to talk with everyone involved to make sure that you know they position it the right way they sell it the right way they on board users the right way so you know if you care enough you will just be exposed to more personas in the organization and and this builds you this prepares you because you learn about you know sales processes which i had no idea about it’s like it’s a transparent process for me as as an employee of a company we just you know i sit write code and somehow we have new users i have no idea how it happened it just happened yeah it’s not really working that way so i worked domedine i was so happy there i got to learn so many things meet so many cool people and then uh the best and worst thing happened and dominate got acquired yeah uh it’s the best because you know every startup wants to be acquired but also it wasn’t the best thing because i was so happy there so for my own personal you know reason i did not i was not happy about the acquisition but you know only not you can’t complain about that yeah um so i just knew that this is like this is the right timing for me and by the way i would also say to our audience that um you never know that it’s the right timing so i just you know i always try to talk to as many as smart people as i can just get their thoughts and i asked uh if they think that it’s it’s a good thing it’s the right thing for me right now and i i heard all the answers you can think of i heard about yeah you you have the right personality and now is the best time go and do it and i heard maybe you should go to another startup and get some more experience i heard that as well so it’s really up to you yeah to to know and maybe you will never know but you have to just you know jump in and do what you believe in if you think that it’s yours it’s yours even when it’s hard even when you have a bad day even when you get a no i get i got like a million no’s it doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day i got yes i got a yes from our investors i got a yes from our customers i got a yes from our employees but i also got a million no’s so don’t let it bring you down you will always have a no that’s so good of you to share because i find like a lot of people they’re like i’m so successful everyone says yes to me and it’s like no actually people say no all day long to us and then it’s the ones that say yes that make our companies work or come be our employees etc yeah you just need one yes out of all the million knows and don’t let a no bring you down or break you or oh maybe it’s not a good idea maybe i’m not good enough no you and the other investor are not a good match that’s the only thing that it means okay i will have another investor that i would have a good match with that’s fine yes and if you don’t make a sale to a customer now you might make a sale to them in six months or you might make a sale to them next year or because you were truthful and you honored what their needs are if you say honestly like listen like that’s not what is worth selling but here are some recommendations for you of really good places that could help you with what you’re actually looking for that person might go off into the world and say yeah i didn’t buy from them but they do this and i think they’re right for you and then send you a customer later but you have to keep asking you can’t run away if you hear no that’s the best advice in a long time you also gave a good advice keep honest yeah don’t tell something if it’s not solving the problem um and yeah there for example in our industry there are so many open source tools that are pretty good and you know i mentioned my competitors very often in in a good way i say hey they created this really cool open source tool and i think that for the problem that you’re describing you can use it it’s good i mean i you can pay me money but you have this tool that is solving exactly the problem that you described that’s fine i know that they will appreciate my my honest opinion and my honest feedback and my my integrity and my company’s integrity is very very important yes oh i could not agree more one of the values of we hack purple is integrity and uh we we had this meeting with a person we were thinking of making an affiliate recently and it turned out he was also a recruiter and so he was planning to tell people they kind of had to take our courses so then he could get a cut and we’re like no we’re not open to that we’re not open to anything that puts first of all that puts like undue pressure on people and also we’re like that doesn’t feel honest so we politely declined i’m just like that’s not how we want to make sales and yeah integrity definitely you might think oh i’m losing out on a little sale now but it’s really big sales later that you will miss out on and big opportunities you’ll miss out on if you are not trustworthy oh so good sheriff absolutely so i have more questions for you but first i want to thank our sponsor thread fix powered by denim group the most stupendous vulnerability management system this side of the galaxy yes thank you so much they have been our sponsor from the very beginning and i really appreciate it okay so now i want to ask you more things so this is a question that so we’ve had a couple of startup founders on the show so far does your job pay well in your opinion okay that’s important question and people need to know that when you’re entrepreneur uh and you want to start a software company of any kind uh you have to assume that you will work for some time without a salary at all and you have to be prepared for that you have to you know have your savings or or find another source of you know income yeah that is not a another job because as an entrepreneur i personally i don’t think you can have a day job and start your own company you can do it for some time on the weekend and at night but you know at some point you have to be full in yeah to make it accelerate and work so so you have to assume i assumed one year of no salary so i had savings for one year and i knew that when i hit a year i will have to stop what i’m doing and find a job so you have to be prepared for that um and then you go ahead and raise some capital hopefully a lot of million dollars yeah and and then as a ceo you can start not as a ceo just as like just like any other employee in the company you can have a salary and then you ask okay but what is going to be the salary and there are a few approaches one is let’s take a relatively low salary now and have a bigger like a much bigger salary later and david my co-founder and i decided to be in the middle like to have a a decent salary but it’s not a very big salary but we can definitely live uh out of it and you know have as an entrepreneur your investors as well want you not to worry about stuff but to be focused on the company yeah so it’s also their interest that um you will not be worried about oh am i going to have enough money to to buy a new fridge they want to make sure that i mean your life is is okay and and you can pay for other people to solve some of your problems so that you can focus on the startup so i get paid i think i get paid like fine it’s good for what i do and um it’s okay i think that we have a scale that we tend to use and so i guess i said this on the first podcast and now and so people are asking how much cheese can you buy so when i first could afford to buy two types of cheese at the grocery store i was like oh my gosh i’ve really made it as a software developer because i know like i’m not like scripting and saving and i was like there’s two types of cheese and i really want both and i was like oh my god i can afford that and that was like this light turned on in my 20s and so um the audience is asking how much cheese can you buy and i think the answer is she’s allowed as much cheese as she wants so i can go to the big supermarket the one that is not a high-end supermarket and i can get the expensive cheese as well and every now and then i can go to the really special french cheese store and and buy you know a couple pieces um nice nice i like it i don’t know how cheese became our measurement but it’s just i like it thank you but i i also like that the way that you worded it how you know your investors don’t want you worrying if you can like make your rent or your mortgage or not they don’t want you panicking that the lights are going to be turned off but they’re also not investing in your company so you can like roll around in money and you’re like i’m just getting paper cuts from all these hundred dollar bills um yeah exactly exactly uh so i’ve never had someone explain that to me before and i love that definitely um i have yeah that’s really good it puts a lot of things in perspective for me too i just started getting my own salary from my own company uh two fridays ago yes it’s a big move this is a big thing yeah maybe one day you will interview yourself we have a plan for if a guest stands me up there’s another person in my city who’s gonna be my guest and then the backup backup is for me to interview myself um which is it’s very silly but some i’ll probably just ask a guest to come on and interview me but um i’m hoping that most of our guests can make it because we have like really awesome guests planned but anyway okay i want to hear more about you so like let’s say someone’s someone is like you years ago where they saw the person you know they see you now in the ceo chair and they’re like oh that’s amazing i want to do that someday do you have any sort of ideas on like a learning path or like way they could try to train themselves or experience they could try to get to get themselves there [Music] yeah the experience should be as diverse as possible and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will switch jobs constantly but it means that wherever you are a big corporate a small startup wherever you are you should grab lunch or coffee or virtual coffee with anyone and ask them to hear about how how does the sale process really works how does it work do everyone reach out to you do you have to uh reach out to people and just make them hear your pit how does this really work and then how do we create the messaging for our company why did you choose to use you know this slogan for example like try to talk to as many people just hear their perspective this will give you a lot of perspective especially hearing from people what didn’t work for them is very helpful it doesn’t mean that if it didn’t work for them it’s not going to work for you but if you hear their answers like it didn’t work because the market wasn’t ready or because our customers were this kind of person as long as you hear and ask them why didn’t it work or why did you choose this this will expand your horizons and this is the best thing you can do as a ceo you have to be a little bit of everything and you know i don’t have i never worked as a salesperson or as a marketing person but watching and talking to these kind of people gave me some skills to at least be the first sales person in my company until i hire a professional person to do that same same goes for everything else except for writing code i’m not allowed to write code just because we want it to work in production only because we want the code to work otherwise they would let her write it most honest comment ever um so would you say that there’s lots of opportunities in your field and so that’s a hard question because you basically made your own opportunity but would you say there is i think that we have so many problems in the world right it doesn’t necessarily have to be in cyber security in cyber we have plenty of problems plenty of startups and we still see new startups every day so i guess we have that many problems um but i think that if you find a problem again it doesn’t matter if you’re a a gym trainer and you find a problem you can either say to yourself okay it’s just just the way it works it’s let’s accept it or we can think about a way to solve it and if other people have that problem we can scale our solution create a software that will solve it for everyone and sell it and and you know feel like we changed the world and we solved the problem for someone so i think that there is an opportunity as long as you find a need um so yeah no yeah i mean it’s really up to you to find the need i think then and you you said something really important there that a lot of people don’t realize so the reason why her company is working is because she’s solving a problem and she’s solving a problem that people are willing to pay money to have solved and there are i have met people where they’re like i want to be a ceo and i want to do a startup and they’re like i made this cool tech thing it’s like what problem does it solve no but it’s really cool i’m like well go build a blockchain because that’s where all those people are hanging out yeah so and the more personal and relevant the problem is to your life the more compelling it’s going to sound to other people because you really speak from your own experience and from your own pain it sounds uh real so yes and i just realized that i’ve been flashing your url on the screen but that a lot of the people that listen to the podcast aren’t going to be able to see that so i want to explain to everyone if you want to go check out shira’s company you should go to solvo.cloud so that’s s o l v like victor o dot cloud like you know those gorgeous things in the sky or also the things that amazon google and microsoft make for us to have awesome infrastructure on demand you know one or the other so what do you like best about your job um we talked before about the fact that every week i feel like um the company is more real and whenever something uh satisfying happens like i sit in my chair and i’m like yeah we we have our first paying customer [Music] or listen we we had this really awesome person uh starting to work for us the fact that someone is willing to quit their job and come work with me i’m like what did you really do that yes i mean for me i mean you believe in my idea you think we can do it together you think you can change the world you think you can create some software we can we can use on scale wow i mean people are buying this what it’s amazing so and i have that moment a few times a week because everything is new for me everything is happening for the first time it’s it’s mind-blowing every time and i appreciate it i appreciate these moments i appreciate these milestones and i celebrate with my colleagues we celebrate the first user we celebrate the first pr we celebrate these milestones because they’re so important for us they’re so meaningful yes they are and i love the way you worded that like it’s just so amazing to have someone believe in you and your idea so much that they will leave this other thing or this other opportunity and they’re like i’m on board let’s do this i’m on your team i love it yeah it touches me every time yeah my my employees have started calling it purple team they’re like you know for team purple and they call it purple work it’s just it just really i’m just like i’m never good it’s never gonna get old yeah and and you know this is them creating a culture of we hack purple this is your dna exactly these are the small things that make it fun to work with you yeah we need t-shirts like your t-shirt your t-shirt’s really cute i like it the salvo t-shirts okay with the cloud and the brackets in between we got this yes and our slogan in the back let us take care of cloud security for you just code oh i love it so just code we got this i like that yeah so i have a difficult question for you now what do you like the least about your job um saying no to people or having awkward interactions with them i can give an example uh one of my this is some this is a real story that happened yesterday okay one of my investors introduced me um to to a to a guy who has um an outsourced company and he claims uh he can also do sourcing first like find employees to come work for us so we signed a contract with him and he only sent us like a couple of like just a few cvs and they were not relevant he wasn’t you know really trying to be well at what they do i have other companies sending me more relevant employees which obviously i hired and then this one day the guy emails me saying that as an indirect stakeholder he would like to recommend me about these steps or telling me that we took a bad approach in hiring and we are too harsh with the candidates and like like saying a bunch of stuff i’m like what i mean you are a vendor and if you have like if you feel like we’re not working well together so you can you know give me a call and talk about how we can work better together but like emailing me in a pretentious way and claiming that you know better than me even though you really proved that you’re not you know well at what you do um where do you have the the nerves or the attitude to email me this list of things that allegedly me and my co-founder are doing wrong this is so rude and you’re not only a vendor you are a friend of one of our investors does this make any sense to you would you send this kind of email to another client of yours that was so rude and i was like so option number one sending a totally angry email or like proving him wrong what if it was like a picture of you just flipping the bird do you think that would have got the message across um listen so i was like like shira of three years ago would send the harshest email back yeah like proving him wrong on every point that he came up with and telling him who the hell do you think you are and i mean because really who the hell do you think you are you are a vendor and you are here to send me a bunch of cvs and make sure i have lots of engineering’s writing code this is your like this is what you were hired for yeah um so i was like so i shearer of three years ago would have written you know a very harsh email back but i took a deep breath and held myself and asked what is the best outcome or what do i want to make out of this because yeah i could send that email but except for you know a relief for 30 seconds what what good is going to come out of it so i wrote a very polite email that regardless if i agree or disagree with what you wrote here i don’t appreciate this aggressiveness from any vendor or partner i work with and maybe in the future we will have more relevant projects to work on and that’s it for me that guy is history yeah and we will never work together never ever i’m not gonna shame them out in public but if anyone asks me about them i will say that company’s name and i will highly recommend not to work with him you are so i i have i have this mo sorry i i have these kind of moment moments or or incidents it’s not often but when it happens and and i have to control the monster in me that’s that’s hard that’s hard but as a ceo you are the face of your company so you can’t let that monster out anytime you want you have to be careful and not to release it um so that that’s as for for you know the least uh fun moments i have in my company i will not let anyone hurt the company hurt my employees heard anything hurt my customers or or or harmed them so this is like me being the lioness in the front uh you know taking the fire and making sure everyone else doesn’t see that or doesn’t feel that it’s so true it’s so true i so i have found that i have had to stand up for myself constantly i actually had a company talk about how they wanted to do like a collaboration with my company and then during the meeting they told me to stop making training and just sell their product and put my name on it and like and i i was just like so let me just stop you for a second sometimes canadians were very polite so i politely said no in the canadian way a bunch of times and i’m like we’re not going to change our business model for you just to be clear stop asking the answer will always be no and just so you know it’s very disrespectful so that conversation’s over however if you want to buy our services here are services we can offer for you and and he’s like but i’m like nope you’re done now and they’re just like well we could i’m like no so would you like to buy our services we’ll send you a brochure and you can let us know later and i have to do this at least a few times a week at least a few times a month for sure but at least once every week i have to just say okay so i know you want you said you’d like to collaborate with us but really you want me to blindly endorse your weird product that i’ve never heard of before and so oh and you want to give us you want to give me zero dollars for doing that wow you can see how that’s a very attractive offer for me right no it’s not so thanks for wasting 30 minutes of my time the answer is no so i’ve had to learn that phrase the answer is no because being canadian we’re very gentle and we kind of dance around the word no but i have had to learn to say it and it’s hard have you have you found that heard yes saying no because in a way we try to please other people all the time so saying no is is not easy and you have to learn to focus listen everyone has 24 hours a day all of us and you have to decide how to spread them or how to divide them who who can who do i want to share some of this a precious resource with and sometimes you just have to say no because this is not the top priority and this is a time waster it’s not going to build anything this is this these 30 minutes are not an investment that will return itself no it doesn’t matter if it’s with money or with anything else so you have to be very very responsible with your time and sometimes you have to say no as an israeli it’s more common to be blunt about stuff and then some very often i interact with north american kind of people who really go around saying or thank you but no or like maybe later or just ignore your emails so so you have to adapt but it’s very you know it’s unnatural for me like i try to to speak to walk the talk but it’s not natural i hear what you’re saying i think you do a great job just for the record because we get along really well and you totally tolerate my um dancing around of the no santa you never say no to me i know it’s true okay i have two last questions and then we have to go because we are reaching the one hour mark so the first question is what is one actionable step that you would suggest for someone who wants to one day become a ceo i know you already said like you should network with every single person so i’m going to be a jerk and say do you have another actionable step um i think that uh one of the most important things is uh to learn to control your time uh i wake up in the morning usually around six a.m um because i know that uh these you know extra two hours before things are getting becoming a mess are very important to do some reading or to work out like to do something that is very important for my mental health and you need to to respect yourselves uh and it actually brings me to a more important uh thing and this is the fact that you have to learn all the time new things uh and you need to adapt and create yourself the ability to to learn by yourself new things it’s like school is over university is over this is the real life and if you are unable to you know google a new topic and read a couple blogs and then choose the right youtube video oh it’s not the right let’s take another one and then just go ahead and create something open a console and write some code go to your aws console and connect some components together like you have to go and do it uh you have to um have real experience in your hands you don’t have to be you know the best um a devops engineer but you definitely need to to try and you know work with with the real materials um you need to have that capability it doesn’t matter if you want to be in security or in you know cake baking you need real experience yeah but no one is going to to do that for you this is your responsibility yes oh my gosh that’s such good advice okay so the last thing i need to ask you about is if someone wants to know more about you or they want to follow you do you have any website or events or links to share so i’ve already shared salvo.cloud and shambanit on twitter are there other ways that people can follow up with you are there events um so twitter is the best place to follow and if i have other events that i participate in you can i will try to tweet them so you can you can check them out i have some videos on youtube so you can google my name and see them right away um you can connect with me on linkedin uh and and see more about what i do because i try to publish over there as well uh and feel free to to dm uh and i will do my best to answer everyone and you know be as helpful as i can thank you so much for being on the show that was a great all of your answers were fantastic that was awesome thank you so much are there any last things that you want to say before i wrap up the weehack purple podcast uh so thank you so much for having me and thank you for your wonderful audience for for being here with us today and i feel very honored to say that you’re my friend and i’m very thankful for that you know infosec industry because this is what got us together that the conferences and the culture around it is what made us friends and even the distance cannot separate us um so i’m very very thankful for having you in my life uh and i can’t wait uh for one of us to be able to fly anywhere in the world and oh my gosh me too i totally miss you so much this whole pandemic sucks for 100 reasons and that is in the top 10. thank you again for being on the show and now i’m going to do that part where i say goodbye to everyone so thank you so much to everyone who is listening to the wehack purple podcast i want to thank our sponsor again threadfix you guys are the best i really appreciate you supporting us and i want to thank the entire wehack purple team for all the things that you do that make our academy run well i’m very excited how we are going to be opening the community again for the public in a few weeks and i wanted to just briefly for just one second read a podcast review because we are getting so many of them and i wanted you to know that if you do a podcast review for us we will send you stickers yes that’s right stickers it is a really good deal and um anyway thank you so much to everyone please write podcast reviews for us please tell your friends about how much fun our podcast is and basically thank you so much to shira for being on and okay one more podcast review and no never mind it’s somewhere i know i’m supposed to have them ready but sometimes that’s life again this is the we hack purple podcast and we will see you next week