Great products always seem to have great founding stories. JupiterOne isn’t an exception.

Back in late 2016, serial entrepreneur Don Brown started his fourth company, LifeOmic. Don is 3 for 3 in his prior companies with 2 IPO’s. His last company, Interactive Intelligence, was acquired in 2016 for $1.4 Billion dollars. After the acquisition, he immediately set off starting LifeOmic to leverage cloud software to activate precision health and disrupt healthcare. As a career technology leader, he realized that security was going to be paramount and invested very early on by hiring accomplished Head of Software Security from Fidelity Investments, Erkang Zheng to be CISO of LifeOmic.

Build Robots…Don’t Be Robots

LifeOmic has an unwritten mantra that is pervasive through the entire company of ‘building robots’ instead of ‘being robots’. Instead of hiring a large security team to pour through logs – and never have enough time to catch everything – he and Erkang invested in building cloud software tools to both accelerate compliance (HIPAA in our case) and certifications (HITRUST CSF as our first) and automate cloud security.

Shortly after I accepted the opportunity at LifeOmic but before I started, Erkang reached out to grab a coffee. He talked about the methodology and the early feedback he had when he socialized the approach with other security and software leaders.

The idea resonated with me immediately. Having been involved in early and mid-stage startups that evolved to sell into large enterprise accounts – and in an atmosphere of frequent and high-profile security breaches – we had received complex security review documents from prospects and requirements for certifications. These demands were adding friction to the sales cycle and taking time away from other work. Since we didn’t have the capital to hire a large security team we ended up working on these security reviews during night and weekends.

Even through our approach to security was foundationally sound, we always felt reactive and burdened by these requests. They took a lot of time and weren’t anyone’s favorite work. It was a slog.

The solution that Erkang described sounded like something that could allow cloud software companies to create and operationalize secure software, shorten sales cycles and win more deals all while not having hire a large security team – something I would have happily paid for!

We had a company retreat a few weeks later and the primary focus was what would soon become JupiterOne.

JupiterOne Pilot

Our first goal was to find several pilot customers while we were building the product (in the vane of the customer development process). We were fortunate enough to quickly land three pilot customers. We worked closely with these customers as the development and design teams were staffed and focused on productizing the internal tooling that enabled us to get HITRUST CSF Certification in less than 5 months with no corrective actions.

We formally launched JupiterOne in late Q3 of 2018.

We were initially focused on working with SaaS startups that were either getting pressure from prospects for a more complete and robust security stance or those that were being proactive about establishing security as part of their culture. We felt that a solution like JupiterOne could help these early-to-late stage startups and we could move upmarket to larger corporate and enterprise customers in the future.

The hypothesis for these SaaS startups held true and we were able to also add value to larger, more mature, enterprise class customers even sooner than we expected (we were winning household names like Reddit and Databricks just a couple of months after launching!).

"Since we engaged with those first pilot customers in mid-2018, we have only had two customers cancel..."

From Pilot to Liftoff

As most startups do, we needed to prove our business quickly and as such had extremely aggressive growth goals in 2019. It was a lot of hard work by the entire team – engineering, sales, marketing and product – but we finished the year ahead of our growth plan.

In addition to adding value to dozens of new customers last year, one of the things I am most proud of is the lack of churn (customers cancelling). Since we engaged with those first pilot customers in mid-2018, we have only had two customers cancel (a magnitude less than most SaaS companies and far lower than anything I have been a part of!)

Looking Ahead

Going into 2020, we have great momentum both on the product side (expanding our integrations and making lots of product enhancements based on both our customers’ feedback and where we see security operations going in the future) and the go to market side.

I can’t wait to continue our growth in 2020 helping many more customers of all sizes achieve compliance and certifications and build secure software as well as giving our clients back their nights and weekends and giving them time to focus on more strategic and interesting initiatives.

Are you ready to get your time back? Are you ready to avoid being the next Capital One or Equifax? Sign up for a free trial of JupiterOne today. It takes only a few minutes to get started and we would love to work with you.