I wear two hats at GCA. I’m responsible for leading the company’s marketing efforts. We’re known for launching products that have a measurable impact on Internet security, and being able to effectively communicate the value of those efforts is paramount. I also serve as the Chief of Staff, which is a mixture of operational and personnel management, strategy development and execution, removal of roadblocks, and a touch of devil’s advocacy. I take care of a lot of the day-to-day issues so the CEO can
focus on strategic matters.
I’ve been working in security-related roles for almost 30 years. In the past 10 years I’ve achieved some business success, which in part means I have the luxury of being able to be picky about what I do. I’m generally not a fan of a lot of non-profit or NGO activities in this space because they tend to be feel-good efforts of nominal practical value. GCA recognizes the global nature of the problems we face and deals in concrete solutions. More importantly though it places a priority on measurement, which is really the only way to know if what you’re doing is having an impact. How many donations have we all made in our lives that were basically us throwing money over a wall and hoping for the best? That’s not a thing here.
One of the benefits of being the youngest geezer around is that you have experienced and can carry forth the lessons of multiple generations of work and workers and apply them to a rapidly changing and diverse set of problems. I started out my career in intelligence analysis, and in those days you could work on one problem your entire career. They used to say that the average person would have 5-8 jobs in their working career; today that number is more like 12-15 and going up. Knowing how to work with people from different backgrounds, different work and life experiences, appreciating the differences in how people think and operate, are critical to success in a global organization whose people span multiple generations. A lot of people think that’s a recipe for not getting anything done: not true. If people believe in the mission, if they’re passionate about what they’re doing, if they have the drive to succeed, they will bring the best parts of themselves to the work at hand.
What I like best about working at GCA is the uniform and deep passion for the mission and its success. I’ve worked in plenty of places where people were there because it was a job and having a job beat not having a job. It’s pretty rare to find an organization where everyone is a true believer.
What is your favorite quote?
The Colonel Kurtz monologue from Apocalypse Now
What is the last book you read?
Non-Fiction? I just re-read Global Catastrophes and Trends by Vaclav Smil. He writes about a lot of things that could/will change the world, and not in good ways. Most appropriately he writes about a pandemic that is eerily like COVID19, but of course the book was published in 2008 which is both impressive and creepy. Fiction? Exit Strategy by Martha Wells. Smart, entertaining science fiction like I haven’t read in a long time.