Podcast / Fund-Build-Scale

Fund/Build/Scale: Scaling to $1M ARR and Beyond (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of the conversation between Fund/Build/Scale podcast host Walter Thompson and Rehan Jalil, CEO of Securiti.

Walter Thompson  00:05

I once worked at a startup where I sat near the sales team. Each time one of them closed a new customer, someone would stand up, ring a big brass bell set up in the middle of the room, and we’d stop what we were doing to cheer them on. Looking back, this was a terrible idea. I only heard that bell ring one or two times every month, and because it was so rare, it didn’t sound like a celebration, it sounded like a warning. The bell reminded me that we hadn’t achieved product-market-fit. Our go-to-market strategy was full of holes, and we were burning through our runway. When it comes to sales, repeatability equals success. To learn more about the tactics companies use to reach $1 million in annual recurring revenue — and beyond — I interviewed Rehan Jalil, CEO of Securiti. Drawing from his experience as a three-time founder, Rehan and I talked about setting up an initial sales motion, understanding and validating the problem you’re solving, focusing on specific audience to hone your value proposition and building trust with early customers. I’m Walter Thompson, this is Fund/Build/Scale. Fund/Build/Scale is sponsored by Mayfield, the early-stage venture capital firm that takes a people-first approach to helping founders build iconic companies. The podcast is also sponsored by Securiti, pioneer of the Data Command Center, a centralized platform that enables the safe use of data and Gen AI. So you’re a serial founder on your third company, I guess first was WiChorus, then Elastica, and now Securiti. And since this is really aimed at first-time founders, I really want to talk to you about scaling to that first million in recurring revenue. To get there, you have to do some meaningful customer research, you have to define your value proposition and develop a go-to-market strategy. There’s a lot more to do in there besides those three things, what did I leave out of that kind of very top-level scan?

Rehan Jalil  02:03

First of all, getting the revenue really means that you have built something of value to somebody who’s willing to pay money for it. So before we even get to the revenue, it actually is important to understand what problem you’re trying to solve. And it’s a real problem when people are willing to spend money on and narrow down, like, what are the most critical things that you really want to build, let’s call it, minimum viable product: what is that people would want to be paying for. And then this is not a one-off, this is not a one-time thing that you do and go build the product. Generally, this is a journey, then you have a concept, you think this is a problem, you can validate, of course talking to customers, but then you while you’re building it, you will keep validating and keep talking to the right audience, keep refining to a point that you will line up, you know, hopefully, some customers by the time you achieve a product ready, right? Because you could often be surprised that if you detach this process, you build something you think somebody’s gonna buy it. And when you start testing, nobody’s actually willing to buy, or it actually doesn’t solve the problem that you think it was solving, or the problem doesn’t exist. So if you go through the journey along the way, we are really working with the customers, fine-tuning all the way to the point that something is ready. And if you did it right, hopefully you have some initial test customers available. And if that’s the case, you want to build on it, which means you may want to now go and figure it out. Who are the similar personas out there who would have similar problems, and who would similarly be valuing what you just have built, and just focus there, because boiling the ocean means nothing at that point in time. And then you can get some references from the same initial design-in customers. And having that very initial basic reference ability helps you to go to, you know, follow-on customers along the way, I think here intense understanding of the problem statement, your solution, and which audience buys it can get you to the point, of course, you have to create awareness. This is not the stage [where] you’re doing broad awareness. This is not the stage [where] you’re doing broad marketing, but you’re so focused on that persona, including things that are created, awareness of that particular type of user. And if you get there, you create, you build the pipe, and you convert from the pipe.


Walter Thompson  04:29

Questioning the premise I suppose of the episode, I’ve kind of in my mind, set a million dollars in annual recurring revenue as an important milestone marker, a KPI that investors will, you know, connect with. But here’s my question, is a million ARR still a validating signal for VCs or is the bar set a little higher these days? 

Rehan Jalil  04:52

That’s not the only metric. It’s a good metric. The only metric repeatability has to be there. Anybody who’s going to be investable, looking at yesterday’s proofpoint, if you’ve already fully sold to certain sort of customers, if there’s some repeatability of that use case. And generally VCs look at that metric and multiply it with, you know, how many other people have similar use cases and what scale will this grow, that I see is going to be the point. And secondly, how long did it take you to get to a million — like it takes four years to get to a million or like you got there in six months? Numbers. So a bunch of different growth numbers are going to tell you, and then of course, what pipe you have already sitting. So I think the bar  depends on what other signals around this $1 million, not just the million-dollar mark itself that million-dollar mark may not be sufficient if you took it took a long time and doesn’t look like a lot of people are going to be solving this problem, or a million dollars will be more than enough you’ve seen because immediately you got to that number and the pipe seems like very, very big. It’s very subjective, I would say in that sense.

Walter Thompson  06:02

How did you start defining your value proposition for Securiti, and how did it change over time?

Rehan Jalil  06:07

Yeah, it’s a pretty good question. I think we always had the aspiration to build a platform, we eventually ended up building the Data Command Center, which can do security data, privacy, data governance and compliance. But that’s not how it was born. That’s not how it was built. So with that explanation in mind, we had to think through what is the use case, at that point in time back in 2020, 2019, 2020. “What is the use case of this, this particular platform that even if you build it, what is the first use case we can, somebody will buy it, and somebody will actually solve it will solve somebody’s problem?” And privacy, data privacy, was the number-one thing we picked for a variety of reasons. At that point in time CCPA was coming in, and GDPR was there and we saw the market was actually very nice and genuine products were actually really bad. And there was a market to automate based on understanding of data and automation. So we’d narrowly focused on that. And then at that point, while we’re building it, we were talking to a lot of people, people in privacy, people in security, and validating a bunch of things that we thought we should be doing, a lot of tuning happened, a lot of pruning happened, I would say. But when we launched it, we had to come out in a way that it gets proper attention. And what we realized is that privacy operations was, or we anticipated that that privacy operations would become a thing. So we coined the term “privacy ops.” And literally the term was coined. We wrote a book on it. We created basically meetups: “how do you do privacy operations if the CCPA is coming in California? What’s the right way to do privacy operations and automation?” And we did literally every large city in North America, with a phenomenal partner on our law firm’s side. And we went along with them to actually do those events. And that created the right awareness. And you can see from there, that narrow focus, and the right timing, actually helped us to get our initial set of customers very quickly.

Walter Thompson  08:20

That’s interesting. So privacy ops is a kind of a new field that you’re pioneering, let’s say, but in naming it and claiming it — is that basically kind of the same as digging a defensive moat at this early stage?

Rehan Jalil  08:36

Privacy ops, if you google it now, you will see that now people have titles of privacy ops. And now people have I do privacy ops or certification of privacy ops, at this point in time. At that point, the problem existed, the people needed to solve the privacy problem, they needed to operationalize privacy. But we gave it a definition to it, gave it a name, and wrote a book. And that actually helped people to pick up on it, because everyone wanted to learn when things are new. And actually, truly a problem exists and things are new. And if somebody needs to solve it, they try to learn, they try to first understand what is it that I need to do, and educational content, not marketing content, purely educational content, can help them get there to first get a clarity on what’s the right way to do certain things? And if it aligns with the value proposition, and if it’s truly the right way to do it, then you have a good resonance that can kick in. And that’s what happens. At least in our case, that’s what happened the good resonance kicked in and the company became kind of a leader in privacy ops, at this point is considered literally considered a leader — in IDC if you look at it, so number-one company in IDC ratings as a leader in privacy ops.

Walter Thompson  09:52

So who owns this process of developing and honing your value proposition? Is this something that comes out of product and marketing, product engineering, does it come straight from the CEO, or external marketing person, who’s driving this process? Who owns it?

Rehan Jalil  10:07

So there’s no one definition, Walter: at early-stage, all the early initial team has to be in very good sync, whether that process is led by the CEO, because at that point somebody is wearing multiple hats, or if there is good product management in there that they’re wearing multiple hats, or even the development teams, tag teams were actually part of the discussion stack teams are there. Different startups, different teams will have a different combination, or, you know, different DNA. And the key thing is that they have to be very, very much in sync, all these teams have been very much in sync, which means information has to flow, the discussions have to happen, whoever is doing the discussion probably doesn’t matter. But more important is that information is with everyone. “We had a discussion, by the way, this is what we’ve seen,” it may sound like repetition, to sometimes to internal teams. But it’s important to tell everyone, “this is what the new information is coming in, this is what we talked about and this is what people liked. By the way, this is what they’re not liking.” And which means this small body of people initially, they can quickly adjust or run faster, go slow and certain things go very fast and certain things. That part is more important than like who does it because who does it really depends on the team formation. And sometimes people or different people will take the lead in different companies. But the process is extremely important to actually have that signal picked externally from the customer, that signal to be transmitted internally to everyone, and keep tuning and keep adjusting to a point you feel like I’m good now. Now I can repeat. Now I can go to change the gears, I know what to build. I’m going to change gears at that point and go towards promotion, marketing, repeatability, and other things.

Walter Thompson  11:59

So is it fair to say that you’re going to, between putting your team together and going out to market, you’re going to pivot several times. Is that a fair expectation?

Rehan Jalil  12:08

I would say “refine.” “Pivot” would be the word when you actually completely change, drop something and you go and start doing something else. But here, I would say you would refine. If you’re not refining. I mean, unless you got like good goddamn lucky. And lightning strikes up, you will be refining, you will be pruning, you’ll be adding. Right? So that fine-tuning of your path is absolutely important. By the time you get to MVP, you better have refined this thing because by the time you get to it and it was wrong. You’ll be paying for it, you will pay for the cost again, buying time again, people’s hard work is going to be lost, you’re going to pay for it. It is better to be refining every week, or knowing that I don’t need to refine because we’re good at that single aspect. And things are so dynamic, Walter, as you know, customer needs can change. But you know, ecosystem is the most dynamic and fast-moving: what you thought is valuable, or the way you’re doing is valuable and maybe it’s not, because next month something new has popped up. And you know, you’ve heard just a little bit, that process is at the heart of building initial products. And if you get it right, and if you have a bit of common sense in go-to-market, you can actually get to, you know, a million-plus and multi millions of dollars. I mean, that part you definitely can get up to. 

Walter Thompson  13:38

Is there a trigger in your mind as far as when you bring on a full-time marketing, or — it sounds like a lot of this value proposition is kind of storytelling, as far as you’re coming up with a cohesive narrative that unifies everything you’re working on, and everyone is behind it, and they’re all on the same page. And on the marketing side, we’d call that storytelling. When do you need to bring that person in?

Rehan Jalil  14:00

Yeah, you need in the company, somebody who has a DNA to tell a story, to put the content together, whether it is inherently in the initial team, and there’s no marketing person, it’s just the product team is doing a product management doing, it seems like whoever is doing it, if that’s not there, you’re missing a big piece because, you know, connecting the dots to, to somebody’s pain point in a way that it’s presentable and it’s it’s packaged properly and is repeatable is important. That part has to be there. If you don’t in your organization, you don’t have it, you need to fill it somehow. If you have it then you don’t need to,prematurely bring somebody else into the — if you if you don’t have the product, there’s no there’s no reason to bring it initially anybody else into the product at that point in time. But the next is get get past the stage. You want to actually bring a certain level of product marketing function, because now you’re going to see how this can be taken to broader where you go through demand gen, whether you go through SEO, SEM, all the goodness, good things that you can do on creating awareness. At that time, once you feel like you’re at a point, the repeatability is there. Same thing can be sold multiple times, the story can be told, you know, multiple times the same way and then people can work, then, of course, you want to put more fuel on the fire by adding more people to it. And that’s where we try to bring in a sales team. But before we bring in sales teams, it’s important that you actually have the content for them, the training for them, all the material that you would need, because if you can bring some of the really good sales team members, but if you haven’t really done your job in creating enablement content or material, then it’s going to be hard even for you know, decent sales team members to actually pick it up and run with it. Especially for tech products, you actually have to do a lot of objection handling. If it’s enterprise sales, if it is purely, you know, PLG, product-led growth, maybe it’s not an issue, but in many of the enterprise sales, you will be doing a lot of objects and so so you need to educate and train and and along with the sales team, you need to bring some technical solution engineering, sales engineering chops in the team.

Walter Thompson  16:25

Are you thinking about launching an AI startup? Mayfield’s $250 million AI Start Seed Fund is actively searching for idea-stage entrepreneurs who are working on the cognitive plumbing layer. That’s models, middleware and tools, data, infrastructure and semiconductors and systems. Mayfield has a long track record. Since its founding, the firm has been an early investor in more than 550 companies, which has led to 120 IPOs, and over 225 mergers and acquisitions. If you have a fundable idea for an AI-first startup, email, aistart@mayfield.com. Every business that incorporates AI has to account for data privacy, compliance and governance. That’s why Securiti developed its Data Command Center. Instead of setting up different tools that can eat up time, money and add complexity. Securiti’s award-winning technology automates compliance with global privacy regulations, includes a library with more than a thousand integrations across data systems, and identifies data risks to enable protection and control. To learn more, visit security.ai. We’re about halfway through the episode, if you’re still listening, I assume you’re getting something out of it. If so, please take a moment to subscribe to make sure you’ll get future episodes and consider leaving a review. Thanks for listening. I was talking to your new chief data officer, Jack Berkowitz, and he was saying that in his past roles, he only had limited capacity to work with early-stage startups, he only worked with a couple at a time because it’s very high-touch and they are resource-intensive. So before you can even approach enterprise customers, he said, “you know, show me the 10 to 15 SMBs, you’re working with them to make me comfortable.” So is it fair to say that that’s actually the first hurdle is not going right to the enterprise, you got to find some small, medium-sized businesses who will say yes to you, and write you a check?

Rehan Jalil  18:21

That’s very natural, because the bar is very high within the large enterprise. And it takes much longer. And then purchasing cycles and the security certification that you require is, the bar is just high, right. And they would need all the financial metrics, other stability metrics, sometimes they will also be requiring it in that fashion. Plus, your product may not have scale at that point your product may not be actually yeah, this works really well. But it doesn’t work for you know, you know, a billion transactions, right? So it’s actually prudent at that point to first pay [attention to] medium-sized customers. And even there you will need to do hand-holding. And if it is a very enterprise-y product, even then you want to make sure it’s a success. Even there, you would want to make sure that you have talent within your dev team, or maybe your solutioning engineering team that can actually make that customer to be successful. For a small company, you can think of that as your enterprise customer, literally. And then at some point, you feel comfortable that you have stability, scale and all the other metrics that you can go to a customer say, “look, you can buy from me, and I will still be making this project to be successful.”

Walter Thompson  19:32

Customer discovery. And when I say customer discovery, I’m basically talking about just the initial process of figuring out a problem to go after, talking to people who have this problem to validate the fact that you did validate your approach, and then coming up with a product that can serve those people. Is that more or less the customer discovery process?

Rehan Jalil  19:51

Yeah, it’s actually I would say a bit more than that. Because you’re also looking at the ecosystem. Yeah, of course you will talk to customers, but you also have to look at the competitive landscape: are we building something which one of many has been solved, and that customer may have a need of something, but there may be 10 players actually doing it — do you want to build that thing? Probably not. Right? Either you’re building for something which is coming, and it’s new, and you think you can build something that can be defensible. That’s one way, or it’s an established market, you’ve got a radically different way of doing it. And you can take the existing budgets for it. Either way, you want to understand the ecosystem, much more so than the use case. And talk to your customers as well, right? So that research of the ecosystem, whether you do it yourself through the web, or an analyst or talking to people, you want to create that ecosystem map in your head, and say, “yeah, there is a path here.” And we are either doing something which is just not there, and it’s like we are seeing around the corner that’s coming, or the way we’re doing it is very hard for incumbents to do and truly hard to do. And that I would say is even more important. Because if your customers tell you, “I need it,” and you build something which is like a commodity and what do you do after that, you’re stuck at that point. So I would say both are important.

Walter Thompson  21:18

Would I be doing a month of this research, three months, can you acquire enough domain expertise and 30 days to serve a client meaningfully? Would it take a quarter, can you ballpark for me, I guess, is what I’m asking. 

Rehan Jalil  21:30

I would say there’s no timeline to it, you have to establish that conviction. If not, don’t start with conviction, don’t do it. I mean, that’s very simple. And if you are already in the domain, you may take not that much time, because you already established the company with a very established preconceived notions on certain things, because you’re in that domain and you know, the nuances and you’re originally the tip of the spear on that domain, it may not take you that long. If you call into a brand-new area, it can take quite long, because you may come in completely cold and you just don’t know what goes in that domain, it’ll take you a while. But until you establish your strong conviction, it’s okay to start walking towards it. But no point running, full, full blast running towards it. It’s OK to walk and then maybe change the path. That’s what I will do. And honestly, there is no one hard timeline to say within 30 days, you gotta get this thing done. Often 30 days is not sufficient to actually understand anything properly, especially for doing this kind of work. It takes many months for you to actually get to a point where you’re really feeling good. And you have things jotted down and you’re planning ahead.

Walter Thompson  22:44

You said before you need to get the information and distributed throughout the entire team. How many people are working on this process of uncovering the problem and the solutions?

Rehan Jalil  22:54

I mean, if you’re a very early startup, you’ll only have got a few people, right? Very, very few people, two, three, four people are part of it, and everyone has a view on what’s going on. Somebody may be very focused on technical diligence who actually understands whether something can be built and how, and somebody’s very focused on understanding and picking the signals, and opening the doors and picking the signals and all. It’s a team formation question. Often it’ll be split a little bit like that, naturally. And of course, different teams can have different DNA and different kinds of forms of working. But generally, that’s going to be some people. Because it’s not just what you have to build, you have to see what cannot be done, and how to do them and why it’s going to be unique. Because these things are not in isolation. Either you’re starting with the tech in hand, or your tech view or perspective in hand. Because you’re good at something and you’re trying to use that for a particular area, these things will need to go hand in hand with diligence of the customer as well as diligence for the underlying possibilities of tech. 

Walter Thompson  24:03

If you have a small founder team of four to six people, how do you decide based on, just the strengths you have in the room, who should be the customer-facing person?

Rehan Jalil  24:12

It has to be merit- and tech- and talent based. Some people are very good at, you know, doing the tech, just incredibly, very, very good. And using their time for anything else is just not good justice, vice-versa. some people are just not good at that, then why put in them? And they are really good at going out and figuring things out. So that DNA is there. Now, in an early team, you may not have all kinds of this. In a good team, you will have both covered. You’ll have both covered that you know either in the team you have a good mix of understanding the market and the saying investors and all that and enough common sense about the tech and then with some people who are really good in tech. That’s a good combination to actually have in those teams, and then it’s natural, I think it’s going to naturally fit in there force-fitting probably doesn’t work. I think people generally know what their talent is, and especially if they’re early, they come together for a reason that you know who’s going to be kind of taking responsibility. So hopefully that doesn’t become a big issue.

Walter Thompson  25:22

Obviously, warm intros are always best, but which channels and tactics do you recommend companies at this stage use to find their first paying customer?

Rehan Jalil  25:30

A warm intro, as you said, is best. But often, even if you reach some of your audience and try to get inputs, like if you reach out generally and actually say, “look, I’m doing something, I would love to get your input.” People could be very generous at that point in time because you’re not trying to sell them something and you’re trying to create something. And if they have a problem, you can explain what problem you’re trying to solve, if they actually have a problem they actually are interested in and they will do a call with you. So I think you try to establish a rapport, based on a common interest, you have to find people who have common interests on the problem that you’re trying to solve. And if that’s there, I think you can actually have very good discussions, and pick their brains, and those can convert over time, too, because you’re solving some problems they care about, they convert it means it’s in their benefit to actually buy something that you’re building, that I would say. And then if you actually have, you can also think about some potential partners who actually have a mutual benefit of going out. When we launched privacy ops, we clearly thought McDermott was a law firm, they had a very clear it, they were also looking at privacy and privacy laws, and via the tech stack, was very complementary. It naturally just happened, right? At that point in time maybe we should do some events together. And that created a lot of awareness. And there is a lot to be said about finding the right potential partners to be going with along the way. And then also, if you’re trying to create awareness and acquisition, go for places where the persona that you are focused on, where they do congregate, do they congregate at an event, do they congregate at a publication, is it a forum? Is it a social forum where you can find people who have common interests, and then you can actually hold people or meet people or promote them? Just the very basic things that you can do to actually create more and more engagement around the world, the person of interest? 

Walter Thompson  27:38

Have you seen situations where early customers or people who you networked with or sought out their counsel, they became advocates for your company later on, as far as not just testimonials but evangelists. Have you turned customers into evangelists?

Rehan Jalil  27:53

The biggest chance of happening is through that journey. People feel like they’re part of it, because they truly are part of it, because they help provide some inputs along the way or adopted it. And if they are successful in the adoption. Without success, there’s nothing else. And if they feel like you helped them, then no question. They can actually be advocates, privately be advocates, because certain companies don’t allow their people to publicly be advocates, particularly if it’s an area which is tied to security, cybersecurity. They actually have to go through a lot of checks and balances. But privately, they can be quite an advocate, they could be making introductions. If they feel like you’ve made them successful.

Walter Thompson  28:40

You’re the CEO of a cybersecurity startup. What have you learned about building trust with your early customers?

Rehan Jalil  28:47

I think truly having the empathy for the customer from the beginning to understand, what are they trying to solve? And truly trying to actually give them something which truly solves it makes them really look good. And then delivering — at the end is about exceeding their expectations or you’ve actually provided them what they thought you’re providing them. And that’s what it is, at the end of the day. Right? When you said you’d do something,you do it. Being responsive to them, being available to them when they need it. Because on the enterprise side, it’s not like you plug things in and it works, there’s going to be issues here and there. And being available, when they actually have an issue right away, being responsive, and not just you but as a team,if you’re very responsive. That’s where I think things change, where you establish strong relationships and trust with you and your customers.

Walter Thompson  29:49

Once you’ve got this process of customer discovery, and you’ve got these relationships in place, and you’ve got a product plan in place, and you’re ready to start giving them something they could pay for, what do you what do you prioritize: pilot projects, proof of concept trials, freemium models? What’s your preferred, not one single one, but which strategies are you most likely to start off with?

Rehan Jalil  30:10

It depends on the product. Certain products are designed to be practitioners who are good at trying things to developers. Especially developers, and they’re good at trying things, then your product is tied to that, then providing them a freemium offering or freemium offering with somebody and take it and because the developers can actually start using it, I think that could be a very important strategy. And just putting things freemium out there doesn’t mean people are going to adopt it, there are millions of freemium things out there, you really have to see whether somebody can take it and use it, and it is you’ve created the journey and path  and they can operationalize it on their own, even if it is for simple use cases. If your product, of course is tied to something that end users can take it and start using it in this virality. You know, like things like Slack and others, of course, you want to make sure as much freemium as you can to remove every possible friction out of it and in wait for the end, you know, keep have all the right signals for you to keep tweaking it to the point that people can adopt it on their own, where it is literally consumed, going literally token prosumers or call it consumers. But if you go into anything that is not necessarily developers, or prosumers who can do it by themselves — they need a team or they need your help — then often freemium and free doesn’t help. Because you can make it free, but they cannot configure it. They cannot turn it on. So you actually have to go towards the pilot enterprise sales cycle. In fact, at that point, you do not want anybody to be on freemium at all, because they will have not such a good experience, or even if they are touching it, you’re trying to basically entertain an audience which cannot, cannot basically operationalize things. And many, many products on the enterprise side, many high-value products on the enterprise side, could be like that. So you want to go through the path of solution engineering and POCs, and pilots and so forth and help them to succeed on those pilots.

Walter Thompson  32:14

Do you have any general advice for founders who want to — they’re obviously under pressure to start generating revenue and have a path to profitability from the investors they work with, that’s their primary relationship. And yet, they need to find a viable raison d’etre for being in the market in the first place. How do you balance that tension if you’re an early-stage founder?

Rehan Jalil  32:36

Yeah, I would, I would prioritize finding a viable use case and a viable product strategy versus rushing into something without doing that, that part because eventually it’s going to come back and you have to do it all over again. So the early journey of any team — unless they knew exactly what they’re doing, and many go to this path of the discovery process, and that’s the hardest is truly if you ask me, that journey is the hardest one, to get it right. Not picking what you’re starting to build, but to get that right. And, you know, pick the path that eventually becomes something real. That actually is hard. I think execution becomes, if you have a good if you have a good DNA within the team, you can execute. But picking the right thing means so many variables you’re going and evaluating in your head, and I would really say taking time here is actually quite important.

Walter Thompson  33:38

Rehan, thank you very much for a fantastic conversation. I really appreciate the time.

Rehan Jalil  33:41

Well, it is a pleasure talking to you. Thanks for hosting.

Walter Thompson  33:48

I’ll be right back with some show notes. Fund/Build/Scale is sponsored by Mayfield. If you have a fundable idea for an AI-first startup at the cognitive plumbing layer, email aistart@mayfield.com. The podcast is also sponsored by Securiti, pioneer of the Data Command Center, a centralized platform that enables the safe use of data and gen AI. To learn more, visit securiti.ai. Thanks very much to Rehan Jalil for appearing on the podcast and to Securiti for being a sponsor. Coming up next, I interviewed Dipanwita Das, founder and CEO of Sorcero, about how to take an AI-first startup from research to reality. Among other things, we talked about how to focus your messaging on business value instead of technical details, her extensive customer discovery process, and how to make it easier to attract investors and employees who understand your target market. If you’ve listened this far, I hope you got something out of the conversation. Subscribe to Fund/Build/Scale so you’ll automatically get future episodes, and consider leaving the review. Follow Fund/Build/Scale on LinkedIn and YouTube. For now, you can find the FBS newsletter on Substack. The show’s theme was written and performed by Michael Tritter and Carlos Chairez. Michael also edited the podcast and provided additional music. Thanks for listening.

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