My wife reminded me yesterday that when we first met I impressed her with a great line which has had her swooning ever since. I explained to her that as most women were after the strong, silent type, I was finding a lot of unnecessary competition, and as a result was trying to corner the weak and noisy market.
Well, she married me didn't she?
After a couple of weeks getting re-acclimatised and moving back into my flat, I have things mostly the way I want them, and to be honest, as close as I'm going to get apart from moving my desk around to please my wife's aesthetic sensibilities. I start work for real next week, but today I had a gentle start by catching up with some old colleagues at Equip Technology, now part of the monolithic Horizon Group. I love catching up with old friends, especially when I get such a warm welcome, and a hug from the girls (don't tell the wife!)
The atmosphere there has changed a little, not necessarily for the worse, things seem less chaotic then when I was there (hmm... should I be admitting this?) but so much so that no-one really seemed to be having to talk to each other. After I had caught up with the people selling Ingrian kit, I took some of the technical guys out to lunch, and we chewed the fat (metaphorically and literally).
First of all, the market looks set to explode over here, I finally hit it at the right time. Mind you, I've waited 6 years for this, and I've done it in a pretty roundabout way. With all the movement between QSAs, resellers and distributors having to raise their game to add value, this is exactly the right time for a key management/encryption product to hit the market over here. It's maybe a little complex for a lot of people, and the technical guys were concerned that they would be running before they could walk. I tried to reassure them that this would not be the case. I haven't had the training myself, but my knowledge of this area is reasonably good, and I've worked with security devices and software my whole career.
Secondly, it seems to me that organising a very close team of guys into a larger company has taken some of the soul out of it. I don't think this is lost completely, just a matter of communication. What made Equip an exciting place to work was (apart from the fact you were in danger of being hit by a football at any point on any given day) that there was constant talking, chatter and well, noise I guess. The guys told me that things were a lot better organised now, but I sensed that they missed the office banter a bit.
This is why I didn't stay at Equip when they were taken over, and took the plunge into a small company in Spain. I hate being lost in the noise of a massive corporation. I like being heard (hence why I blog). I like feeling that I influence the way people think, or at least talk. My reasons for leaving Spain were somewhat different, and not least because of the fantastic opportunity I now have to grow the team with Ingrian in EMEA.
What all of this brought home to me is how important communication and education are at all levels of security, even in a very technical environment. There's no point in sitting in silence, you'll end up losing out. These are smart guys, and if they don't get it, not a lot of other people will. I'm going to be doing the shouting on their behalf, because I enjoy it anyway. I will also have my work cut out to communicate some pretty complex ideas, but I'm really looking forward to it. In the meantime I think I'll just shout about things which interest me here.