The phone rang. On the other end, I heard a booming voice many of you are familiar with. “Hey Mikey! What’s shaking? What’s your plan now that Rich is with Firemon?” It was Alan Shimel, my good friend and head of Techstrong Group. It was maybe 10 minutes after Rich’s announcement had hit Twitter. I told Alan I would stay the course, but he had other ideas. “We should do something together. Think about it.”
So I did. We had a call a few days later and started sketching out what it would look like if I joined Alan and the team. I’d want to build a research team since that’s what I love to do. I’d also like to have a hand in developing the corporate strategy. Alan said that sounded great; when can I start?
I wasn’t there yet. I needed to know more about the business. I needed to spend some more time with the team. So I made the pilgrimage down to Boca to do a working session with Alan and see what we could work out.
I learned that Techstrong is at the center of some pretty disruptive technology shifts, like DevOps (yes, DevOps.com is ours), cloud-native computing, containers (containerjournal.com), microservices, and of course, security (securityboulevard.com). There is an excellent events business with tons of virtual events. I’ve been a guest on TechstrongTV more times than I could count, so I know about their video capabilities. And the company has a top-notch customer list.
So there is an exciting platform to build on. But could I have an impact? Next, I dug into the research business that another old friend, Mitchell Ashley, created. There are some short reports and they did some speaking gigs, but Techstrong Research didn’t have a point of view about where the markets are heading. So it was “research,” but not the kind of research I do. So yeah, I can have an impact on Techstrong Research.
The timing also felt right. My youngest kids are off to college in August, so it’s a good time to make some changes. It’s not like my partners at Securosis haven’t done a similar thing. Adrian headed off into corporate cloud land a couple of years ago. Rich made a move to Firemon earlier this year. As much as I loved the 12 years with Securosis, I’m ready to tilt at another windmill.
Though it had to be the right situation, and I found that with Techstrong. I’m happy to say I’m taking my talents to ~~South Beach~~ Boca. I’ve taken the role of Chief Strategy Officer of Techstrong Group and General Manager of Techstrong Research.
The intangibles made this an easy decision for me. It’s about working with my friends. It always has been. I have been fortunate to work with Rich and Adrian for the past 12 years. When we spun out DisruptOps, I was able to work with Jody Brazil, Brandy Peterson, and Matt Eberhart. And now I get to work with my good friends Alan, Mitch, and Parker.
I have no illusions about how much work lies ahead. I’m back to building a research business, and it’s very exciting. Ultimately I’m a builder, and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to build with another set of good friends.
Securosis is still a thing. Rich and I will continue to run our cloud security curriculum and training activities here. But Securosis will no longer function as an analyst firm. I’ll continue to support existing clients, but that work will transition to Techstrong Research when it makes sense.
I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but you’ll see a lot more of me. I’ll be visible across the Techstrong network, writing, speaking, and interviewing exciting companies. I’ll be publishing trends and forward-looking research and ensuring that Techstrong has a strong point of view about where technology is going.
I’ll be at Black Hat, so if you are there, let me know. It’ll be great to meet up, and I can fill you in on all the cool stuff we do at Techstrong.