I’m incredibly excited to finally announce that as of today, Mike Rothman is joining Securosis. This is a full merger of Security Incite and Securosis, and something I’ve been looking forward to for years.

Back when I started the Securosis blog over 3 years ago I was still an analyst at Gartner and was interested in participating more with the open security community. A year later I decided to leave Gartner and the blog became my employer. I wasn’t certain exactly what I wanted to do, and was restricted a bit due to my non-compete, but I quickly learned that I was able to support myself and my family as an independent voice. Mike was running Incite at the time, and seeing him succeed helped calm some of my fears about jumping out of a stable, enjoyable job. Mike also gave me some crucial advice that was incredibly helpful as I set myself up.

One of my main goals in leaving Gartner was to gain the freedom to both participate more with, and give back to, the security community. Gartner was great, but the nature of its business model prevents analysts from giving away their content to non-clients, and restricts some of their participation in the greater community. It’s also hard to perform certain kinds of primary research, especially longer-term projects. Since I had a non-compete, I sort of needed to give everything away for free anyway.

Things were running well, but I was also limited in how much I could cover or produce on my own. I may have published more written words than any other security analyst out there (between papers and blog posts), but it was still a self-limiting situation. Then about 18 months ago Adrian joined and turned my solo operation into an actual analyst firm. At the same time Mike and I realized we shared a common vision for where we’d like to take the research and analysis game, and started setting up to combine operations. We even had a nifty company name and were working on the nitty-gritty details.

When we had our very first conversation about teaming up, Mike told me there was only one person he’d work for again, but there wasn’t anything on the radar. Then, of course, he got the call right before we wrote up the final paperwork. We both saw this as a delay, not an end, and the time is finally here.

This is exciting to me for multiple reasons. First, we now gain an experienced analyst who has been through the wringer with one of the major firms (Meta), thrived as an independent analyst, and fought it out on the mean streets of vendor-land. There aren’t many great analysts out there – and even fewer with Mike’s drive, productivity, experience, and vision. This also enables us to create the kind of challenging research environment I’ve missed since leaving Gartner. With Mike and our Contributors (David Mortman, David Meier, and Chris Pepper) we now have a team of six highly-opinionated and experienced individuals ready to challenge and push each other in ways simply not possible with only 2-3 people.

Mike also shares my core values. Everything we write is for the end user, no matter the actual target audience. We should always give away as much as possible for free. We should conduct real primary research, as opposed to merely commenting on the world around us. Everything we produce should be pragmatic and help someone get their job done better and faster. Our research should be as objective and unbiased as possible, and we’ll use transparency and our no-BS approach as enforcement mechanisms. Finally, we’re lifers in the security industry – this is a lifestyle business, not a get-rich-quick scheme.

This is also an amazing opportunity to work closely with one of the people I respect most in our industry. Someone I’ve become close friends with since first meeting on the rubber-chicken circuit.

In our updated About section and the Merger FAQ, there’s a lot of talk about all the new things this enables us to do, and the additional value for our supporters and paying clients. But to me the important part is I get to work with someone I like and respect. Someone I know will push me like few others out there. Someone who shares my vision, and is fun to work with.

The only bad part is the commute. It’s going to be a real bi%^& to fly Mike out to Phoenix for Happy Hour every week.