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Ten Years of Securosis: Time for a Memory Dump

By Rich

I started Securosis as a blog a little over 10 years ago. 9 years ago it became my job. Soon after that Adrian Lane and Mike Rothman joined me as partners. Over that time we have published well over 10,000 posts, around 100 research papers, and given countless presentations. When I laid down that first post I was 35, childless, a Research VP at Gartner still, and recently married. In other words I had a secure job and the kind of free time no one with a kid ever sees again. Every morning I woke up energized to tell the Internet important things!

In those 10 years I added three kids and two partners, and grew what may be the only successful analyst firm to spin out of Gartner in decades. I finished my first triathlons, marathon, and century (plus) bike ride. I started programming again. We racked up a dream list of clients, presented at all the biggest security events, and built a collection of research I am truly proud of, especially my more recent work on the cloud and DevOps, including two training classes.

But it hasn’t all been rainbows and unicorns, especially the past couple years. I stopped training in martial arts after nearly 20 years (kids), had two big health scares (totally fine now), and slowly became encumbered with all the time-consuming overhead of being self-employed. We went through 3 incredibly time-consuming and emotional failed acquisitions, where offers didn’t meet our goals. We spent two years self-funding, designing, and building a software platform that every iota of my experience and analysis says is desperately needed to manage security as we all transition to cloud computing, but we couldn’t get it over the finish line. We weren’t willing to make the personal sacrifices you need must to get outside funding, and we couldn’t find another path.

In other words, we lived life.

A side effect, especially after all the effort I put into Trinity (you can see a video of it here), is that I lost a lot of my time and motivation to write, during a period where there is a hell of a lot to write about. We are in the midst of the most disruptive transition in terms of how we build, operate, and manage technology. Around seven years ago I bet big on cloud (and then DevOps), with both research and hands-on work. Now there aren’t many people out there with my experience, but I’ve done a crappy job of sharing it. In part I was holding back to give Trinity and our cloud engagements an edge. More, though, essentially (co-)running two companies at the same time, and then seeing one of them fail to launch, was emotionally crushing.

Why share all of this? Why not. I miss the days when I woke up motivated to tell the Internet those important things. And the truth is, I no longer know what my future holds. Securosis is still extremely strong – we grew yet again this year, and it was probably personally my biggest year yet. On the downside that growth is coming at a cost, where I spend most of my time traveling around performing cloud security assessments, building architectures, and running training classes. It’s very fulfilling but a step back in some ways. I don’t mind some travel, but most of my work now involves it, and I don’t like spending that much time away from the family.

Did I mention I miss being motivated to write?

Over the next couple months I will brain dump everything I can, especially on the cloud and DevOps. This isn’t for a paper. No one is licensing it, and I don’t have any motive other than to core dump everything I have learned over the past 7 years, before I get bored and do something else. Clients have been asking for a long time where to start in cloud security, and I haven’t had any place to send them. So I put up a page to collect all these posts in some relatively readable order. My intent is to follow the structure I use when assessing projects, but odds are it will end up being a big hot mess. I will also be publishing most of the code and tools I have been building but holding on to.

Yeah, this post is probably TMI, but we have always tried to be personal and honest around here. That is exactly what used to excite me so much that I couldn’t wait to get out of bed and to work. Perhaps those days are past. Or perhaps it’s just a matter of writing for the love of writing again – instead of for projects, papers, or promotion.

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