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Conversation
Highlights

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Mollie Breen, CEO and Co-Founder of Perygee, an IoT/OT security platform that helps organizations understand and secure the growing number of internet-enabled devices on their networks. The company has raised $6.4 million in funding to date.

Key topics discussed in this episode:

  • Mollie’s journey from mathematician at the NSA to founding Perygee, driven by a passion for securing the vulnerable internet-enabled technologies that are becoming ubiquitous in enterprises across industries.
  • The misconceptions about working at the NSA, such as the complexity and time-consuming nature of network access compared to the simplified depictions in movies and TV shows.
  • The inspiration drawn from the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its protagonist’s strength, selflessness, humility, and style in facing challenges, which Mollie sees as valuable traits for founders to embody.
  • Perygee’s platform, which helps organizations discover and contextualize the IoT/OT devices on their networks, understand their vulnerabilities, and manage them to prevent downtime, safety issues, and operational disruptions.
  • The importance of building relationships with potential customers through early discovery conversations and leveraging opportunities like startup competitions to establish credibility and generate inbound interest.

Actionable
Takeaways

Identify and Pursue Your Singular Passion:

Mollie's decision to start Perygee was driven by a singular focus on solving the problem of securing internet-enabled technologies. If you can't see yourself doing anything else, that's a strong sign that you've found the right entrepreneurial path to pursue.

Invest in Early Customer Discovery:

Before trying to sell anything, Mollie and her team engaged in extensive conversations with 50-100 CISOs across industries to understand their needs, challenges, and perspectives. This early discovery work helped them build relationships, refine their product, and identify the most promising initial customers.

Differentiate Through Branding and Messaging:

In the noisy cybersecurity space, Perygee stands out with a bright, friendly brand that reflects their focus on enabling organizations to adopt new technologies securely, rather than selling based on fear. Their messaging emphasizes the potential for cybersecurity to be a value-driver, not just a cost center.

Rise Above the Noise with Honesty and Integrity:

Beyond branding, Mollie believes that being honest about what you're building, showing people your value, and delivering on your promises is key to rising above the noise in a crowded market. By prioritizing integrity and accuracy in every interaction, you can build lasting, memorable relationships with customers.

Invest Time and Effort in the Hiring Process:

Mollie learned that hiring the right people is a complex, time-consuming process that requires careful planning, input from experts and potential candidates, and a well-defined interview process. By investing the necessary time and effort upfront, you can avoid wasted time and ensure that you're bringing on the best talent for your team.

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