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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries, the show that explores the future of tech with innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Phillip Liu, CEO and Founder of Trustero, an AI copilot for security and compliance that has raised $8 million in funding.

  • Phillip’s background as a software engineer and serial entrepreneur, with previous experience at Facebook, Loudcloud, Opsware, and his own successful startup SignalFX, which was acquired by Splunk for over $1 billion.
  • The lessons learned from working with Ben Horowitz at Loudcloud and Opsware, including the importance of grit and perseverance in the face of challenges and setbacks.
  • The genesis of Trustero as an extension of Phillip’s vision for SignalFX, using data science and machine learning to solve compliance challenges in a similar way to infrastructure monitoring.
  • The rapid growth and adoption of Trustero’s AI capabilities, which have helped reduce the workload of compliance professionals by automating tasks such as reading SOC 2 reports, conducting internal compliance scans, and answering security questionnaires.
  • The impact of the ChatGPT release on the awareness and demand for AI solutions, particularly in the mid-market and enterprise segments.
  • The differentiation of Trustero as a compliance AI solution, focused on solving end-to-end problems rather than just providing workflow tools or data repositories.
  • The vision for the future of compliance, where transparency and automation will replace specific standards, and companies will be able to understand and trust each other’s security posture through a “trust graph”.
  • The fundraising philosophy of being frugal and in control of the business, while still hitting innovation milestones and adapting to market conditions.

Actionable
Takeaways

Identify and Solve End-to-End Problems:

Rather than building yet another workflow tool or data repository, focus on using AI to solve end-to-end problems for your customers. By automating entire tasks and roles, you can create a more compelling value proposition and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Build Specialized AI Models:

As the AI landscape evolves, there will be a need for specialized models that cater to specific industries or use cases. By developing deep domain expertise and training your models on unique datasets, you can create a defensible moat and establish yourself as a leader in your chosen category.

Leverage Market Momentum:

When there is a major technological shift or breakthrough, such as the release of ChatGPT, look for ways to ride the wave of increased awareness and demand. Align your messaging and product roadmap to capitalize on the momentum and position yourself as a leader in the space.

Balance Growth and Efficiency:

While it's important to seize opportunities and grow quickly when market conditions are favorable, it's equally important to be frugal and maintain control over your business. Be disciplined in your spending, focus on hitting key innovation milestones, and adapt your strategy as needed to navigate different market sentiments.

Plan for the Long-Term:

Have a clear vision for how your industry will evolve over the next 5-10 years, and build your product and company strategy around that vision. By anticipating future trends and needs, you can stay ahead of the curve and position yourself for long-term success, even as the market and competitive landscape continue to change.

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