Venture Voices | Becoming a Grow-It-All
With David Shipley, Founder and CEO of Beauceron Security
Welcome to The Venture Center’s Venture Voices series, a Q&A where entrepreneurs and startup founders share advice, encouragement, and inspiration for current and future entrepreneurs. Thanks to David Shipley, Founder and CEO of Beauceron Security for sharing his insights!
The Venture Center: Is Beauceron the first company you’ve ever built?
David Shipley: The first company I ever built was a student newspaper in university, and it was a tremendous learning experience. You see, I’m an accidental cybersecurity professional. I’ve been a Canadian forces soldier. I used to drive tanks, and actually trained with the US army in Kentucky. I’ve been a newspaper reporter, I’ve been a marketer and now I’m the CEO of Beauceron Security. So, I got into the entrepreneurial spirit with student newspapers, back when newspapers were a thing.
TVC: Tell us about some of your biggest hurdles and challenges and how you overcame them?
Shipley: I think your biggest challenge when you’re the leader of a small organization, trying to move really quickly, is learning how to build your team and delegate, and learning that you cannot do it all. And you should not have that unreasonable expectation.
In our company, we have a saying – we’re never know-it-alls, we’re learn-it-alls and grow-it-alls. And we find and build the best possible team because at the end of the day, it’s your people that you surround yourself with that will help you be successful. And it’s the people that help set each organization apart. It’s not the tech. I mean, having great tech is table stakes. That’s how you get to do business. How you get to compete is by having the most passionate, the best people, and always surrounding yourself with smarter people than yourself.
TVC: What’s your take on failures?
Shipley: Well, let’s look at the way that we learn to walk and run as human beings. We crawl, we stand up, we fall, we iterate, we figure it out. We start our first sort of trembling steps, and then we get better at it. We fall, and then we get up, and then we run and we fall and we learn. This is built into the human experience and we shouldn’t be afraid of smart risk-taking and smart failure.
Everybody fails all the time. That’s the truth of the matter. You’re going to have to learn from failures, learn to embrace failure, learn to accept critical learnings from that. That’s how you get smarter. If you’re the type of person who says, “Well, I never fail at anything,” the moment you fail, it’s a tragedy.
But if you’ve become resilient, if you learn things about yourself and about how you can get better, that’s the best thing possible.
Another analogy is, let’s look at when we’re working on the human body to strengthen ourselves. What are we trying to do while building muscle? We’re trying to go towards failure, til you can’t do it anymore. You know, that’s where growth comes from. But again, not catastrophic failure. We don’t let our toddlers learn to walk near the stairs. We take smart risks and we help people grow.
David Shipley recognizes that the key to cyber security is your people. They can be your greatest weakness or your most powerful defense. That’s why his company, Beauceron Security, prioritizes empowering people to reduce cyber risk. We were proud to have Beauceron Security take part in the 2021 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator!
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