per veritatem vis

Founder and CEO of @OpenDNS. I play the long game.

Read this first

Security and Advertising

Periodically, I’ll get an email from a VC who is interested in investing in some type of new consumer Internet security startup and they want to know what I think of advertising as a business model for security businesses.

For background, OpenDNS is one of the fastest-growing enterprise security companies today (2012 was our third consecutive year of triple-digit sales growth), but it was founded back in 2005 as a consumer Internet company that provided a lot of security benefits and had a mostly advertising-based business model early on.

The short answer is that free security paid for by advertisers doesn’t work. The reasons are simple. Imagine wanting to provide the greatest protection and service possible to people. Then imagine having to compromise those aims in order to satisfy advertisers who want to use flash ads (notorious for exploits), third-party tracking cookies (a...

Continue reading →


Recently, there’s been a subtle shift in the way I’ve been receiving attachments from people at work that has eroded a fundamental annoyance I’ve always had with email attachments. That is, the proliferation of stale, disparate and potentially-widely distributed copies of files spiraling out of my control.

This all started with our transition to Google Apps for email. That change brought with it access to this new thing called Google Drive.

Now, rather than attaching files to emails, people are attaching living links to documents. There are a number of benefits to doing this:

  • Links that are living always point to the latest version of a document (assuming that’s their intention, links to specific revisions are possible too).
  • Links in our control can be destroyed in the future, preventing future recipients from (easily) having access to the attachments.
  • Links can have Access Control...

Continue reading →

It’s not that hard.

I wrote a draft over somewhere else… Should probably have posted it here, which I’ll do next time.

View →

Symantec and Websense

This past weekend I ended my TechCrunch guest post about disruption in the security space with these words: “But change is coming, and it’s going to be ugly for the old guard.”

I didn’t know how fast it would start, or how ugly it would be. It’s starting now, and it’s uglier than I imagined.

Yesterday morning, Symantec surprised the market by ousting their CEO, effective immediately. The new CEO said it’s his focus to shift the company to be subscription- and mobile-focused.

Websense just got destroyed by the market yesterday after their Q2 results came out. The private equity vultures will circle Websense now and pick them up before the year is over I’d imagine.

I wish Symantec good luck. They will need it. Every major security company today will cease to exist or be relevant in the next 3-5 years.

But we’re hiring. And we will be more than relevant. We will be a leader.

Continue reading →


By now, you’ve read the news, Marissa Meyer is Yahoo!‘s new CEO.

Yahoo is many things to many people, but it only needs to be one thing – A viable alternative to Google: Ads, Search, Gmail. The rest is noise.

I put ads first, before search, because I think it’s an area where Yahoo! has a real shot at taking some market share. It’s also a space where you can buy market share, and not rely on end-users to pick you over Google. And if it works, then you have an oil well of ad money coming in and you can do anything.

Marissa, good luck. I’m rooting for you. We all are.

View →

We reached for the stars, acted like men, aspired to intelligence. And we didn’t belittle it.

This is how Aaron Sorkin’s new show, The Newsroom starts. It only gets better.

If you want to see and hear Jeff Daniel’s deliver this speech in all it’s glory, I can’t embed it, but you can watch it, starting at 5:41.

“There is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending – Where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined; 25 of whom are allies…..So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite?! We sure used to be. We...

Continue reading →

Tear down the building just to pass through the door.

There are some songs which become personal anthems for me. Some songs come and go as my views and tastes change, but a small few stand the test of time. One of them is Bad Religion’s “Do what you want.” It’s been a favorite since I first heard it in the mid 90s when I was in junior high.

If you’re an entrepreneur or trying to break new ground in some way, shape or form, I hope this gets you pumped up.

It’s a hard-hitting 60 seconds of fury:

Hey do what you want, but don’t do it around me.

Idleness and dissipation breed apathy.

I sit on my ass all goddamn day,

A misanthropic anthropoid with nothing to

Say what you must, do all you can,

Break all the fucking rules and

Go to Hell with Superman and

Die like a champion, yeah hey!

Hey I don’t know if the billions will survive,

But I’ll believe in God when 1 and 1 are 5.

My moniker is man and I’m rotten to the core.

I’ll tear down...

Continue reading →

This is what I live for.

It’s Monday, July 2nd. OpenDNS is absolutely on fire. By 8am this morning, I think there were at least a dozen folks buzzing around the office hard at work.

We had an amazing second quarter, and our customers love us. 90% of our customers renew each year, which is unheard of in our industry. I know there are still a lot of people who don’t understand what we do (watch this for an explanation, finally: ) or how we will become the largest security company in the world, but some are starting to figure it out, and that’s really exciting.

We recently had a customer ask if we were public, so he could buy stock. Well, we’re not yet, but we’re on a trajectory that makes that a real possibility if we wanted to be (we don’t, for now).

Today, one of our customers tweeted: “@opendns just put on its big boy pants with Insights.” In some respects, I agree – but it’s just...

Continue reading →

Pulling the alarm doesn’t cause a fire

PG wrote that “If you haven’t raised money yet, lower your expectations for fundraising.”

He attributes this positions to a conversation he had with a promenant investor who “seemed sure the bad performance of the Facebook IPO will hurt the funding market for earlier stage startups.”

This position doesn’t make sense. I can only imagine what early stage Facebook investors feel, but something tells me they feel like they just won a massive jackpot and now suffer the burden of absolute elation. Given the opportunity to invest in the next Facebook, these early investors, and any other investor, would take the risk again, a thousands times over.

Every time Facebook raised money, someone sat on the sidelines arguing the valuation was too high. They were wrong, every time.

There is no problem for real businesses who want to raise money. If you have a second-tier social networking...

Continue reading →

Fact: As your company’s success grows, so does the number of co-founders LinkedIn claims you had.

Also, just discovered some guy named @dom claims to be a Twitter Co-Founder here: []

Also, that video is more bubblicious than anything I’ve seen yet. What a tremendous waste of misguided energy.

View →