May 17, 2023
Kunal Agarwal is the founder of dope.security, the fly-direct Secure Web Gateway (SWG). Prior to dope, he led product & engineering teams at major legacy SWG players, first Symantec then Forcepoint. In a fifteen-year career, Kunal has dabbled in everything from credit card security to ethical hacking. He is also a producer and spends much of his free time experimenting with music, photo, video, and design work. Kunal received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Julian:Hi everyone. Thank you so much for joining the Behind Company Lines podcast.Today we have Kunal Agarwal, founder and CEO of dope.security. The fly-direct,secure web gateway, Kal is so exciting to chat with you, not only because ofyour interesting experience, and I, I read a few medium articles about someMaybe not the most, I guess, activities you'd want your, your high schooler tobe doing at the time, but some really innovative ways.
I think you've beenable to really think and, and kind of disrupt product for a really kind of astrategic way. And I, I'm so curious to hear how you think about building andsecurity and kind of this whole movement of security and how important and howmuch it's gaining in, in in terms of not only just budgets with othercompanies, but in terms of, it's, it's importance to an overall organization'sactual business outcome.
So, So I had todive into that with dope.security. But before we get into that, what were youdoing before you started the company?
Kunal:Yeah, I mean, first off, thanks for having me on Julian. It's really awesome toget a chance to meet you. That's the best part about all of this, right? And alot of this started of course, from history, right?
So, Like yourself.I'm from California, born and raised here in California, and when I started outin high school, or well more like elementary, middle school, you start hackingaround doing things, bad things here, there everywhere hacking into the school,grading system, finally kind of growing up and then becoming a little bitmoving from the, the, the dark side of the light side of the force and, end upbeing at a place like Symantec.
And at Symantec youlearn tons of different things, but what you really learn is How do, where doyou go from here, right? Mm-hmm. And that's what your first job is always like.And for me it was kind of moving from being on the engineering and hacking orkind of security side to going into product management and engineering.
So that's a littlebit of a different jump and from PM going doing that for different types ofproducts, you start seeing trends, right? He starts seeing things that areinteresting and most importantly, you start seeing what you like to do and whatmakes you different as. Whatever it is that you do. In my case, it's productmanagement.
So I started to seethis little bit of a journey and finally, Came to the culmination of, betweenthat 10 years at Symantec Forest Point, ended up starting dope.security.
Julian:Yeah. It, it's so fascinating. Obviously you want to get into the more recentstuff, but thinking about, I, I was reading an article where you did some kindof ethical hacking for a company and you really solved an important businessproblem, but also, A people problem.
How do you kind ofgo and define, where can be the compromises for certain applications orproducts? How do you approach that? I think some of us think like, oh, privacyand data, but you know, I think, the target really kind of maybe impacts theway you go about gathering that kind of information.
How do you kind ofthink about those strategies and how products kind of need to protect in, in amaybe a different way?
Kunal:So everyone has a different risk metric, right? Yeah. And so it's important tokeep that in mind. Like for example, a consumer application has to do withactual people, right? Yeah. Their data versus like a, like a dating applicationfor example.
It's about theirand, and in fact, I think that's the one that you, where you're talking aboutwhere I hacked into a dating application, but there's that then there's alsosomething like a company, right? Mm-hmm. And as a company, you may have acompletely different. Problem all space altogether. Like for example, one of.
A very importantone is like, Hey, is somebody able to access like piracy websites on theirlaptop versus, Hey, is somebody able to access your dating profile withoutactually ever having connected with you or your exact location, even thoughthey've never actually connected with you? And so that was kind of twospectrums of the equation, but ultimately it all deals with the same thing as,hey, cyber security.
Right, right. But,It's kind of like, the security that you use at a bank, for example, is gonnabe very different than the security you use at, I don't know, like your localCVS store.
Julian:Yeah. And what, what are like the typical kind of standards around security?Are there, are there certain methodologies that you know, that people use inthe industry?
In particular, certainstandards that people build or is it unique to a particular company? Where doyou find it?
Kunal:Yeah, so typically what happens is if you're an organization out there,there's, there is kind of like a standard set of probably bill of materialsthat you go through, right? For example, if you have a thousand devices at acompany, you'll have some sort of device management software, because I mean,it's not just one, right?
It's a thousands,so you need to know where all these devices are, what's going on with them, etcetera, et cetera. You might have some sort of anti-malware endpoint. Mm-hmm.Securities technology. This is something that a lot of people that are outthere that are somewhat familiar with this. Used to be something like a Semanticor a McAfee, but now has become like a CrowdStrike or a Sentinel one.
Sure. You may havesome kind of web security solution, which is actually where we play in. Mm-hmm.Other types of things from here on there on their fourth. But the idea is thatpeople adopt a strategy that fits best for them. Yeah. Yeah. And that is whatmakes it slightly can be customized, but we build a tool to help you satisfyone of those parts of your, your overall cybersecurity in a company.
Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And, and in particular, I think some of us, maybe the audience is alittle bit more familiar than I am. I think about a lot of cybersecurityattacks are much more. At least the ones I've been aware of are like the, thephishing attacks where somebody has to do an, an action on the other end toalmost allow an opportunity for, say, a hacker to get in or get information orwhat have you.
What are some otherways that, hackers can now penetrate into, whether it's dating applications orother web apps that you know, that we haven't seen or are less familiarwith?
Kunal:Like there's like a. Important to remember. There's like a big differencebetween attacking a personal person, like, yeah, hey, I want to, for example,I, I want someone to, to get into someone's Instagram account versus going inand attacking a dating application, for example, right?
Or like completelyin a different world and spectrum is, Hey, how do I protect an organization?And I say, protect an organization because, Does the organization may be facingall kinds of different threats, right? Like one is somebody attacking someone'spersonal computer, or sorry, work computer, as well as maybe they're accessingtheir email when they're not supposed to.
All these kinds ofdifferent things. And equation equations on how this works. And our goal isjust to make that much easier Yeah. For a company to, to work and manage and,and take care of.
Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And describe a little bit more for the audience on, how you're ableto do that. What, what's pretty particularly unique and honestly what inspiredthe idea to start working on dope.security and, and starting to tackle thisparticular problem?
Kunal:Right. So like everyone's different, right? Everyone comes from a differentupbringing, but for me at least the whole idea is if you put your signature onsomething or you put your name on something, it better be your best work. Yeah.Yeah. That's how I, at least I grew up. Yeah. And the same thing you'd thinkapplies in a company, but for some reason in cybersecurity for the longesttime, just cuz you put your name on saying doesn't necessarily mean it's reallythat great.
Yeah. And andthat's the reason why we actually look at it. If you think about being from theBay Area, or at least being from California in general and a lot of places, ifyou say something is dope, that means it's really very good. Right. If I say,oh yeah, the restaurant in Santa Monica's really dope.
Then you're like,oh, cool, I'll go there. Or Hey, top done too. It's really dope, so that thatidea. For me, it means that passion, right? Yeah. That dope is the passion andenergy and love that you put into something that you're making because thenwhen you see it for yourself, you say, Hey, that is really, really dope.
Yeah. Andultimately everything we do, whether it's building a white paper, me and youhaving this conversation. Yeah. Or even us building a cybersecurity softwarethat people can use. Yeah. We call it dope.security because we did put a lotof. Like I said, passion and love into actually making it and designing it.
And that is trulydifferent. Yeah. Between what we do versus what I've seen at these othercompanies that I was at for so long. Right. Yeah. Symantec Forest Point, at 10years, you see that, you see all kinds of different products. Yeah. But ourgoal is to make something look and feel beautiful.
Yeah. And that'swhy we call it the first class experience.
Julian:Yeah. Yeah. Well, first of all, I love the website. I was looking through thevideos and stuff, and I love, the, the flow of everything. I think it isactually, it, it's fun user experience for our audience to check out whatthey're doing.
I think that's areally cool kind of template for how, for how modern website should be built,but, For the audience who hasn't gone there, describe the challenge thatcompanies are facing and the product in particular. What part of the,cybersecurity ecosystem are you tackling and how are you doing?
So that'sparticularly unique to say, previous ways people were doing it.
Kunal:Yeah, so like, as I mentioned earlier, if you have a company, they're gonnahave all these different technologies in place. But one of the biggest onesthat most of 'em have is some sort of web security, right? Yeah. And sometimespeople call it as, A secure web gateway.
Sometimes they callit as a SSE or sassy, but ultimately what it is, is I like to think of it asparental controls for your employees. Yeah. Right. You don't want themaccessing a fishing site, for example. You don't want them accessing amalicious site, for example, but you may not even want them accessing adultcontent.
You may not wantthem accessing piracy content or legal content, or even something as simple asI just want people to be safe when they're browsing the internet. And that'swhat we do. Yeah. Now, This technology has been around for decades, right? Imean, you might remember in school you wouldn't be able to access any of thisstuff when you're on, on the school network and that's cuz there was a boxsitting there in your school or a box sitting there in your office.
Yeah. And that boxused to control and it would be a proxy, it would that you do all that stuff.Mm-hmm. But then the world kind of changed. 10 years ago, everyone took thisbox and started to put it into a data center. And then they took that box andand started to put it in all data centers all around the world.
Yeah. And it becamevery complicated, right? Because what you're doing is you're basically sayingthat, hey, when you access the internet mm-hmm. Rather than just going to thewebsite you're trying to go to first fly over to this middle point, do asecurity check there, and then go to your destination. Yeah.
So it's like youtraveling from San Francisco to LA and then stopping over in New York. Yeah.For a security check. Yeah. Like, why would you ever do that? And unfortunatelybecause people have been doing it for so long for this way that's what theycontinue to do. And so the internet has become a little bit of a stop overflight when it comes to anyone in most companies.
And our goal is tochange that from a stop over flight. To a fly-direct, yeah. Alternate.
Julian:Yeah. And you, you mentioned that's just kind of how it's been done is, is thatjust because that's the, the proxies continue to move and nobody kind of con,kind of considered the like long term disadvantages of having them in suchdispersed areas from like a privacy and efficiency standpoint?
Is that somewherethe case or was it. An incentive by a company to, to do so, like what, what inparticular has led it to this point where it, it is a little bit, I guess inefficientof a, of a, of a way to access the information you're looking for.
Kunal:Well, a lot of it comes down to history, right?
Like you had a box,somebody's saying, Hey, it's a little bit difficult to install these boxeseverywhere. It's like, don't worry, we're gonna take care of it. We'll host itfor you. Just send us all your internet. And then ultimately it's like, what?In fact what about that device that's not even in the office anymore.
Oh, well, we'llgive you an agent. It'll send you, send us all your traffic. It'll be fine.Yeah. And so that mentality that it'll be fine. It doesn't translate toreality. Right, right, right. And I think sometimes, I think sometimes peoplehave this like executive mindset. Like where it's like, oh yeah, I'm sittinghere in my chair relaxed and Oh yeah, we'll go in and we'll take the box.
We'll put in thecloud. It's hosted, it's ready to go. Yeah. It's like, dude, that's not the waythe world works. Sure. Guess what? Behind you and four or five layers deeperthan you like from a management perspective, there's a human being that has togo in and administrate this. Mm-hmm. And actually go in and make sure it worksfor.
Thousands of peopleor employees. Right. Right. And it's a big pain because yes, there's a securityvalue to it. Mm-hmm. But it also has an administrative overhead and we try tomake that much easier for anyone. Right. Pretty much anyone could go to ourwebsite right now and trial our product instantly.
Yeah. And that'sso, so different in cybersecurity. And that's one thing I think you canprobably understand is, yeah, I'm saying these things, but they're not reallythat groundbreaking. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Is it really that groundbreaking thatwe should have a beautiful product, that we should have a very easy to useproduct, we should have a product that actually works, doesn't cause issues.
It's not that much.It's like Yeah. Bare minimum, bare necessities.
Julian:Yeah. No, the bar is on the floor. Is, is what what my partner likes to say.But one thing in particular, you, you mentioned was that, or, or based on thiswhole ecosystem, why haven't companies solve the problem of trying to connectdirectly to these resources?
What, was therejust not an incentive to do so? Or were people not feeling the pain until now?Why? Why is it until now, until you're doing it? That, that it hasn't beensolved as, as a, main issue.
Kunal:Yeah. So I mean, this type of thing, I was the product manager for these kindsof things at Forcepoint, semantic, et cetera.
Right. So like whenyou think about it, if you're looking at that problem, it's not like thishasn't come up before. Right? Right. It's not like this idea hasn't come upbefore. Yeah. The question is how do you go in and actually do it when you haveall this infrastructure and all this momentum? Right between all the companiesaround the world using this.
Like you can't justsuddenly say, Hey, let me go in and change all that, right? Yeah. And in orderto actually change it, you have to come in with a little bit of a newerjourney, a newer direction, and that is why I. dope.security was found, is thatwe couldn't do this in these companies. Yeah. I mean, man, we couldn't even gettwo different products to have the same software.
Yeah. Like theirsoftware didn't even work together. So if you would purchase the endpointsoftware from Semantec and then the network software from semantec, basicallyour competitive competitor technology. Yeah. Now, like you'd have to buy twodifferent agent softwares that would run on your system.
Yeah. I mean, thinkabout that. It's one company, two different softwares. Yeah. Why is it thecase? But we couldn't even do that. So there's a lot of things, and that's justtwo. There was actually 10, 20 different agents at Symantec. There was likeseven, eight agents that I had to manage at Forest Point. I mean, it was verycrazy.
Yeah. But the goalof actually making this a lot easier, I. People are starting to do right? Yeah.Because at the end of the day, that's where the new ideas flow Yeah. Is fromthe experiences we had from these bigger companies.
Julian:Yeah. And before we get into, future stuff, I would love to give a little bitmore context to the audience.
What in particularare you excited about, about, the, the progress up to this point? What aresome, milestones you're, in particular like, excited about, impressed about,or, or even surprised and what's exciting about the next kind of, milestonesthat you're looking to hit?
Kunal:So a lot of the work that we've done so far has been around making thatcybersecurity experience. Yeah. Like first class, right? You go in, you can seethat there's a lot of thought process behind it. It works really well, allthose kinds of things. And yeah, you see it every day, right? Like yesterday,for example.
We had a customercome in and they just went on the website, started the trial, and within 10minutes they had their first soft endpoint agent installed. Yeah. The productstarted to work. They had single sign on enabled. They had their usersimported. I mean, everything was all ready to go. Yeah. This used to take like sixweeks of back and forth with a customer.
Like weeks andweeks. Cuz imagine they're not gonna just have time every day. Yeah. Right. Soyou have to schedule the time to meet with them. Then you have to scheduleanother meeting and another meeting. Then you have to get them access to theproduct. Then you have to send them access to the product.
Then you have totell them how to use it and explain to them in all this other nonsense, wedon't have to do any of that anymore. Yeah. And so to see it happen in like,again, actually less than 10 minutes versus before where it used to take agesand ages and ages. Yeah. That is the cool part. Yeah. That we've I think itwasn't, it was a really happy moment for me to be able to see that.
Julian:Right, right. And what in particular do you see, whether it's external intro oras some of the biggest risks that the company faces today?
Kunal:Like just generally or?
Julian:Sure, yeah. Generally, or whether it's an internal, maybe you know, me scalingproblem or an external market change that, might, might change the direction ofthe company.
But what inparticular do you think kind of, yeah, what impact the, the, the growth of thecompany?
Kunal:I, so we are a very mainstream. Product. Right. We're like a, we're like theTaylor Swift of pop songs where the Taylor Swift of cybersecurity. Everycompany has to use our technology. I once they get to a certain size,obviously, like if you're like a 10 person company, you're not gonna be usingsomething like this.
But the idea ofmaking it very easy to use is something to be done well. Yeah. Right. And weneed to basically, if you consider as a pressure, we need to continue to dothat really well. Mm-hmm. Where I, not just myself, but. All of our engineershave that life and blood in them that, hey, they want to make somethingactually incredible with that dope signature experience.
Yeah. The samething goes for our marketing team, which you saw the website yourself, right?Yeah. A lot of the people that are on there, like our designers, uh uh, who'sactually in charge of product marketing, Ashley, she went in a lot of detailand actually created the logo itself. But she not only created the logo, butthe branding documents and took it together and put together a website and thisand that.
So there's a lot ofthings that we have to continue, right? Yeah. You cannot just leave it behind,right? We cannot just, as you, as you become a bigger company, it doesn't meanthat you can just let go of what made us different, right. Today. Right, right.And then I think externally, right? This is probably one of the most crazythings to do.
You have a superentrenched, very big set of competitors, right? Yeah. From Zscaler to Netscopeto Semantec ish, Forcepoint, all these big, big, big companies that do this foryears and decades. Yeah. And now you're coming in them and saying, Hey, there'sa new company that happens to have worked in these bigger cyber streams, butthey're somehow gonna challenge all of this.
And say, ratherthan stop over, fly-direct. Right. Right. That's a challenge. Yeah, it's achallenge. Yeah. And I don't like to think of it as that, hey, we knoweverything. I can tell you very honestly, as a company, I learned everythingfrom, after I went to uc, Berkeley, I went to University of California,Symantec.
Yeah, yeah. Tolearn all this stuff, right? So ultimately, As a team, we have to remain in alearning phase, right? We have to constantly make what we do to the next level.We have to keep the things that made us different today, keep them for tomorrowand the day after that.
Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And if everything goes well, what's the long-term vision fordope.security?
Kunal:So I've never been into this whole serial entrepreneur kind of thing. Yeah, Idon't like it. Why? Because I don't know. And it's just weird to me. It's like,it's like this hustle culture. Oh, I'm gonna go in and then build a product andthen sell it, and then build a product and sell it. It's like, dude, that's toomuch effort.
It's too much. WhatI like to do is apply. The efforts and work and hard work that's required and,and build together a community of people. Mm-hmm. And we're almost like a safehaven if you think about it for a bunch of misfits. Yeah. Yeah. Right. We arethe people that we're always told, Hey, Julian, you're so passionate.
But, yeah. Andthat's what we don't like to be told. So as a team, we just wanna make surethat you can really go in and take it to the, as far as possible. And when Isay as far as possible, I mean, hey, The sky is not the limit. The sky is kindof home for us. Right? Yeah. Just keep going. Yeah, just keep flying.
Julian:Yeah. I love this next section. I call it my founder faq. So I'm gonna hit youwith some rapid fire questions and we'll see what we get. So, I always like tostart with this one just to, to ease in what's particular hard about your jobday-to-day.
Kunal:The job I do today is actually the same job I was doing in the past as well,except it's a different title because product management ends up being a wholecombination of these things, right?
Right. You have todo a little bit of selling, you have to do a little bit of the marketing, youhave to do a little bit of engineering. You have to kind of make sure thatthings are moving in the right direction. Yeah, so you're pretty much doing thesame thing now, I would say. There's a little bit of extra stuff.
Like there's alittle bit of finance stuff Yeah. That you wouldn't, there used to be a teamdoing that and obviously you would have a sales team doing this stuff. So it'sa little bit of learning process. Right. But for me, I could not be happierwith what I'm doing today. Yeah. It's just we get the opportunity to beunlocked.
Yeah. Go on and dowhat we want to do in, in a great way. Which is what, obviously when you saythe website looks so beautiful and looks so interesting to me, that's like.Hey, you did an amazing job.
Julian:No, man. I, I, I meant it. I think I think, there's, there's an urge in thestandardization of just like high quality experiences being that they're soaccessible now, with a lot of no code platforms, with a lot of, these, theseweb flows and WordPresses are being challenged squares and to, to offer just abetter modern experience.
I'm excited about,What that means in terms of the relationship between customer and product. Andjust thinking about that and, and, segueing in, into, your customer'srelationship to your product, what are some of the, surprising things that,obviously that one story was incredible about the, the swiftness and quicknessthat this individual was able to, upload their team onto the platform.
But what else inparticular are you surprised about Any. Any particular ways people are usingthe product that you weren't expecting? Any, any outcomes that you thought youdidn't expect to come, whether it's positive or, or otherwise anything come tomind?
Kunal:Yeah. Every single time when we demo the product and you see someone's like,they, they get a little, sometimes they can get it depends on how familiar theyare with it.
Sure. But they canget a little mind blown. Yeah. Right. For example, like, The simplicity ofbasically in two clicks, being able to block personal Gmail on a laptop. Yeah.Right. Just click the button, uncheck it, hit save, and that's it. And then itautomatically pushes the policy to your system, and you're on your way in a second.
But that's likewhat we come to know and expect. Right? I mean, you'd said it yourself, if Isend you an iMessage right now, you're gonna get it like this. Right? Right.Immediately. It's not gonna take 10 minutes to get it. And that is somethingthat. People expect from consumer experiences, but have just ignored from a,from a cybersecurity perspective.
Yeah. And so it'ssomething so simple, right? Oh, you hit save in the console and then it changeswhat's happening on your system. But that's not the way it works. I honestly,in every comment, it's not difficult to build either. Yeah. So we spent a lotof time engineering it. Everyone spent a lot of efforts to make it into what itis today as a product.
Yeah. But I thinkwe spent those time and energy to build the aha moments. I mean, just to makefeel. Wow. Hey, that's dope.
Julian:Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like, understanding what the buyer's experiences issomething that you, particularly, obviously you come from the industry, you area user in terms of, what your company does now.
But understandingthat process, I think is exactly what, a lot of companies do when they do itRight, is successful. And, one thing obviously I wanna bring back is the dopeexperience and, and obviously growing up in the Bay Area, myself, Dope hell,all these words, I mean, they're part of just like my dna, as, as I'm sure youyours as well.
But in particularto, what that means and how you actually strategically implement that qualityof work. What does that mean? Is it certain values you follow? What are whatare particular allows you to, to extract the way? If I'm a team member of yoursto say this, this was. Dope work. I, I put in not only the maximum amount ofeffort, I learned something I grew, I checked off all the boxes.
I might even addeda further experience. What in particular helps kind of, qualify that as a, as adope, product or experience or effort?
Kunal: Iguess it just comes down to passion, man. Like very simple. It's like dope ispassion. Yeah. Like you put in everything to make something look.
Good. Yeah. We hadthese jackets that we use, these hand painted in Bombay jackets that are whereeveryone in our team was wearing at the RSA conference last week. And, it waslike, it was nice to see, right? Like, Hey, we had these great, beautifulthings. It's like people looked at me like, oh wow, that is different.
Yeah. If you cameto our event, you would've seen these like stickers and postcards, but just thevibe of the entire thing was to build something different. And so when I lookat everything we've done so far, it's just authenticity, right? Yeah. BecauseI'm like this, you're like this. Yeah. If you and I are talking like, Hey, I'mgonna go meet you for a coffee down the street, you're like, okay, dope.
Sounds good. Yeah.It's, it's that simple. Right, right, right. But that is part of our language,that's part of our lingo. And being at this company is for me, it's a, it's,it's a very, it's a dream for me. Right? Yeah. Because we get the opportunityto do what. Like always wanted to do. Yeah. And if I showed you some of theproducts we've built in the past, you'd be like, I can see the elements of thedope.security in here.
Sure. At a bigcompany. Yeah. But this is, this is, this is kind of where I would always sayit's like, Hey, for anyone that wants to do something like this, you shouldalways be authentic with how sure you're building something. Sure. And so,dope.security is nothing more than authenticity and passion.
Julian:Yeah. I love that. I love that. What's something that you would say you're goodat as a founder now that you wish you were better on, better at earlieron?
Kunal:Well, I'm, I think that right now the biggest piece was building the product.Mm-hmm. So I got very lucky in that we had to do this in some, like in fourthpoint and semantics, build a product from scratch.
Yeah. So when itcame to building this product, there wasn't like this massive, like, oh, wheredo we find these people? And, and this and that. Like, there's a lot of thingsthat, let's find the people that we work with already. For example, Tim, wholeads endpoint engineering, like guys a genius. Yeah. Architect.
But he was in thecorner of the room. Nobody was allowed to talk to him, and his ideas were nevertaken and he had the best ideas and finally started to work. And he started toshow how good he is. Yeah. And people started recognize his talent. But atAdobe Security, he's the leader for the endpoint team.
Mm-hmm. But nowthere's lots of people like that. And when we bring those people together, Igot lucky because I didn't have to deal with, okay, well now we need to findpeople in this and that. And a lot of people are like family in a lot of ways.We've already worked together for so many years. We know our strengths andweaknesses so everyone can work together and as a team grow.
Yeah, there's alittle bit of a different thing. I think that the future is gonna holdsignificantly more learning. Yeah. Because from here we have a product, we havea customers, we're in product. We have thousands of endpoints. We have hundredcustomers around the world looking at this stuff, using an Ivy day, yeah.
Is a littledifferent. Of a problem when you have like, like just really scaling out.Right. Right. There's still only 30 people. Right, right. It's a smallcompany.
Julian:Yeah. Yeah. What do you think gives you, as a founder, what quality of yours doyou think gives you a particular edge to not only, solve this problem, butalso, lead this company to having success and, and, team oriented?
What in particulardo you think about yourself? Yeah. Gives you that ability to do so?
Kunal:Yeah. Well, I'll show you actually, so, I have a little something here. Yeah. Iwas wondering what that was. Yeah. This is called a, this is called a red epic.Yeah. And so this camera is something that if there was a passion of mine thatwas cybersecurity since I was very young, the second passion of mine wasprobably shooting videos.
Yeah. And music andwhatnot. And I mean, I even have another one over here. This is called a a, alike a camera. Yeah. So it's like you take these things and you learn how toshoot and you learn from like those tape Yeah. Cameras that used to have as akid to editing on movie maker to premiere and this and that.
And so those thingsend up coming into Yeah. The product. Right. And you could see that with thevideo you watched, like, I mean, my, one of my friends is the one that composedthe music on there. Yeah. Like, we don't do. None of our music, none of ouraudio is, is is is off the shelf. Royalty. Freestyle, yeah.
We went and customcreated it for dope.security. And so that, I think is our edge. That's oursecret sauce. Yeah. Is, is is the, the design aspect and is, is. Those extracomponents that you just wouldn't get Yeah. With anywhere else.
Julian:Yeah. I love that. It's a little different. Yeah, no, I, I mean, I think, likeI said, I, I experienced it in, in how unique the experience is to yourproduct, which is, which is what a lot of founders wanna strive for in thatreally just having an experience, a consistent experience, but also somethingrecognizable outside of a crowd.
And a lot of thatis being authentic to what the brand is about, what the company is about, butalso, Doing, doing the unscalable things that are super important, which is,thinking about design, thinking about color, thinking about image, thinkingabout how you wanna position yourself so critical to offering, that one of onetype of experience, which it's exciting to see.
And, and like Isaid, I, I enjoyed seeing it in the website and with the video and all thematerial that you have thinking about, I love, I love this question cause Ialways love to ask founders. What kind of really inspires them or influencesthem, whether it's early in your career now, what books or people haveinfluenced or impacted you the most?
Kunal:That's, I mean, there's so many, right? Like, pretty much, I, I told you I wentto the uc, semantic, university of California Semantic, but there were so manyprofessors there. That I probably couldn't even count in two hands. But likepeople, for example, one that comes to mind just cause I was just talking tohim on the phone, is Nico.
So Nico he's like,I called my French father. He calls me his Indian son, Indian illegitimate son.But you know, he he, he was like the first VP that I had at Symantec. Yeah. Anda lot of the reason why I started dope.security was because of him. Right.Because he was like, look, Kunal, even if you fail, you'll still have a jobwith me.
Yeah. And he endedup going to Tenable. When we left Force Point, on date on the day we, we joinedForce Point together on the same day. We left the same day. And when you thinkabout it, like when somebody says something like this too, and it's been,they're pushing you. Yeah. And not just him, right? There's another guy namedGary, for example.
He's. Was my firstboss at Symantec and to this day we still talk every day. The guy, he, he'll beupset if I if I tell you what his age is, but it's between the ages of 60 to70. Actually, I don't think he'll mind. He's turning 68, so happy early birthdayto him for next week. And the guy has been a huge, yeah, huge impact for me.
Yeah, because. Hecan come to me and say, well, Al, are you not doing this correctly? Yeah, butit's just the list goes on and on. I mean, I can't even, I can't even imagine.Jason, who's the first person that really pushed me into product management.Alex, who's been a pm, but has always been like very real, right?
Yeah. Hey, al, thestars of a line for you, but that's great. You've got into product, but how areyou gonna make a difference? You have to take the opportunity and get to thenext level. Some of my friends here or there, like they always inspire you,right? Yeah. Every time I I, you get off the work and I'm like, damn, I'mtired.
And I talk to myfriend Chk on the phone. Yeah. And I'm like, Hey, I'm a little tired. He'slike, oh, great. You're tired. Canal. I'm a doctor. Yeah. Drop me. I can sleepall night. So you think in your head and you're like, wow, maybe we can do.More, and maybe we can do better. And, and I think that's the team itself, thatis actually the ones that are building dope.security in a lot of ways.
Not justengineering, but on the marketing and sales side. Again, can always beinspiring, right? Yeah, yeah. To see, to see them pitch the product, how theywould do it much better than I would is is always cool to see as well.
Julian:Yeah. Yeah. What's something that is kind of top priority for, for you rightnow?
Is it you in themiddle of fundraising, hiring, building product, looking for new customers?What, what in particular, if you were to wave a magic wand, would you love toget sold today and, and move on to maybe other stuff?
Kunal:Well, so after the last fund, so funding thing is just so you're aware, likeit's pretty much the most weird time of of, yeah.
Of the business,right? Because you're constantly trying to have a conversation, Hey, go in andspend money to invest in me, right? So I. I think it's a little bit of adistraction from what's important, which is building a really good product.Yeah. And also selling to a customer and essentially giving them something thatis really cool and providing them an experience that, like we said, is thefirst class.
Dope. Signature.Yeah. Experience that's a little different. Right. That's what we want them tosee. Yeah. And so. You almost have to say, Hey, let's focus on just that. Yeah.Focus on the product and focus on giving that dope.security experience to Yeah,a customer. That's what's important. Nothing else should be taking your time.
Julian:Yeah. Well, Kunal, I know we're coming through the close of the show, so lastlittle bit here. I wanna make sure we didn't leave anything on the table. Isthere any question I didn't ask you that I should have? Anything that we didn'ttalk about that you wanted to bring up? Anything left on the table today?
Kunal:Well, Julian, dude, first off, thank you so much. Of course. As I always saylike. For our company. It's very simple, right? Like it's dope is the passion.It's a signature experience. And ultimately what we do is very simple. It's afly, direct, secure web gateway that anyone, any big company could use, anysmall company could use, but it just works.
That's the that'sthe the best part about it.
Julian:Yeah, I love that. And, and where can we find you and support you as a founder?Give us your plugs. What are your LinkedIns, your Twitters? Where can we notonly support you, but also the product and get involved?
Kunal:Yeah, I mean you can find me on LinkedIn Kunal Agarwal, and love to love toconnect.
If anyone ever hasany questions, I'm always. Open answering them.
Julian:Of course. Well, Kunal been such a pleasure. Not only learning about your earlyexperience and what that really taught you about how you think about securityand how you're thinking about enabling teams to do so with such a unique, butalso easy and simple experience to where it seems very modern.
You, you'veincreased the standard, at least in my mind of. What that experience looks likephysically. So I appreciate that and I'm excited to share, what you have tooffer with the audience. But thank you again. I hope you enjoyed yourself onBehind, Company, Lines, and thank you for your time today.
Kunal:Yeah, thanks Julian. Take care. See you.