A different way to scale to $2.35b: How Duo Security did it

You often hear the headlines like Cisco to Aquire Duo Security for $2.35b, and wonder – what’s the story behind the story?

Today you’re going to hear part one of our interview with Dug Song, co-founder and General Manager of Duo Security at Cisco. Dug is a self-proclaimed hacker who humbly describes himself as a one-trick security pony. As you’ll learn today, Dug is an incredible leader that knew, in order to put a unique company together, like Duo, he needed to build it differently.

Dug shares, candidly, the thought processes that drove him to build a business that was ultimately sold to Cisco for $2.35b. However, as Dug highlights, he can’t call the acquisition “an exit” – he’s still in the business.

Listen now to learn from Dug’s humble beginnings at his father’s liquor store to how he built “the most loved company in security,” Duo Security.



Other topics include:

  • The power of empathy when scaling a business
  • The reason Duo Security started in Ann Arbor, Michigan and not Silicon Valley
  • Why he told one investor, “That’s pretty lazy thinking.”
  • Why skateboarding is a lot like being an entrepreneur
  • The importance of first principle when starting a new business
  • How to “see more and see before” the competition
  • How Dug found the right investors willing to invest in a company not based in the Valley
  • Why you should hire people from outside of your niche
  • The reason Duo decided to sell to Cisco

Don’t miss upcoming episodes with Dug – he talks about the advice he searched for when scaling Duo, but couldn’t find. Dug provides actionable advice around how to manage the board, how to handle leadership transitions as the company scales, how to REALLY build a strong culture and much, much more.

Make sure you subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

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