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Thought Leaders in Cyber Security: Thycotic CEO James Legg and Founder Jonathan Cogley (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Jun 16th 2016

Password management is a nightmare. See how the industry is evolving.

Sramana Mitra: Can one of you give us a background of the company and also please introduce yoruselves?

James Legg: I’m the CEO. Just to give you a background, Jonathan built and founded Thycotic and then decided he wanted some assistance in taking the company from roughly $25 million to $100 million. We’re fairly sizeable. He and I teamed up a year ago. Now we’re growing at a tremendous pace. I brought in several members of my team. This company today is growing at roughly 100% and we’re EBITDA and cash flow positive. We’re extremely profitable.

Sramana Mitra: Where are you located?

James Legg: We’ve our headquarters in Washington DC. We also have offices in EMEA. We have two offices in Europe and an office in Australia.

Sramana Mitra: How about a little bit about your personal background?

James Legg: I started at Computer Associates out of college and that was about 30 years ago. After that, I went to BMC Software as a Sales Manager. Then the founder of BMC purchased a company called Peregrine Systems. I oversaw an IPO as the Director of Sales and then went to a startup in Houston running worldwide sales.

We grew the company from about 15 to 300 plus employees. We sold that to NetIQ. Then we started another company called Idera and grew that to 250 plus employees. It was sold to TA. Then I became the CEO of a company called PHD Virtual in Philadelphia. Then Jonathan and I teamed up about a year ago.

Jonathan Cogley: I founded the company. My background is in software engineering. I originally had the company as a services business doing software engineering for companies in the DC area and decided to start transitioning the company to an IT security product company back in 2005. I didn’t take any VC money. I bootstrapped the business with consulting revenue, and flipped over to do more product revenue than services revenue in about 2011.

I kept growing it from there. Now, I’ve been able to get out of the operation side. I have a lot more time to focus on the industry and on understanding our customers. My view of the market is mostly focused on IT departments within some SMBs. But mostly, I focus on mid-market and enterprise companies and what they’re doing to prevent malware and any sort of cyber attack, and also insider threat. I also look at where we can change and adapt our product to give them a better security posture.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about what you do. I understand that you bootstrapped using services. Let’s start focusing on what the product emerged to be.

Jonathan Cogley: The classic problem is just finding good solid use cases. You can try a few things and you can do your research. You just try a bunch of things and you start getting lucky. We had the same thing. We tried a couple of different products and they didn’t work out. We tried out our Secret Server product, which is our password vault, and that started to resonate in the smallest way.

We first saw it in online sales. We’re selling the product on our website and we would get credit card orders from companies in Australia. Admittedly, it was a pretty small price tag then. This was 11 years ago. It told us that it was needed. It was something that was necessary for these companies. That ignited the fire in us to put more money into sales and marketing.

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