We’re excited to announce the new season of Cyber CEOs Decoded! In season one, Marc van Zadelhoff, CEO of Devo, spoke with other CEOs of cyber companies about the lessons learned from building their companies, making hard decisions, and success stories. Catch up on all the episodes from the first season here.
Season two builds off of these conversations, and the first episode is an inspiring founder story. If you have ever wondered what goes behind the scenes of starting a company, taking it public, and then taking it back private (tired yet?), listen to the newest episode where Devo’s CEO Marc van Zadelhoff talks with Mimecast CEO and co-founder Peter Bauer. They cover everything from what it was like growing up in a small village in South Africa, how he got into software, and the 20-year journey of the email security platform Mimecast.
When Marc asked Peter how he keeps his energy going after 20 years, Peter shared some sage advice that applies to so many professionals–whether an executive or not: “I wake up and I don’t know if I am at the start, middle, or end of this journey. It’s always better to assume that you’re at the start,” says Peter.
Some other highlights from the episode include:
- How adversity from early childhood still affects how he thinks about risk and work in his career today.
- Why Peter decided to forgo the traditional education path: he struggled with the classroom setting so after graduating high school, he decided to forgo college so he could gain experience building a company. He signed up for some business courses on the side, but focused most of his time on building his first business out of his garage. Ultimately quit his courses and concentrated on it full time.
- The lessons he learned from getting pushed out of that first business and how it led to him founding his first tech company: after he was bought out he traveled around the US and the UK to explore what his next opportunity might be. He kept reading about the internet in magazines while traveling. When he came back to South Africa he knew he had to learn more, so he signed up for tech courses and worked for a systems integrator to gain experience.
- What it was like taking Mimecast public in 2015: Peter says he was always a little puzzled with the American fascination is with an IPO, but that ringing the bell was a euphoric moment.
- Why the years following the IPO were some of the most challenging he’s ever faced: Peter saw the pros and cons of being public, and ultimately decided to take Mimecast private six years later with a private equity partner. He also explains why the CEO of a privately held equity company is ironically much more of a team sport than being a public company.
Listen to the whole podcast episode with Peter to get all the insights, and stay tuned for upcoming episodes this season throughout the summer!