The top 5 ingredients for a winning startup: A CEO’s pen-spective

Last updated on 21 May 2024
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Amitai Ratzon CEO at Pentera
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“He shoots, he scores!” I still hear the sports announcer’s excitement coming across the loudspeaker — in my high school basketball court days.

That same thrill that drove me down the basketball court — angling the ball through wide stances, dribbling, passing, aiming and finally sending the ball soaring to the rim — continues to impact me in my everyday startup life.

Ever since I put on my first basketball jersey at 12 years old, all I wanted to do was win. And I did it by playing on a team of winners. I see now that this same strategy shows up in my business undertakings by influencing how I examine a company’s team to see if they are set up to win.

Over the past 15 years, while leading the scaling initiatives of global enterprises, such as SuperDerivatives and Earnix, I worked alongside winning teams on brilliant products that solved real needs. About a year ago I began looking for my next business-scaling venture. After meticulous exploration into multiple companies across a variety of industries, I found in Pcysys the perfect ingredients required to take a company to scale.

Here is my take on the ingredients that every CEO should check before assuming leadership:

#1 Leap Innovation

A company that is set for success is one that takes an existing offering to the next level by automating it and/or making it 100X more efficient. Pcysys does that for the security industry by innovating the way organizations perform penetration testing. The power of the machine eliminates the limitations of a human pen-tester by being up to date with the latest pen-testing techniques, consistent throughout the organization, operational at full capacity without tiring and significantly less costly.

#2 Fast product concept proving and onboarding abilities

In almost every company I was involved with or considered working with, the process to prove to potential buyers that a product or service works and is worthy of purchasing took so much time, labor and resources from the seller as well as from the buyer. With so much invested in simply proving the concept, the risk is much greater, should the buyer finally choose to not buy. The Pcysys POC, however, takes only one day to conduct, on the buyer’s premises, without any preparation needed, with the results of the penetration testing created in real-time right before their eyes. Onboarding is just as seamless.

#3 A must-have product and not merely a nice-to-have product

Something that is simply an upgrade or a nice addition to your life is not an easy sell. Must-have products are already budgeted for, so the purchase doesn’t negatively impact the company. Pcysys’s pen-testing product falls into the “must-have” category because every organization must protect itself from ever progressively smarter hackers…and because the organization must meet industry security regulations. For these reasons, every large organization has already allotted funds for pen-testing.

#4 Access to expert talent in the product’s category

The more experts that exist in your field from which you can hire for your winning team, the better. Pcysys is based in the center of Israel and cultivates its team from the myriad of experts who graduate from the most elite security teams in the country’s military service. After protecting an entire nation from relentless foe cyber infiltrators, this well-trained crop of talent is key to scaling a security business.

#5 A team of winners

Hiring the best-in-class, and trusting them to work well without any micromanaging is the key to scaling a company successfully. Pcysys hires the outliers and we give them the freedom to do what they do best – to create! Each team member has a winning personality and is extremely devoted to his or her work. Most importantly, our white hat hackers know how to think like a malicious hacker and can therefore continue to strengthen our security product to keep up with and protect against malicious attacks.

It is my hope that with these winning ingredients, Pcysys will carry on its winning streak. Other companies that recognize the value of and implement these key elements, are likely to scale and win as well.

And if you can see how your corporation could use a automated pen-testing to protect against cyber attacks, please drop me a note to [email protected].

Amitai Ratzon brings over 15 years of Enterprise Sales Leadership to Pcysys, having scaled global sales teams at leading companies such as SuperDerivatives, a market leader in Derivatives Pricing and Risk Management (NASDAQ:ICE)) and Earnix, a market leader in the field of Consumer Predictive Analytics for Financial Services companies. Prior to Pcysys, Amitai was the VP of Global Sales at CallVU, an emerging player in the Mobile Digital Engagement Space.

Amitai holds a B.A in Business Administration and an LL.B, both from the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya and an International Executive MBA from Kellogg-Recanati, granted jointly by Tel Aviv University, Israel and Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

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