Founder Introduction: Andy Budiman
Detexian is not my first rodeo in a start-up. Back in 1999 after only 1 year from Design college graduation, I started my own business in web design and development in Perth, Australia. It was during the dot com boom, I was way too confident back then, thinking that it would be a walk in a park and in a way, for the first few years or so, it did feel like that. Armed with a design award that I won and multiple job offers from interstate and overseas, my ego was at an all-time high, I thought I knew it all.
Well as the story goes, what goes up must come down and the dot com boom had to crash eventually, the funds had dried up and my hopes and dreams were shattered. However, I was very fortunate to have friends that were willing to give it another run and then from 2002 to 2005, together we built the company right back up from nothing. 2005 was a year of personal highs and lows. That year, our company won a number of web design awards but yet I felt totally burned out. With the opportunity to exit the company that I founded, there was a feeling of relief and sadness but looking back now, it was the right decision to move on and relocate to Melbourne.
Melbourne was a city that inspired me, it gave me a new sense of energy and creativity that I had not felt in a long time. Joining a small boutique advertising firm in Melbourne Bayside suburb, it invigorated my passion for design all over again. Despite many past rejections, disappointment, there was always a silver lining that led to and opened up new opportunities. Subsequently, I joined a number of startups, scaleups and exciting companies to establish and build design and product capabilities. I have been very lucky to have met a lot of amazing people and mentors along the way. I have time and time again found myself attracted to companies that are in the process of transformation or building something new. The challenges of the unknowns always fascinate me.
So one fateful afternoon in 2019, an investment banker, a security architect and a product designer walked into a bar and that was how I met my co-founders Tan Huynh and Adrian Kitto to start for my journey with Detexian. Cybersecurity has always been a fascinating industry for me. However I feel that most cybersecurity companies and products out there are always designed for people in the know, there’s a feeling of members only club within the cybersecurity industry. My passion is utilizing Human-Centered Design for all the work that we do, understanding the customer needs, wants, goals and their motivations. This has become the foundation of what we do here in Detexian. We believe that, in modern workplaces, business people procure SaaS solutions and for the business to care about SaaS security, it needs to be simple enough. For that we decided to focus on simplicity for the business users in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for whom we can make the biggest difference.
As far back I can remember, I always love to design. My first obsession was a small horse statue that we have in our family home back in Indonesia. I used to draw them from as many different angles as possible to capture the beauty of the shape. After hundreds of drawings of the horse, I moved on to my toys and my father’s electronic objects, my fascination back then was to pull them all apart and try to put them back together. I failed many times over and had lots of interesting excuses that I had to tell my parents about their broken objects.
In a way, there is a similar paradigm for what we do here in Detexian. Together with my co-founders Tan and Adrian, we have spent countless hours whiteboarding, ideating, conceptualising and testing our ideas with our users. We were proven wrong many times over but we kept going, iterating and improving the product. That is what excites me about Detexian, while we are still relatively new as a start up and there are so many things that are still unknown to us. But what is important is knowing what we don’t know and keeping at trying to find the answer for that.
2020 was a challenging year for the world and we were no exception, but we decided to double down on our product market fit and focus on our customers. We focused our effort on fusing Human-Centered Design and Customer-Centric Marketing, a topic that I strongly believe in and have written article about. We also entered into a new exciting phase of our company, being one of the first to pioneer a new market segment that Gartner had just recently categorised as SaaS Security Posture Manager (SSPM). Gartner has defined SaaS SSPM as tools that continuously assess the security risk and manage the security posture of SaaS applications. Detexian plays its part by enabling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to stay on top of SaaS security and compliance risks.
While there were plenty of challenges in 2020, there were also plenty of highlights. Towards the end of 2020, Detexian was endorsed by AustCyber, the industry body for Australia’s cybersecurity sector. We were featured in the 2020 Sector Competitiveness Plan presented at Australian Parliament House as a case study for innovation in SaaS security and export capabilities.
We were also proud to be invited to participate in the inaugural Firemark Accelerate program by IAG’s (Australia’s largest insurance company) Firemark Ventures. We collaborated and undertook a number of experiments to help SMEs better understand their cybersecurity risks and ways to mitigate or minimise their exposure.
Design is always going to be part of our DNA with Detexian, but we always believe in the “doing” part of the design, and not just thinking about it. The future is unknown but we are excited to embrace the possibilities. To me personally, I feel like I’m starting all over but with much more humility and embracing the unknowns and newfound curiosity in this exciting industry.