OK, You’re On, and May the Best Professional Win
I’ve just been “double dog dared” by a colleague. Having long ago announced my intentions to at some future date establish my own independent information security consulting firm, I reiterated during casual conversation today that I’m tired of the meaninglessness, tedium, and sheer wasted effort behind most of the “work” my company does and that its time to do something both technically challenging and customer-satisfying.
My colleague, for his part, is sympathetic to my ideals but doesn’t think I’m being practical. He points out that I tried going out on my own (actually, in partnership with another colleague) a couple of years ago and that the effort resulted in nothing but heartache and frustration. He is correct, but only in that I made a strategically bad decision by 1) choosing the wrong person to partner with and 2) rushing the timetable for launching the venture. The fundamental goal and plan behind my venture is, I believe, still sound. The other argument my colleague made is that “the big guys will always win in the end.” That’s true only if you go after the same clientele as the “big guys”, most of whom are chasing the same stolen government dollars.
The vision I have for my business, on the other hand, is to provide information security consulting to individuals, “Mom and Pop” businesses, non-profit organizations, and small companies who are mostly ignored by the Fortune 500. Better yet, I want to empower my clients to manage their own information security through training and awareness, enabling them to be free from long-term dependence on greedy, bottom-feeding, scum-sucking, little-furry-animal-molesting contractors like me. I am amazed, not only at how little attention is paid to the information assurance needs of “the little guy” (ever wonder if your doctor or accountant connects his data server to his website?), but how many information assurance consulting firms model their business on creating dependencies in their clients for their services. They’re like addiction counselors who give their patients heroine at every session. If I were a potential client, I would wonder what value a consultant has if he can’t provide me with a long-term solution to my problem.
Anyhow, I feel the need to start moving on this and do what really needs to be done, even given my limitations. Whether I succeed or fail (and failure, I believe, is only a painful lesson on the road to ultimate success), I will at least have the satisfaction of trying to live up to my ideals.