We caught up with Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security to discuss all things Keeper and what advice Darren Guccione has for other aspiring entrepreneurs…
Tell us about Keeper
Keeper is the leading password management tool for businesses and consumers. It protects users from unwanted cyber activity by providing strong, randomly generated passwords, automatically filling them in for easy, convenient, stress-free use. For businesses, all employees are equipped with a private, encrypted vault for storing all credentials and private data.
We acknowledge the severe financial and reputational risks associated with data breaches, and offer a cost-effective and user-friendly way to prevent them. We believe that the easier a platform is to use on a daily basis, the more likely people are to want to implement it into their online daily use. For this purpose, we have specifically designed a system that is super-secure without any major effort required for either maintenance or onboarding.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Keeper was born a few years after first meeting my long-term friend, business partner and the company’s co-founder and CTO, Craig Lurey, through work. In 2008, we were on our way back from a business trip to China, and Apple had recently published their first software development kit for the iPhone. Craig was playing around with it and building a little application that stores notes, codes and lists. I looked at it and started researching products already on the market for digital vaulting. There were players out there, but no one was creating a digital vault for storing login credentials and other metadata on a mobile device. By the time we returned from our trip, the first version of Keeper was done. We launched the app in early 2009 and got half a million downloads in just six months.
After we launched on mobile, we moved to desktop and web, becoming a full device wide solution. We introduced a subscription plan in 2010 and incorporated the platform as a wholly owned subsidiary: Keeper Security, Inc. Since then, Keeper has continued on an upward trajectory. A few months ago, we surpassed the landmark of over one million paying customers globally.
What can we hope to see from Keeper in the future?
Keeper has always been defined by one ambition: to keep businesses and consumers safe and empower them to take cyber-safety into their own hands. Passwords use is exponentially increasing along with the world’s rapid transition towards software use and cloud-based approaches. No matter how much we innovate, passwords are here to stay, and we want Keeper to be the archetypal digital vault on the market and to be the first thing that comes into people’s minds when they hear the words “password manager”. Our customer experience designers have been invaluable, turning mine and Craig’s vision into reality at every stage of the product development. They will continue to be crucial as we continue to build on and expand Keeper’s offering even further.
Looking ahead, Keeper will continue to maximise protection in the simplest way for the user. We will continue on our journey to becoming the most secure and productive password manager there is, supporting the activity of businesses and consumers alike. The aim is to create a piece of software that is as straightforward and practical as it is secure.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship requires more non-cognitive attributes than cognitive attributes. I have never met a successful entrepreneur who is smart and lazy. You must have passion for whatever you’re building. Entrepreneurship requires an immense amount of time and emotional energy that most people aren’t willing to either invest or sacrifice. Startups typically fail for one of two reasons: They run out of money or they find that it’s so hard to execute on, they give up. In addition to having genuine passion for what you’re building, you must be relentless in your pursuit and completely honest with yourself. You will need to make sacrifices with where you invest your time and who you spend it with. It’s critical that you persist through adversity, stay focused and invest as much time as you can into your venture. The most important number in entrepreneurship is 168. Entrepreneurial success isn’t achieved in the first 40 hours of the week – it’s located in the 128-hours that follow.