Why I Joined Distil Networks

April 7, 2016 Stephen Singam

Why did I choose Distil Networks for my next career path? My friends and peers in Singapore, Australia—and now in the Bay Area—have asked this many times. I always answer with the four Ps—Product, People, Passion and Place.

Product – At Distil we focus on protecting websites and APIs against malicious online automation, or web bots. Unpredictable bot traffic can cause a host of undesirable effects for victims, including:

  • The stealing of intellectual property
  • Performing competitive reconnaissance
  • Damaging SEO rankings
  • Performing fraud
  • Causing website instability

For Distil Networks to be the best in the industry is a tall order, given that it’s a startup having a young management team and competes with numerous large companies listed on stock exchanges. I’m proud that Distil creates industry-leading products and delivers excellence in the Internet security arena.

Our team is driven by passion coupled with incredible intellectual curiosity. It’s augmented by market pragmatism so as to be successful over the long run. It came as no surprise at the recent RSA conference that a well-established firm enjoying billions in annual revenue considers Distil Networks to be their main competitor. Check us out on our website: http://www.distilnetworks.com/

People – In Working with Emotional Intelligence, author Daniel Goleman suggests- that we have two minds—one that thinks and one that feels. I believe this to be very true. I’ve been with several blue chip firms where the main focus of management and employees was only to think. However, I’ve come to see that thinking without feeling is a very short-term way to do business. Recognizing feelings lets one invest and understand how a group relates and invests, thereby yielding success both for oneself and for the firm.

Beginning with my first interview and through the ensuing week I spent at its San Francisco office, I could immediately sense that Distil Networks’ people really care about others. It’s very contagious! See: https://www.ted.com/speakers/daniel_goleman

Passion – As in the movie, Modern Times, it’s a shame that for many, work has become a commodity rather than an expression of one’s passion or persuasion. Unfortunately, the sense of commodity is also the function of one’s experience.

Through good fortune and the goodwill of others,  my entire career has been in cybersecurity. I’m a two-time veteran of IBM and have been with HP Enterprise and 20th Century Fox. In joining Distil, however, I’m reminded of my early days at Salesforce.com. That period was exciting and full of passion, with unbridled energy unleashed to create great security solutions, just like now with the development of mind-blowing CRM platforms. In a few years I believe Distil Networks will be known as “that application security company.” When I look backward from that point in the future, I’ll know that right now was the best time to join Distil.

Place – This last Place — is more personal to me. In the mid-70s, Peace Corp volunteers came to our orphanage in Penang, Malaysia, to teach us English and how to paint. I’ll never forget Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) playing 1,000 times over on a cassette tape.

Ever since then, it was a personal dream to come to the US and to live in San Francisco. In 2006, I finally got my chance via Salesforce.com. My first daughter, Ayelet was born here, and now it’s a great gift and privilege to be able to return to San Francisco—the greatest city in the US—and to be a part of a great company that has incredible products, vision, direction, and people having a can-do attitude. What I can achieve here is indeed limitless.  Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I0vkKy504U

Looking for your next move in your career path?  Make sure to check out www.distilnetworks.com/jobs for open opportunities and your chance to join the Distil family.

About the Author

Stephen Singam

Stephen Singam is Managing Director of Security Research at Distil Networks. He's a veteran Information Security & Technology Management professional with extensive experience in the Financial Services, Healthcare, Media & Entertainment and Cybersecurity Consulting industries, having held senior cybersecurity positions at Hewlett Packard (Asia Pacific & Japan), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Sydney), 20th Century Fox/News Corporation (Los Angeles), Salesforce.com (San Francisco), IBM Corp (New York City & Singapore) and Nokia (Helsinki, Finland).

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