A Bird’s Eye View: Behind the Scenes of Beastmode

Dave Epperly

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There’s a thing we do at Red Canary called BEASTMODE.

No beating around the bush here; it’s a corporate all-hands. On a quarterly basis, the remote teams come to the Denver office and we spend three intense days together. The reason it’s called BEASTMODE is that in the very early days of the company, we’d spend endless hours in a single room, fueled by ample amounts of caffeine, building a company of which we could be proud. Its spirit is embodied in the following quote:

“I feel like on that field, there’s no reason I can’t run through you.” Marshawn Lynch explaining Beast Mode

For those who aren’t familiar, in 2011, Marshawn Lynch made one of the greatest runs in NFL history. After that, he became known as “Beast Mode,” and any similarly Herculean effort was also deserving of the Beast Mode title.

The Drill

For Red Canary, these marathon sessions were very much “Beast Mode” efforts. We were in a fight to survive as a newcomer to an established market within an exploding industry. But we always attacked the problem like Lynch attacks defenders – there’s no reason we can’t run through you. Before long, everyone referred to these get-togethers as BEASTMODE.

So what? How is BEASTMODE different than any other war story from an early stage company? And, why do you care?

Red Canary New OfficeRed Canary is built on a simple philosophy: “We make your security better.” In order for us to make an impact, we have to know what our customers expect, what they need, and where they are going. It’s why our Technical Account Managers and Customer Success Managers take such a hands-on approach. It’s what most folks refer to as “putting the customer first,” and it’s one of our core values.

Growing the Right Way

Early on, putting the customer first was fairly easy. We went on-site, built a relationship, collected everything that made sense, and (within reason) built a solution to suit. It was relatively simple when there were five people and five customers.

As a company grows, it’s important to keep focus on the customer experience. After all, we doubled our team last year and moved into a shiny new “nest” in downtown Denver.

BEASTMODE is one of the traditions that allows us to keep the ties to the original spirit and reinforce our customer-first mentality.

Putting Customers First: The Red Standard

For our most recent BEASTMODE, we embarked on an effort that would come to be known as “the Red Standard.” Inspired by Brian Chesky’s 11-star experience, teams of canaries were given a series of events and asked to imagine each from a customer’s perspective. Events included support tickets, sync meetings, renewals, and other scenarios.

The trick was to imagine what a great experience would be, and then take it several steps further by describing what an unbelievable 11-star experience would be. After we identified the 11-star experience, it allowed us to envision a phenomenal but attainable experience: aka, the Red Standard.

Not only did this exercise generate hundreds of moments where we can delight our customers through the Red Standard, but it also refocused our entire team on the customer experience. Members of our team who never interact with customers (yet whose work impacts customers daily) now have a deeper understanding of how each action they perform makes someone’s day easier, increases their capabilities, and makes their security better.

Solving Problems Together

Every employee who joins Red Canary comments early on about how the team feels more like a family than a group of employees. Sure, BEASTMODE also includes office parties, silly contests, poor late-night beverage decisions, and a lot of laughs…

But every time we get the family together, we make a point to “run over” some hard problem staring us down. We do it by relentlessly focusing on our customers’ needs.

There’s no way we can stay true to our philosophy without having the customer’s perspective front and center. You can draw a straight line from everything we deliver back to this guiding principle—from our Atomic Red Team tests, to new capabilities like File Integrity Monitoring, and now the Red Standard. And the experience at BEASTMODE has influenced them all.

Stay tuned as we bring more BEASTMODE in 2018. We’ll get back to your regularly scheduled security stuff next week!