The web is a pretty cluttered and vicious space. It’s an architecture where a researcher can create a botnet out of 420,000 by running a simple binary script. Light Point Security provides secure web browsing solutions that use virtualization and cloud technologies to protect computers from web-based malware.
Light Point Web Enterprise, according to founder Zuly Gonzalez, is the first and only server-based, virtual-machine-in-a-browser. It protects corporate networks from web-based malware by isolating each employee’s browsing session within a one-time-use server-based virtual machine that is destroyed immediately after use. By isolating the dangerous task of parsing and rendering websites in a disposable virtual machine, we never let any web content reach employee computers. This makes it impossible for web-based malware to infect the corporate network.
Do you make reasonable predictions about how you are going to achieve revenue and then test them out, or do you start with a business model and deploy it, to see if it brings in revenue?
We do our best to make sure our business model is reasonable before building and deploying, but you don’t really know until you test. I think no matter how much investigation you do up front, after you deploy there will always be something that you didn’t anticipate. It’s an endless cycle of learning and correcting.
What questions do you and your technical co-founder / engineering team feel are the most important to solve about the business aspects of your company?
“Are our customers happy?” Having happy customers makes everything else much easier. If the answer to that question is no, stop everything and remediate that before moving forward. You can read more on customer happiness here:
Where do you include technical members of your team during the building of your business plan?
Every step of the way. Our technology rides right on the edge of what is technically feasible, and what is simply impossible. Because of this, the technical members are vital in planning a business that is not only profitable, but also possible.
How much of what you are building is based on leaving a legacy and how much of it is based on technical challenges, or the ability to make something just for fun? In other words, where do you fall on the seriousness scale? For fun, for profit, for life?
While we have fun in our startup, that is not why we are doing it. We are working on a very hard problem, because we want to do our part to make the world a little better. We are building a serious company with a serious product to solve a serious problem.
When did you decide that you were “startup material”?
I think being startup material is something you are born with. As far back as I can remember, even though I didn’t know anyone who owned their own company, I knew that someday I would.
What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
There’s a coming paradigm shift in computer security from malware detection to malware isolation. We plan to be on the leading edge of that new wave.
What are some of the challenges you face as a founder or developer at a startup, when it comes to dealing with family life, or socially? Does working on a startup change the way you associate and interact in these areas?
I am incredibly fortunate to have my fiancé as my co-founder. Without both of us working so hard towards the same goal, a startup would pose a huge strain on the health of our relationship. But with both of us working so hard together, I think it has strengthened our relationship. That said, our friendships with our other friends are not nearly as close as I would like them to be.
What characteristics do you possess that make you an entrepreneur? What makes your startup a startup?
I always push myself and those around me to be the very best we can be. The key entrepreneurial characteristic is never giving up — never giving up in the face of long shots, disappointments, long hours, dead ends and all of the other things that startup founders will inevitably face. Beau earned us our startup badge with the summers spent coding in the basement.
Can you describe the relationship that you have had with Microsoft in building your startup?
The Microsoft team is always willing to listen. When I’ve approached the BizSpark team in the past with questions or concerns, they have listened and taken action when they can.
Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
If you are developing client-side software, you should turn to Microsoft first. The Windows operating system is so ubiquitous, that it should be your first port. And if you are developing for Windows, Visual Studio can’t be beat. With the BizSpark program, entrepreneurs have access to Visual Studio, incredible documentation with MSDN, and all of the tools needed to efficiently create world class programs. From a business perspective, the BizSpark program gives you access to seasoned mentors willing to give a helping hand.