Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Wow ...

The company that produces your favourite security researchers' favourite tools has been acquired by Google. You, dear reader, have every right to be surprised; we ourselves are still recovering from the happy surprise.

"In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them."

-- John von Neumann

Old Jonny was right, but you might substitute "mathematics" with "life" in the above.

zynamics was never designed to be acquired. To be quite honest, zynamics wasn't designed at all -- it mostly just "happened". We never had a plan outside of "build the tools that we want to have, others will then want to have them too". We never took venture capital, and the only business plan I ever created was a half-baked attempt made with wizard software. It was never updated. The fact that we exceeded the forecasts was mostly due to me being an overly pessimistic planner.

Calling our structure engineering-centric would be an understatement; our everything-to-engineering ratio is roughly 7% (if I may still count myself as an engineer).

As we grew, the problems that we wanted to solve grew too -- at a much faster rate than our resources to solve them. The result was that I spent more and more time running around managing, doing sales, and acquiring resources so that my team could do the technical work that I love and am good at. I wanted the chance to focus on technical issues again.

So at some point in this process we started talking with Google, much to our own surprise. We had not anticipated this -- we are not web-centric, we are far away from their core business: At first glance the acquisition seemed like a strange choice for both sides.

Yes, we have excellent technology and a core of great engineers; we were just surprised about the fact that Google would be interested. It was certainly not an obvious pick.

Then again, Google shares an engineering-centric culture, and has just the resources we're lacking.

"The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers."

-- Richard Hamming

A friend of mine (rightfully) mocked me for trying to perform serious computation on something that strongly resembles a pocket calculator. According to him, there's roughly one and a half computers in this world -- and Google happens to have one of them. I tend to concur.

So, as of today, I can say that the entire zynamics team has joined Google. I am looking forward to tackling problems with the resources that Google can provide.

While there will be some changes, our products are not going away - on the contrary !

"Et si tu me demandes quel est donc ce 'propos' que je poursuis a longeur a mille pages, je repondrai: c'est de faire le recit, et par la-meme la decouverte, de l'aventure interieure qu'a ete et qu'est ma vie."

-- Alexandre Grothendiek

Running zynamics with my team was an exciting experience, but I have no doubt that the future will be every bit as exciting.


dan said...

Congratulations, I have been following your progress since the early days (well, since SSTIC05 actually) and the news came as quite a surprise :)

Unknown said...

Congrats, Halvar -- great news for you and the team!

Unknown said...

Congrats, Halvar, to you and the team -- very exciting!

mfreeman451 said...

Congrats Halvar.

Unknown said...

Congrats Halvar!

cyphunk said...

It's nice to see that some companies value "researchers behind desks". Congratulations to both you and Google.

Anonymous said...



Unknown said...

Congrats :)


Unknown said...

congrates Havlar....

Gnukish said...

A pleasant surprise ahead of your birthday... Well done, old friend :)