Perhaps too often, we think of luck as an uncontrollable outside force working in our favor. Unless you’re Harvey Dent (shout out to all the DC fans out there!), many of us view luck as something outside our control or that it “just happens.”
But that’s not what I found myself thinking when I spoke with Amit Bareket, CEO of Perimeter 81.
If you missed his appearance on my weekly LinkedIn livestream, you can catch the full interview here (or just on click the image below!):
I found myself thinking about the role that hard plays in “getting lucky”. Amit knows a little about luck… He was “lucky” enough to sell his last company, SaferVPN, to NetProtect in 2019.
But, of course, luck alone didn’t lead Amit to create a successful business. Rather, it was years of grueling, hard work and the willingness to take on and overcome challenges that put him in a position to capitalize on his luck when it came his way.
And now he’s trying to repeat his winning formula all over again with his new company: Perimeter 81.
But what you’ll quickly learn about Amit if you watch my interview with him is how ridiculously driven and solutions-oriented he is.
A former member of the Israeli intelligence service, Amit learned a surprising number of skills in the military that would later set him up for a successful future in business and entrepreneurship.
He even went so far as to say that working in the intelligence services was “basically like a large-scale startup.”
And he might have a point.
His time in the service taught him how to be self-reliant and take ownership over his work while also being part of a team—traits that he still encourages in his employees today.
Because military service is compulsory in Israel, Amit joined right after high school. While many of us are still fumbling our way through the early stages of adulthood, he was learning ownership, empowerment, teamwork, and responsibility.
When he completed his four years of military service, Amit went on to university to study a subject that had always been of interest to him: computers.
Amit studied Computer Science at Tel Aviv University, where he met his cofounder Sagi Gidali.
While earning their degrees, Amit and Sagi both worked for large corporations like Siemens and IBM.
As fate would have it, together, Amit and Sagi were both bitten by the entrepreneurship bug. They co-founded and bootstrapped SaferVPN. After a rocket-ship-like ride to scale, then exiting SaferVPn, they wasted no time in starting their next venture together: Perimeter 81.
Back in 2018, when the duo launched Perimeter 81, network security was coming back into focus. This time as a key cybersecurity feature businesses of all sizes needed to start paying attention to. However, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that really pushed the boundaries of network security and Perimeter 81 into the mainstream as a must-have solution.
The demand for network security generated by the pandemic and the increase in remote work has since helped Amit and his team to establish a customer base of 2,800 businesses, raise $160 million dollars at a 1 billion-dollar valuation, and hire 260 employees across the U.S. and Israel.
And by the sounds of it, they’re only getting started!
As one might expect, enterprise companies got out in front investing in secure corporate network solutions, BUT the number of MSPs investing in the space is off the charts.
And, while I wouldn’t say COVID-19 was necessarily lucky for anyone—it caused significant hardships, personal suffering, and anxieties for everyone around the globe—it helped Amit and others in the security space identify a need, which they were able to meet and grow from.
Some might call this luck, but I would say it’s an example of how hard work, dogged determination, and problem-solving can make luck happen for you.
Had Amit not worked so hard to grow Perimeter 81 to where it was at the start of the pandemic, he would have had a much harder time succeeding with the business amid the uncertainty of the times.
Especially when the company was just starting out, he did what so many of us do and dedicated nearly every waking moment to getting Perimeter 81 off the ground:
“At the early stages, it’s hard, right?” he said. “You don’t have a salary, and you work in the night, but it develops your personal, professional skills forward.”
Ironically, with both SaferVPN and Perimeter 81, Amit says he sometimes he wishes his companies wouldn’t grow so fast.
“Sometimes, it’s a roller coaster,” he said, describing the unpredictable nature of being a startup, where it’s possible to begin the day on the verge of going bankrupt and, by the end of the day, be a unicorn.
However, I think the real stroke of “luck” that Amit keeps encountering comes from his work ethic and understanding that each day will bring its own set of problems to be solved and opportunities to grow.
“Problems always change and develop,” he said. “Some problems become easier; some problems become harder.”
In describing how he faces the many challenges of running a fast-growing business each day, he said something that really resonated with me:
“Along the way, I was always very pessimistic on the short term, and very optimistic on the long term.”
I think that’s a good way of describing what it’s like to build a company. You always have a vision for what you want the end result to be, but in the short term, you see all the things standing in the way of getting there.
Ultimately, what you end up doing is putting in a lot of hard work and problem-solving so that, eventually, when a possible stroke of luck presents itself, you’re in a position to pivot, seize it, and increase your success as a result.
You always have a vision for what you want, and each time you reach that mile marker, the scenery might look slightly different than what you imagined, but you still got there, and you keep moving forward to the next checkpoint.
Amit says there will always be another ceiling to push past and another challenge to overcome. He prefers to look at these as opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Having that mindset, combined with the right circumstances and the right responses to them, can help you make your own luck when it comes to your business.
“I think the opportunity is still much ahead of us,” Amit said.
And, I have to say, I think he’s right.
To watch my full interview with Amit, check out the video above! And, if you’re a channel CEO, let me know if you want to be interviewed next!
Let’s do this.
P.S. A lot of awesome stuff is happening over at Channel Program! Check out our upcoming events here or learn more about how we can help you grow in the channel by contacting our Sales team here.
And don’t forget to check out my recent posts to add my upcoming Channel CEO livestreams to your calendar!