Ray Potter: Solving Painful Problems in Federal Procurement

Ray Potter | CEO & Founder | SafeLogic| SafeLogic provides strong encryption products for solutions in mobile, server, Cloud, and network,Ray Potter, CEO and Founder of SafeLogic

Established in 2012 as a spin-out from Apex Assurance Group, SafeLogic provides strong encryption products for solutions in mobile, server, Cloud, and network environments that are pursuing compliance initiatives for Federal procurement or other regulated industries. SafeLogic is led by Ray Potter, CEO and Founder of the organization. Before founding SafeLogic, Ray worked at Cisco Systems and founded the Apex Assurance Group consulting firm. In an interview with CIO Look, Ray Potter has shared some insights from his journey.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

What is your background and what did you do before you started, or came into this business? 

Launching SafeLogic was a natural transition from my previous venture. I had founded a consulting firm that specialized in compliance certification for tech companies. We were profitable and growing for years before it became obvious that we should pivot to a productized version of what we had built repeatedly as consultants.

Describe your company and its cutting-edge services and solutions which address all the needs of your customers. 

SafeLogic’s flagship product is CryptoComply, an encryption module that has been purpose-built as a drop-in replacement for various popular open source crypto libraries. CryptoComply has already received a validation certificate for FIPS 140, the requirement for deployment in the U.S. Federal government and other regulated industries, and our RapidCert service accelerates the process by delivering the same validation for customers in approximately 8 weeks, rather than the traditional 12-18 months. SafeLogic customers enjoy zero effort, simplified FIPS 140 validations, helping them beat rivals to lucrative Public Sector contracts and as a strong competitive differentiator in all verticals.

What strategies do you undertake to make your employees resourceful? 

We embrace many now-classic start-up philosophies – a small team, significant collaboration across functions, high levels of independence and responsibility, and most important during the COVID-19 crisis, SafeLogic is a distributed team. We work from anywhere and everywhere. We get our work done while waiting for our kids at soccer practice, on a beach in Hawaii, or right now, while sheltered in place; all with a seamless and singular focus on productivity. Work is what we do, not where we go.

What are some of the vital attributes, in your opinion, that every leader should possess? 

I definitely value the ability to judge character quickly. A leader needs to be able to assemble a team and then let the team do what they are best at, meaning that hiring the right people is much more crucial than managing those people.

What is your greatest life achievement? 

Winning a bet with Doug Rossie, although I still haven’t collected. It’s been years now.

Where do you see your industry in five years? 

Cryptography has a very clear future in quantum computing. I’m not sure it will revolutionize the niche of validated cryptographic modules for use in the federal government within five years, but the writing is very much on the wall. More powerful computer processors and leaps forward in Cloud technology that allow you to harness that power in hundreds, even thousands of machines at once, scaling up and down as necessary – we’re going to be breaking and replacing our civilization’s best encryption in the very near future.

What one thing, more than anything else, do you want to accomplish in your business before you get out? 

That’s impossible to answer because I don’t have the desire to get out. SafeLogic has an incredible team and A-list customers. We’re growing, and we’re profitable, and we’re not beholden to VC governance. If I ran the company with the intent to “get out”, I don’t think we’d be where we are today. With that in mind, I’d like to keep pushing forward, deliver on our roadmap, and sustain our current success. And collect on that bet.

What advice would you like to give to the emerging entrepreneurs? 

Don’t force it. Successful businesses are built on simple, elegant solutions with clear customer demographics and obvious value propositions. If you’re struggling to identify who will pay you, or you can’t figure out how to turn a profit, maybe it’s the wrong business. Remember that there is value to your time, and that opportunity cost is high if you are trying to force an idea into feasibility while other, maybe less glamorous, businesses are on hold.

How do you sustain your entrepreneurial spirit in this changing technological era? 

Enjoy your team. Most people spend more time with co-workers than with their social circle, so surround yourself with people that are fun and imaginative and able to adapt and innovate. That culture will ensure that you never get left behind or burnt out.

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