Austin Britt, director of sales engineering, has been with Capsule8 since 2018. In his time as a member of the team, he’s seen the company grow from no revenue and no customers to the thriving, but still scrappy, operation that is redefining Linux protection for the enterprise.
Those early days bring a smile to Austin’s face. “We were basically shipping a product so our prospects could test it and give us feedback. I look at the company today versus what we were doing almost two years ago and it’s like working for four different companies over that time.”
So, what’s changed?
“When I first joined the company, it was obviously very engineering-centric,” he says. “We were proving the product. Over the past year and a half, we’ve shifted to providing real value that our customers can’t live without.”
Austin’s connection to the front-line customer needs has been a great opportunity for growth for him. “We’re very responsive to our customers, so if I hear a customer suggest a feature or give us feedback on existing functionality, I can bring that information back to our product team quickly—all with the goal of improving the customer experience.”
How did Austin end up at Capsule8? He started his career at a Microsoft consultancy, where he was tossed into the deep end right away. “On day two, I was thrown in front of a customer. I was wide-eyed and nervous about what I was talking about and what the customer was looking for.”
But he loved every minute of it. After a while learning the ropes and helping a variety of customers, it was time to move on to a consulting role within an application security company. This is when he began shifting to more of a post-sales consulting role.
“Back then, I was on the post-sale side as a program manager and on my first day, the VP of services sat me down and asked me to help right the ship with an account that had gone sideways. I spent the first six months in that role getting the account cleaned up and productive. One of my coworkers there, a salesperson, looked at me one day and said, ‘You should be in sales. You know the product well. You know the customer well. And you know how to communicate.’ I hadn’t really thought of it. But I eventually shifted over and began my journey as a sales engineer.”
“My boss then moved over to Capsule8 and a little while later, I got a call.”
After exchanging pleasantries, it was clear this wasn’t a call just to say “hi.”
“He came right out and said, ‘I need a sales engineer. Are you interested?’”
“I was pretty excited to hear that offer, so I did some exploring, looked at the company, looked at the investors, looked at the market opportunity. I saw the technology landscape was changing as companies were migrating more of their infrastructure to the cloud. With the cloud and the adoption of Kubernetes, Linux became far more common. Securing the web application layer wouldn’t be enough. It was about how to secure the entire stack.” That’s what attracted him to Capsule8. Then he met everyone and that sealed the deal.
“I got to spend time with the executive management team to understand their strategy and their vision for the company and that was the reason that I came over.”
After that immersive experience getting to know everyone, Austin was ready for a collaborative environment at Capsule8. So what’s it been like?
“Because we are a startup and because we are super lean, we’ve built strong communication mechanisms for everyone on the team so that we’re all aligned and we can get the job done for our customers.” Austin says communication back to the team is critical as he talks to customers.
“Something I do a lot of is figuring out themes and trends that we see across our prospects and customers. Getting that information back to our management team, marketing, and the rest of sales as fast as possible is made possible by Capsule8’s commitment to transparency and open communication.”
How is Capsule8 different than his previous employers?
“I spend a lot of time with the executive team, which is incredibly helpful as I try to help the company grow. It’s very exciting to be shaping a category in the security industry, so having the ear of the management team has been enlightening and a great experience.”
Austin is also deeply involved in the sales strategy. “How we engage with partners? How we engage with resellers? Those questions were outside my purview in my previous roles. But, spearheading how we integrate with MSSPs and MDRs has been a ton of fun at Capsule8.”
By his own admission, Austin is very task-oriented and very goal driven. Talk to him long enough and you’ll realize that those character traits may arise from his lifelong love of soccer. Soccer, of course, is pretty goal oriented, too. “I’ve been playing since I was two-and-a-half years old. So it has helped shape who I am.”
Austin continues to be a big fan of the sport. He’s a huge Liverpool FC follower and also coaches the next generation in hopes that they’ll continue his love of the game.
So, whether he is enjoying the great outdoors–biking, hiking, golfing, skiing, playing soccer–or working tirelessly to please a Capsule8 customer, he’s always got a goal in mind.
Are you interested in joining the Capsule8 team? You can check out our open listings on the Capsule8 Careers page!
Capsule8 is defining modern enterprise protection by providing detection and response for Linux infrastructure in any environment. Capsule8 provides host-based detection and investigatory data for incident response with on-going support. Unlike anyone else, Capsule8 mitigates the financial, scalability and reliability limitations of protecting your Linux infrastructure.