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Living in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, I see an endless number of startup companies desperate to get recognition and users. Security startups are a different egg in that they must play with other products in order to succeed. To get acquired or just be a part of the security ecosystem you need to be seen as a solution that augments an existing solution, explained Andrew Hay (@andrewsmhay), Senior Security Analyst at 451 Research.

“If you want people to get access to your data, you need to be thinking about opening up APIs up from day one,” said Hay. “If you can make your product a smaller part of a bigger ecosystem you’ll have a lot more traction and teeth in an organization and be able to sell and open up new doors for new sales where you may have not had them before.”

Avoid trying to integrate as an afterthought. It’s very hard to shoehorn in the APIs and the access to the data after you already have a product up and running, said Hay. It’s better as a foundational product.

One of the biggest mistakes is to treat your company as a standalone entity with an isolationist stance. It’s not just about selling your product to one person. It’s about being brought into the fold of a larger product by other vendors that see value in your product, said Hay.

Stock photo of people planning courtesy of Shutterstock.