Tejon Technologies, inc was featured in this morning's Gazette front page of the Business and Technology section. Be sure to pick up a copy. Thank you The Gazette for your interest in our work and for covering startups!
After a week of product run-throughs, practice pitches, and dozens of scripts it was time to compete in the local qualifier for the global Get in the Ring Pitch Competition. The winner of the competition wins a trip to Singapore to represent Colorado and the USA on a global scale. The company being pitched was Tejon Technologies Inc, a database startup that is disrupting the custom database industry with their product TejonDB. In short (nontechnical people stay with us), their product takes the reliability of SQL databases combines that with the flexibility and flare of no SQL graph/visual databases into their codeless custom database configuration studio. Think of it like Squarespace for databases bringing accessibility to custom databases for small and midsize companies by lowering the cost and time of development. Heading into the competition co-founders Paul Nielsen and Samuel Elliott understood how complex their product was and how it may not be a good fit for a flashy pitch competition.
Paul and Samuel are not new to pitch competitions and their formats. Both have been board members of the Colorado Springs non-profit Peak Startup that host programs, events, and provides resources to grow the local startup ecosystem. But this pitch competition was different. Rather than the same old one, five, or ten-minute venture style pitch the competition was formatted like a boxing match with different rounds where competitors face off head to head only allowing one team to advance. The five rounds followed the same format 1) Introduction 2) Team 3) Accomplishments 4) Business Model 5) Freestyle. Rounds one and five are one minute while rounds two, three, and four are only 30 seconds. All rounds must be completed without slides or visuals. Physical props were the only thing teams were allowed to have on stage.
Anyone working in the IT industry knows that there are a few issues regarding women in tech. There's a shortage of qualified women. The IT culture tends to be male dominated, and in some cases there's implicit, or even explicit, sexism and sexual harassment.
In the past few days, sexual harassment in Silicon Valley came to light in with a blog post by Susan Fowler about her experience working at Uber. It went viral and USA Today has a story about sexism in Silicon valley.
Here's what we think about the situation:
1) Sexism in tech exists because some people don't respect all other humans and the male culture makes them think that it's macho and acceptable to treat women as objects.
2) The culture must change and it can only change from the top. The CEO of the company has the responsibility to create the culture and set the morals for the company. For better or for worse, his or her attitude regarding sexism, minorities, respect, and morals will be reflected in the hiring and running of the company.
In the Uber incident, the board and CEO claim that they are shocked and can't understand how this could have happened. I don't believe it. It happened on their watch, and they are responsible for the culture and tone in their company.
Without wavering, at Tejon Tech, there's zero tolerance for behaving like a pig. I hope that it's that way where you work too.
I think you're ok if you use any combination of these three products. Stay safe.
Maps are educational, informative, and fun. Here's a collection of great links to cool maps. Enjoy!
We all have biases and we're generally unaware of our biases.
This well-researched article deals with the bias that our users are like us. They are not.
Some clients don't care if their users have "123" as a password, but just in case you care, TejonDB has a database security option called "Require Strong Password". If the option is on then user passwords must meet these criteria:
Password length, requiring special characters, and forcing the user to change their password every so often are all standard password features. But we really like checking the password against a list of common passwords that hacker use to try to crack any system. And we like ensuring that a password is not repeated in n number of days. And, we store passwords using a one-way hash with two salts, so we can't reserve engineer a password and it would be darn near impossible to crack using a hash matching method.
We know your password is important to you, so it's important to us too.