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“Nothing is more powerful than the truth when you run a company.” — Emmanuel Schalit
Emmanuel Schalit is CEO of Dashlane, the safe and simple way to store all of your passwords in one place. With more than 12 million users and a recently finalized Series D round, Dashlane is growing faster than ever and well on the way to its next goal of 100 million users. (At which point, Emmanuel may or may not get a tattoo, a promise he made to the hardworking employees of Dashlane.)
“The average citizen has about 200 different digital accounts because everything in our life has taken on a digital life of its own,” Emmanuel says. “And almost everyone uses the same password everywhere, because that is simple and more convenient.”
Emmanuel describes this password problem in three parts. The first is that almost everyone is using the same password everywhere. Second, the size of the problem is exploding because people are creating more and more accounts online. And thirdly, everyone has more devices per person today than ever before. “The problem is truly growing on the consumer side,” says Emmanuel, which is allowing bad actors to take advantage.
Prior to joining Dashlane in 2011 as CEO, he held a range of roles, including CEO of Flipside.com, SVP at Vivendi Media, and CEO of CBS Outdoor. Throughout his experiences, he’s found that working for and scaling a smaller company is more fulfilling than joining a large ship already on a set course.
“When you start a company from scratch, you have a unique opportunity to apply all the things you’ve learned before. So you get this unique opportunity to do things right in terms of culture. When starting Dashlane, we wanted to build a company of people that fundamentally have one thing in common: they care about solving this problem.”
On this episode, Chad and Emmanuel discuss the importance of protecting your digital identity in today’s world, how Dashlane is doing this differently, and lessons learned from Emmanuel’s diverse and accomplished career.
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Quotes from Emmanuel:
“As an individual, whether it’s as an employee of a company or as a consumer, there is a lot that is not under your control. If you give your data to a company and that company ends up getting hacked, then you can’t take your data back. The only thing that is under you control is the ability to create some form of containment.”
“Even though what we do doesn’t solve the entirety of the problem, it makes you as an individual such a hard target that people aren’t even going to bother you. The cost of going after you is going to become too prohibitive when using a product like ours.”
[On the challenges of reaching 100 million users] “Today our product is the best product in its category but it’s way too complicated for my 103 year old grandmother to use it. Simplicity is extremely complex to achieve and simplicity is extremely expensive to achieve.”