Ever wondered who the person behind Detectify events, marketing campaigns and content is? Meet our PR & Marketing Manager Yasmin Tilles, an editorial mind with tonnes of energy who carefully plans Detectify’s marketing and PR strategy and is passionate about developing the Detectify brand. We talked to her about business development, her hectic second day at Detectify, and making a difference by spreading the word about web security.
When Yasmin was in high school, she dreamed of becoming a journalist and had no idea she would eventually work at a web security startup. After a couple of years in the events business, she decided to shake things up and joined Detectify as PR & Marketing Manager.
The best of media and business
As a student, Yasmin tried her hand at everything from phone sales and working in a café to being a children’s dance instructor. She says: “It all comes down to being service-minded, it was a good experience.” Because she felt journalism was too niched, she went on to graduate in media communication at Södertörn University and started her career in the events business at IDG. “I got the best of the two worlds because I worked with journalists but had the marketing and business perspective. I think I’ve always been more marketing-oriented, but influenced by the editorial way of thinking and producing content,” Yasmin explains.
Yasmin’s work at IDG focused on developing Webbdagarna, a leading event covering digital trends in business. Building a new concept in a time when the media landscape was changing in leaps and bounds was the perfect challenge for Yasmin, who enjoyed trying out new business models and creating something new and profitable.
Joining the startup life on Långholmen
After working at IDG for five years, she felt it was time for a change: “I had done everything I had planned and I was ready to take the next step.” The startup world seemed like an interesting option because Yasmin wanted to work in a less traditional environment with a flat hierarchy and plenty of room for creativity.
The opportunity to take the plunge came unexpectedly over a meal at a Thai restaurant. Yasmin was having dinner with a friend who knew one of Detectify’s founders and mentioned that the company was hiring. Not long after, Yasmin met Detectify’s CEO Rickard Carlsson (funnily enough, at another Thai restaurant) and a couple of months later, she joined the team.
The Patreon Hack
On her second day at Detectify, Yasmin was on her way to work and saw that Frans Rosén had written something about Patreon getting hacked in the company chat. “I was checking the app we use for communication and noticed that Frans said he’d warned Patreon about the vulnerability a few months earlier. My editorial brain took over and I realised this could really be something.”
She asked Frans to write an article explaining the hack and not long after, the team was watching the Detectify site traffic explode. Many major tech publications covered the story and even though it was Friday evening, everyone was checking the company chat and following Google Analytics screenshots. Yasmin explains that this intense second day at Detectify showed her how important the educational aspect of web security is: “I realised what a big responsibility we have, communicating about IT security the right way. It was a very interesting first week!”
Building the Detectify brand
Yasmin has been part of the team for over a year now, developing the Detectify brand, planning content and events and spreading web security awareness. Even though the startup environment can be challenging because everything needs to be done from scratch, Yasmin emphasises that the work is great fun and offers plenty of opportunities to be independent and learn. She says she has learnt a lot about technology, but also about business development, target audiences and communities. “It’s not just about the slogan or social media, it’s everything. Creating a good team, having the right business model and building a company that gives people something valuable in their life,” she explains.
What lies ahead? Yasmin envisions a global business covering a wider range of technologies and Detectify becoming a standard security tool for dev teams. She adds that knowledge sharing will continue to play an important role: “We still have a lot of work to do to educate people about web security.”
Making a difference
Yasmin says her favourite thing about working at Detectify is the team because the competence of her colleagues inspires her to be better at what she does so that they can create something awesome together. She points out that having an understanding of what the tech team does is really important and says that working closely with them is extremely rewarding: “I’ve learnt so much about building a team and how important routines are, how much of a difference it makes when you have the right people on board, with the right skillsets.”
Working in an industry with a potential to change the world is the icing on the cake: “Web security is really happening right now and it’s great to know that you’re part of changing everything. It feels like we have the power to do something, change something, and make a difference. It’s a very cool feeling.”
Q&A with Yasmin Tilles
iPhone or Android?
iPhone, but I have to buy a new one because the camera on my current one is broken and makes it look like there’s a ghost in all the pictures I take.
Favourite Detectify blog post?
That’s a difficult question! I really like our SPF research and guides. It’s so extensive and thorough and it was not about exposing companies, it was about helping them and providing them with hands-on guides and explaining the problem. It’s really simple and yet got a lot of attention, initiated some additional local research and was just an example of amazing teamwork.
#1 security advice?
Use your VPN!
Any tips for people who are interested in working in tech marketing?
Don’t be afraid of working with tech because you think you don’t have the knowledge. You can always explain things in your own words, so you should never feel like backing from conversations and meetings because you think you don’t know enough.
Do you have any time management advice to share?
I couldn’t live without my to-do list app! You can never remember everything and it’s also important to prioritise the right things. It’s not just about ticking off everything on the list. And remember to take breaks!
Do you want to know more about Yasmin and what her days at Detectify look like? Follow her on Twitter: @yasmintilles.