In support of companies seeking to enhance their cybersecurity, an eminent transformation strategist and technopreneur, Matt White, laid the bedrock foundation of XaaS Ltd to provide excellence and innovation in the protection of digital data and empower everyone on their cyber transformation journey.
The driven, rock climbing author, and father of 2 girls began his career fixing computers and giving businesses support when he was in his early teens. From then he moved to development in the dot com boom, covering infrastructure, resilience, and leading into consultancy.
The Life-Changing Incident
When Matt was 12, he injured his wrist and when 13 was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, Complex Regional Pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a poorly understood condition where a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain. As a result Matt gets little sleep and is fueled by adrenaline.
Matt now sees his condition as both a gift and a curse, having learnt over time to reframe it as a superpower. The pain fuels him, giving him the ability to push himself harder and further, whilst driving him to keep fighting. He is inspirational living proof that any hardship and problem can be turned into advantage, with willpower and a positive attitude.
More about the Venture
XaaS helps companies improve their cybersecurity, removing the ‘witchcraft’ and subjectivity by helping define and then guiding them through their transformation journey. XaaS has two products, ‘Advance’, the enterprise product designed for companies who want to undertake a full transformation, and ‘Evolve’ the cutdown solution aimed at helping improve the cybersecurity of small businesses by guiding them through a much more simplified journey to be secure, in line with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and CyberEssentials.
Matt explained further, “Our platform allows you to assess yourself against our baseline model, mapped to the industry standard control frameworks such as NIST and ISO 27001, taking into account your constraints (time, budget, resource and risk appetite) and then delivers you a step by step dynamic roadmap, tracking progress and offering reporting. Using an analogy, we offer turn by turn navigation like modern day SatNavs, rather than the traditional, static line drawn on a map route.”
The Inspiration of Becoming an Author
Matt has been fortunate enough to meet a lot of different characters along the way. In particular, he has met many people at the top of their field, and they all had one thing in common… they were giving back. They mentored, they helped their colleagues and acquaintances, not out of expectation, but because they felt it was the right thing to do. The help and guidance he was given made Matt want to pay it forward. When the opportunity with NY Times Bestselling Author Neil Strauss came up, it felt like a book was a way to support even more people than he can in person, hopefully preventing them from making some of his mistakes.
Clients & the Unbreakable Faith
The clientele of XaaS includes businesses of any size. Whether a global enterprise going through a planned transformation or a sole trader, the team helps make cybersecurity easier.
Matt ensures the unbreakable faith of his clients by being pragmatic, open, and honest. If he does not know or cannot do something he is upfront about it, then where possible he puts them in touch with the people that can.
Challenges & Learnings on the Way
Jim McKelvey defines the Innovation Stack as “a series of inventions that differentiates a company and allows it to completely dominate a market”.
Initially, Matt and his team did not understand that was what they were building with XaaS, they just had a proven idea and methodology. As they realised the extent of what they were doing, it quickly became a question of, “How do you find the time to build not just a product, but an entire innovation stack of solutions, whilst getting to market quickly?”
The team knew the big things that needed to be done, everyone has those large milestones in their start-up plan, but the journey so far has taught Matt that those big things aren’t the important ones, it’s the hundreds of ‘micro-challenges’ that each needed solving and how they drove XaaS down the path as the team built what had become not a single innovation, but a combination of innovations all working together symbiotically, their own XaaS Innovation Stack.
Who Helped Matt in the Journey?
Matt’s dad was the single most influential person in who he is today. Matt’s gift for innovation is in great part from his perception of how to handle challenges in the world. Through Saturday nights watching MacGyver and weekends repairing items around the house, his father taught him a couple of key lessons that have served him well… that anything can be fixed with enough duct tape and superglue and that no problem is unsolvable.
Matt shared his daily routine, “I tend to get up between 06:00 and 07:00 depending on whether I’m travelling to London. My breakfast is usually a protein shake and a bulletproof coffee, with my first call between 07:30 and 08:00. Then I answer emails and do my ‘admin tasks’ until 09:00. Next is 15-30 minutes for me to do that day’s Power MBA session.”
“09:30 – 18:30 is the core of my day with our team or our clients. My time is spent doing anything from administrative paperwork needed as you build a business, to product workshops, client meetings, strategy sessions, or interviews. During 3 of the days I slot in a couple of hours to climb at my local bouldering gym”
“Assuming I’m at home, at 18:30(ish) I spend some time with my daughters and put them to bed at 20:00. Then, I take my meal and spend some time with my wife. At about 22:00 I’m back out in my office working or writing. If I haven’t wound down, I’ll read for an hour before going to bed at about 02:00.”
‘Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle”
When asked about his future plans, Matt said, “Whilst at the moment we might be focusing on cyber security, the methodology we developed for transformational journeys at XaaS can be applied to many challenges in the industry and in our personal lives. This means that we are able to expand XaaS to multiple transformation themes, both in industry and for personal use.
We’re particularly excited to be working with Team GB Climbing coach, Belinda Fuller, looking at applying our platform to improve fitness, ability and maturity for anyone who wants to climb. As we see it sky’s the limit…”
A Piece of Advice
Now more than ever there is a place for entrepreneurs. Regardlesss of gender, race, ethnicity, or belief system, if you have a vision then go for it. Don’t let ANYONE tell you it can’t be done or you can’t do it, but remember to make it true to yourself.
Just be awar that you’re going to get setbacks and you’re going to get blockers. You WILL fall before you fly, but that is a part of the game. It’s those falls that teach you the best lessons.