Fast Cars, Freedom, & Cyber Security

By: Paige Maxwell

Last Friday, the YEP KC interns had the opportunity to tour Fishtech, one of the partner companies of the YEP KC program. Fishtech is a cloud-era cyber security company focused on solving digital and security transformations. While a few of us had the opportunity to work at Fishtech, for many of the interns, it was our first time hearing about, learning about and seeing this company up close and personal. We began our visit by gathering in the large, open first-floor of the building, where the owner, Gary Fish, just so happens to keep some cars from his collection. After ogling the cars (which included a Ferrari, Barracuda, Camaro, and Ford GT) we got to sit down and hear more about the company and its owner from some of their marketing and HR personnel.

Gary Fish is from a small town in Illinois. Fishtech is not his first company, but in fact his third. Fish first started FishNet Securities, an internet based consulting agency, in 1996. Through this business, he created FireMon and spun it off into its own security management business in 2004. As he built these businesses, Fish worked with the mindset that they were each apples. He was looking for investors to come take bites of the apple through buying shares of controlling interest. Fish was successful in finding investors to sink their teeth into both companies, and by 2015, he was officially retired. That withdrawal didn’t last long though. Quickly bored with retirement life and missing the industry, Fish decided to start his latest company: Fishtech. Instead of taking the apple mentality, this time Fish used more of a peach approach. Fishtech has invested in three other technology based security companies and hopes to help grow them, along with itself, while partnering to increase the strength of cyber security for customers. In keeping up with the times, Fishtech is a cloud based cyber security company

While the company itself is taking a new approach to investment and cyber security, the office space has also gone for an innovative spin on what would be considered a normal office. At Fishtech, there are no assigned desks or offices. Seating is a free-for-all each morning and employees can choose from sit-stand desks, booth-like tables, small work rooms, or one of the dog bone tables designed for collaborative communication. There’s even a patio space where you could work outside! Some other cool features of the Fishtech office: the robot named Pepper, the active glass that switches from clear to frosted, and the napping pod in the corner designed to enhance power naps!

Judging by my own reaction and the reactions of my fellow YEP interns, Fishtech as a company and office space is unlike anything we have seen. One of the best things about the YEP program is getting to tour and experience a variety of companies and their respective cultures. My experiences at C2FO and Indigo Wild have both been very different from one another, and from what I saw at Fishtech, the experience there is different as well. As we learn and gather practical knowledge about different businesses, we are able to use this for our own application in the future. Whether it be learning about how people interact with coworkers and clients, the thought process and approach that goes into a project, or deciding that working in a certain department or environment is not what we want to do, all that we have learned from the YEP experience so far will help us better prepare ourselves for our future, no matter what job our future holds.