January 7, 2020

“The end user wants the same thing.” 1Password COO Matt Davey AMA on Consumer vs Enterprise Software

by @maguay

Founding editor @capiche. Writer. Amateur photographer. Information architect. Older work: @zapier, @AppStorm. Personal blog: @techinch.
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Password Management

How do you build a company that over a million users trust with their deepest secrets: Website login credentials, financial data, ID, and other secure documents? Then how do you keep those customers happy, while also meeting the needs of more than 50,000 businesses?

In Capiche's community AMA with 1Password COO Matt Davey, he shares that values play a core part. “It’s crucial to us that we stay true to our values, which center privacy above all, and continue to take care of our customers,” said Davey when asked what would come next for 1Password after the popular password management tool raised a $200 million Series A last year.

15 years after 1Password first promised to “manage hundreds of passwords with one master key,” the core selling point remains unchanged. Create one password for your 1Password account, then add all your other passwords to its database to auto-fill whenever you sign into any software or website. It can also create random passwords which, as Davey said, “A random generator will always be more secure than any human.” You’ll only ever need to remember that one password, while using unique passwords to log into accounts that are harder to crack than any you used in the past. It's features like that, along with an interface that makes entering passwords take only seconds on both mobile and desktop, make 1Password something people love.

“Our users are huge fans of 1Password,” says Davey about how 1Password started their business toehold. “So we find they often encourage their friends, family, and workplaces to start using it.”
 It's that grounds-up adoption that took 1Password from a popular consumer app into Fortune 500 offices.

“Consumers and businesses certainly have different needs,” says Davey, “but the end user wants the same thing: a simple, easy way to protect their private information and sign into apps and websites.”

That gives another lesson from 1Password’s success: Solve a problem with a well-designed product that individuals will take into work with them, then build up with additional enterprise focused tools. “Individuals don’t necessarily need the same fine-tuned controls that enterprises do, but they want the same security and same assurances that their most valuable data is safe,” shares Davey. That’s a roadmap that’s increasingly common for the software powering today’s bring-your-own-software offices. Build something people love, let them evangelize it in the workplace, then expand into the new needs that show up at work.

Here’s the full, un-edited AMA with Matt Davey:

Why software is more expensive today.

Question
Software today is far cheaper than it was in the early '90s, but then is often more expensive today than it was a decade ago. What is driving those changes?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
8 points

The way people use technology has completely changed. We used to access the internet primarily on a single household computer. Now each member of that household likely has their own computer, we often have separate computers for work and home, not to mention phones, tablets, and other devices. So not only are their more platforms to develop for, but they all need to work smoothly together. So software is more complicated, plus there’s the running costs of cloud computing services, which most cross-platform apps rely on.

If you think about the way software has historically been released, it was usually a single product version. You didn’t get updates, except perhaps for security patches, but certainly not new features. Now, most software developers release new features and overhaul products regularly.

Question
Is 1Password more expensive to develop today than it was in 2006?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
5 points

Of course, just by virtue of the fact that the product is so much bigger and more complex than our first version! There are so many more platforms to take into account, plus business and enterprise products require more infrastructure.

What separates enterprise and consumer software.

Question
How much 1Password adoption in businesses do you see from individuals who use 1Password on their own and introduce it to their team?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
11 points

We have a lot of business and enterprise adoption that occurs this way. We have the most loyal customer base and the highest customer satisfaction ranking of any password manager, and our users are huge fans of 1Password. So we find they often encourage their friends, family, and workplaces to start using it.

Question
What would an enterprise edition of 1Password look like compared to today's 1Password?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
7 points

Today’s 1Password is already an enterprise product. We help over 50,000 businesses — some with hundreds of thousands of employees — to prevent breaches and make their workforce more secure. 1Password works as the foundational layer of an IAM (Identity & Access Management) stack, complementing multi-factor authentication and SSO.

Enterprises can deploy 1Password rapidly — as an example, one business was able to onboard 50,000 employees in just two weeks, so you can make an impact on business security quite quickly. We help companies meet compliance and reporting needs, and also include 1Password Advanced Protection, which gives administrators fine-tuned controls over firewall rules, delivers sign-in attempt reports, and allows IT departments to enforce two-factor authentication and set a Master Password policy.

Question
Is there a line between consumer and business software, or is everything the same today?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
9 points

Consumers and businesses certainly have different needs, but the end user wants the same thing: a simple, easy way to protect their private information and sign into apps and websites. Individuals don’t necessarily need the same fine-tuned controls that enterprises do, but they want the same security and same assurances that their most valuable data is safe.

1Password on passwords.

Question
What is one thing almost everyone does wrong with passwords?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
12 points

People are starting to realize that reusing passwords is terribly insecure (though too many people still do it!) But once individuals are past that, they still often think that generating their own complex passwords is just as secure as a random password generator. But the fact is humans are incapable of being truly random — they tend to draw inspiration from things they know or use patterns to remember the passwords they’ve created. A random generator will always be more secure than any human.

Question
1Password manages passwords and can create 2fa codes. Is that potentially too much of a single source of failure?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
6 points

1Password doesn’t provide true two-factor authentication, but it can give you time-based one-time passcodes (TOTP) for 2FA. For the vast majority of people, using 1Password’s TOTP feature is far more secure than using SMS authentication.

Question
What's your favorite 1Password feature that most people don't know about?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
8 points

For the jet-setting crowd, I'd say Travel Mode, for peace of mind. When you turn on Travel Mode, every vault is removed from your device except the ones that you've marked as "safe for travel." So even if you're asked to unlock your device at the border, you can rest easy knowing that your passwords, documents, and other information aren't accessible. When you arrive at your destination, turn Travel Mode off, and your vaults will reappear.

For iOS users, the ability to create Documents using the camera roll is a hidden gem and a big time-saver. In addition to the camera roll, you can use the camera directly, or pick a file from the Files app. And with the new document scanner in iOS 13 you can easily create PDFs from your paperwork that include optical character recognition text summaries, so you can store your sensitive information securely and make it available to all your devices.

What's next for 1Password.

Question
What software does the 1Password Team rely on in your work?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
8 points

As a remote team, we use many tools to communicate and stay on top of tasks including Slack and Gitlab. Slack not only allows for questions to be answered quickly and knowledge shared easily, but it also allows our employees to get to know one another better despite the distance. For tasks that require more attention, Gitlab gives our team the ability to manage their workload and ensure each team member is aware of their role in the project.

Question
What's the next big thing for 1Password? Is there still anything to improve in how we manage passwords?
Answer
mattdavey's avatar
6 points

We recently partnered with the venture capital firm Accel, and we’re going to continue to develop our enterprise offering. It’s crucial to us that we stay true to our values, which center privacy above all, and continue to take care of our customers. We don’t collect any usage data, so customer feedback has always been the primary driver of product development for us. We’re going to continue listening to what our users want from 1Password and let that shape how we improve the product.

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