Dug Song

Founder and CEO of Duo Security in Ann Arbor. Duo Security, a cloud-based two-factor authentication company, has customers in several industries and serves such major brands as Bechtel, Thomson-Reuters, Etsy, and Toyota. In 2012, Duo Security received a $5 million investment from Google Ventures, True Ventures, and Resonant Venture Partners. Under Song's leadership, Duo Security recorded growth of more than 400 percent in 2012 and has increased its customer base by 50 percent per quarter during the past seven quarters. The firm has been named one of the Top 20 Cloud Security Vendors by CRN and recognized with a SINET Innovator Award and by the world's largest financial services event, the Sibos Innotribe Challenge Top 10. Song has a history of leading successful products and companies. He spent seven years as founding chief security architect at Arbor Networks, protecting 80 percent of the world's Internet service providers, and growing to more than $120 million in annual revenue before its acquisition by Danaher. Before Arbor, Song built the first commercial network anomaly detection system (acquired by NFR/Check Point), and managed security in the world's largest production Kerberos environment at the University of Michigan. His contributions also include popular open source security (OpenSSH,libdnet, dsniff), distributed filesystem (NFSv4), and operating system (OpenBSD) projects, and co-founding the USENIX Workshop On Offensive Technologies (WOOT). Song has served as a panelist, program chair, and presenter at information security conferences around the world. He also is the founder of a2geeks, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Ann Arbor's startup/geek community through events such as the Ann Arbor New Tech Meetup, Ignite Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire, and CloudCamp. As co-founder of the Ann Arbor Skatepark Action Committee, Song helped build a grassroots organization of more than 1,000 members to build a free, public skatepark at Veterans' Memorial Park. Song has been recognized by Crain's Detroit Business as a 40 under 40. He received his bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Michigan.

WHERE BORN: “The Washington, DC, area.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My father. I literally grew up in his liquor store. Seeing a small-business owner taught me a lot about hard work, the benefits of building a business, and customers you build a community around. He ran a small wine shop and ended up being a wine supplier and did wine-tasting events. It made a lot of camaraderie and was a social business.”

LAST BOOK READ: “Ari Weinzweig's book. We're a block from Zingerman's. A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Building a Great Business. He's a philosophical kind of guy. It's a good book about the business of building a culture of business in a company. I see a lot of things Zingerman's does in building a company that Duo will do, as well.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Energetic, helpful, positive.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “In security, we're seeing rampant technology disruption by hackers. It's easier than ever for hackers halfway around the world to break into the world's largest companies just for fun. Employees are online and accessible – email, social media. Hackers are no longer kids but have backing from the military on both sides of the complex. They're generating exploits and selling to the highest bidder. They're like online gangs extorting money from people. Everyone is part of the security industry whether you like it or not.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “I'm not much of a gadget guy but I'm interested in open platforms for innovation. I'm an old hacker and take pride in that and like that people can take technology and build it into something it wasn't intended for. I want my kids to be hackers, not 'prosumers.' My favorite gadgets are those that people build themselves.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “The skatepark. We're building one in Ann Arbor. For family travel, I love Paris.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “My kids and their hobbies. Outside of work and family, it's community building – trying to help and instigate community through events and helping startups.”


MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I can cook an omelet blindfolded.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “What I hope to accomplish is building a community and helping other people be successful. Building a company is building a platform of opportunity for other people besides yourself.”