Cover art for podcast Code Story

Code Story

199 EpisodesProduced by Noah LabhartWebsite

In a tech startup, how do you get from an idea on the back of a napkin to a fully functioning product? Code Story is a podcast featuring tech leaders, reflecting the roads they travelled and the products they created. On the show, we interview tech visionaries, digging into the critical moments of w… read more


S5 Bonus: Mahmoud Abdelkader, Very Good Security (VGS)

Mahmoud Abdelkader immigrated to the United States from Egypt, from a city 100 km east of Cairo, on the Suez Canal. He was 8 years old when he moved to New York City, and later in life, he moved to Maryland, which is where he really started to get into gaming... er... computers. He used to play World of Warcraft and Age of Empires a lot, and through his gameplay, he was led down a path of reverse engineering hacks to aid him in winning.

Eventually, he started learning high level languages, all in the pursuit of building game hacking systems. He got into real programming when he was 16, slinging some C++ and deciding that he wanted to be a computer engineer. Post college, he worked on Wall Street, which in his eyes, was where he really became an engineer. After working for a startup, he joined Y Combinator and built Balanced, a payments marketplace system, which eventually transitioned to Stripe.

Outside of tech, he plays basketball, and used to weight lift and do long distance running. He likes to set goals, crush them - and then move on to the next thing, keeping a well rounded life. He used to ride motorcycles, but his wife put a stop to that... especially given they are expecting their 2nd child soon.

Post his exit from Balanced, Mahmoud began listening to customer needs. What he heard people say was that they really wanted everything that he built in his former startup, minus the payments. Companies wanted the heavy lifting of data security taken off their plate, so they could focus on building their differentiated products.

This is the creation story of Very Good Security, or VGS.


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