Photo by Rohit Tandon / Unsplash

2021 - A Year in Review

This post is a reflection about my experience with and the evolution it’s seen in 2021.

Mike P
Mike P

Table of Contents

Return on Security, a year in review for 2021.

This post is a reflection on my experience with and the evolution it’s seen this year.

Here's the tl;dr on this 🧵

🧘 Better focus lead to better business
💡 I learned a lot by iterating and being consistent
🤝 A lot of cool people influenced and helped me
🔥 2022 has a lot of new value coming

Prefer this as a Twitter thread? Here it is!

Return on Security came indirectly as a result of my selling my first consulting business.

I made content creation and a newsletter a key part of that business.

It was a strategy I had not seen in my niche yet and it helped me win business and establish my writing presence.

After the acquisition, I needed a place to establish myself as my own voice instead of using a business cover.

I didn’t want the two to be conflated but instead be able to stand on their own.

I still wanted to consult and I still wanted to write but under separate cover.

I also wanted a place to distill my thoughts from my different experiences and to add value to the cybersecurity field at large.

So I ported over some older content and decided to plant a new flag at

Luckily, people still liked the content and helped share it, and gave me encouraging feedback to keep writing more.

For those early supporters, I can’t thank you enough! ❤️

Here’s my most popular post on from 2021

I also carried over my newsletter and kept writing the cybersecurity market insight reports.

The initial format was long-form on specific cybersecurity product spaces.

It had both a free and paid version and was sent monthly.

For the uninitiated, I used the same styling as @trends_vc

I'm a Pro member of this community and can't recommend it enough.

This newsletter and community helped me be a better writer and kicked off my creator journey.

It’s insights like this that helped me iterate and focus better in 2021

Side note: Did I create the first @trends_vc-like newsletter in a different space?

I like to think so.

Am I the @DruRly of the cybersecurity industry? 🤔

I hope to be! 🤞

I needed some kind of pivot to become more relevant and play a game I wanted to keep playing.

Play long-term games with long-term people like @naval says

I liked the long-form style of writing but I wanted to add NEW value to the community.

That's hard when there are already so many good people writing and curating content in the cybersecurity space like:

To name a few.

If you're not following these people and subscribing to their newsletters, you're missing out.

This is when the Security, Funded newsletter concept was born. 💰🙌

What first started off as a few Twitter threads to test the waters

Later became my new standard.

I went all-in on Security, Funded as the main newsletter.

The newsletter subscribers more than doubled after this pivot and I learned a few new things.

I learned:

  • How to get better at content curation
  • How to better define my target audience
  • How to consistently show up for a weekly newsletter
  • How to raise sponsorships
  • How to market better

I also stepped up the Pro Membership game this year.

  • I stopped giving away the market reports for free
  • I added a new monthly investor roll-up report that analyzes investing trends.

I got clarity on the value proposition for Pro Members as well thanks to

As a result, Pro Memberships increased substantially this year 😳

Paid member growth snapshot

Becoming a Pro Member helps make Return on Security a sustainable effort.

So what about 2022 for Return On Security?

You can expect:

🆕 More original content and insights
🤝 New partnerships, new value creation
🔈 Audio versions of some Pro reports
💼 A revamped job board experience
✅ Increased opportunities for access

What else do you want to see?

Email me or connect with me on Twitter to let me know.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Mike P