How 10KSB Made My Journey Possible

Humanizing Securtiy 10ksb alumni

I am often asked “why should I take the time to do Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program?” 

Let me share my story of developing our new concept of Humanizing Security so you can see how Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program (10ksb) can change your company if you are willing to embrace it.  

Representing On Technology Partners, I attended 10ksb in 2016, and they requested that we come with a change we wanted to make in our company. My change was to move from being a technology support company to a cyber security company.   

I had finished my program and started on my way to changing to a cyber security company. I went on to write a book, “RELAX: A Guide to True Cyber Security”, and started to present across the country on cyber security. It was during this time that I started to develop the concept of Humanizing Security, the idea that people needed to be the center of security, not viewed as the problem with security. It started when I attended an event and one of the speakers said, “You Can’t Patch Stupid.” I realized that I needed to change how we all thought about the people we protect.  

This is where Goldman Sachs 10ksb really added value to my process. At a round-table event where I presented my new idea of Humanizing Security, another attendee, Shanna Dunbar of Workplace Health, and another 10ksb graduate said that my concept sounded like Psychological Safety and that maybe we could work together to help companies be safer.  

Shanna went on to explain that it sounded like cyber security was going the way of physical safety. Physical safety would use punishments, belittling, and negative pressure to try and force people to be safer, and unsurprisingly, it did not work. Using negative approaches drives people farther away from desired outcomes. We learned that “the beatings will continue until morale improves” did not work.  

As I reviewed the messages that were being shared from cyber security, it became clear that Shanna was correct: the cyber security industry was trying to punish our way to safety. We use negative sayings like “you can’t patch stupid” and “users are the weakest link” to define the people that need to be protected.  

The concept of Humanizing Security became the balance between human-centered security, designing security to work with people, and psychological safety, creating environments where people are safe to share the dangers and fears that they have without having to feel stupid.  

Now this is where the Goldman Sachs story comes around. We are now working with Shanna to build out the idea of how to bring this new concept to market, and Goldman Sachs is helping us on this journey. We will be presenting this idea to banks and recent 10ksb graduates to get feedback on how to best bring this idea and the products to market. None of this would have been possible without attending and engaging with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.  

Let me list out the ways that 10ksb helped me and could help you be successful.  

  1. Helped to create a change plan to move my business into a new area or market. 
  2. Helped to get better focus and understanding of how to run a small business. 
  3. Gives a voice to be heard for my small business. 
  4. Created strong friendships that give a sounding board for ideas. 
  5. Focused my efforts on what was most important for the next steps. 
  6. Introduced advisors that could assist in directing my business. 
  7. Connected me to a community that understands what it takes to run a business (and sometimes just to understand our fears) 
  8. Introduced me to a community that spans the entire country. 
  9. Helped to find partners in moving my company forward. 
  10. Gave me a voice to advocate for my business and your community. 

I will say that 10ksb may not be for everyone - you must be willing to change and embrace the New, but if you are willing to be open to a new way of doing business and you are willing to work at change, then 10ksb can open doors for you. Like my journey to connect with Shanna and start to change an entire industry.  

The learning, the community, and the advocacy can be the foundation of how to grow your business and more importantly grow yourself. For me it was a way to reach out to others and expand my learning, growing and advocacy. For you it could be so much more.  

If you are asking “why should I do 10ksb?”, it is time to change your thinking to “why have I not done it yet?”. Then get out there and do it. 

If you would like to learn more about Humanizing Security, contact us at 

If you would like to learn more about Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, visit

If you would like to connect on LinkedIn, 

If you are a bank or large institution that would like to learn more about how Humanizing Security could increase adoption, connect here:  


Ken Fanger is the president of On Technology Partners, award-winning author of ”RELAX: A Guide to True Cyber Security”, and advocate of putting people back into cyber security.  

“We are all humans so we should all be Humanizing Security.”  

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