Things I Can't Live Without: Michael Murdoch
BY Liz Welch
Michael Murdoch, founder of Internet security firm AppRiver, has grown fond of a homicidal sock monkey.
CEO of AppRiver
In the murky world of Internet security, Michael Murdoch's company thwarts the spammers, phishers, and hackers. After working in the IT industry for 20 years, Murdoch co-founded AppRiver in 2002. These days, the $5 million company blocks spam and viruses for roughly 6,500 organizations. Murdoch has 42 employees in Gulf Breeze, Florida, and will hire more when he opens a London office next month.
In 2004, AppRiver's location made it vulnerable to a different threat. "Hurricane Ivan pounded us," says Murdoch of the storm that ripped the roof off the company's headquarters. Fortunately, Murdoch's customers weren't inundated with offers for Viagra and cheap mortgages because AppRiver's servers are in other states. This hurricane season Murdoch is spreading goodwill by offering free services to Florida companies. If a hurricane knocks out a business's servers, AppRiver will safeguard incoming e-mails until the systems are restored. "Sure, it's philanthropic," Murdoch says. "It's also good business."
Attack monkey, $31
"The attack monkey is our company mascot. Every new employee gets filmed being killed by the attack monkey on his first day of work."
Reef flip-flops, $50
"Florida is casual, and you have to have a good pair of flip-flops. I've yet to find a more comfortable brand than Reef."
Collection of history books, $2,400
"I studied business in college, but history is my true passion. I like American history, particularly the Civil War and President Lincoln."
Sprint PPC-6700, $400
"This can do anything my desktop can do, anywhere--even on vacation in Costa Rica (when my wife's not looking)."
...and What I Covet
A700 AdamJet, $2.3 million
"I don't fly, but I'd like to learn. I travel a lot for work, and the airports around here are so difficult these days. It would be nice if I could travel in my own plane."
LIZ WELCH is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times, Real Simple, Glamour, and Inc., among other publications. She is the co-author with her siblings of the recent book The Kids Are All Right, a highly regarded memoir of her childhood. @lizmwelch