Andre Durand

Discovering life, one mistake at a time.

Archive for October, 2006

Degrees from Money

October 18, 2006 By: Andre Category: Life

When it comes to business models, I’m a big fan of the notion that the fewer the variables (aka. the fewer the things you need to do to get paid), the better. I also firmly believe that the closer you are to money in your business model, the better. I call this the ‘degrees from money’ concept. I can’t tell you how many times I talk to entrepreneurs who are six degrees from money, meaning, they come with ideas that require them to do 5 things right, before anyone will pay them.

0 Degrees from Money – are those buisnesses that store / safehouse money. (e.g. banks)
1 Degree from Money – are those businesses that are in the business of moving month (e.g. PayPal)
2 Degrees from Money – this is where 99% of businesses are, they exchange goods or services for $
3 Degrees from Money – these businesses build something without knowing who will pay them for it

Ping is Hiring

October 18, 2006 By: Andre Category: Ping Identity

If you are passionate about identity, and want to join a company that shares
that passion from top to bottom, call us. We’re hiring in nearly every department:
engineering, quality, sales, marketing and support.

Ping Identity’s mission is to
build one of the greatest identity companies ever, and there couldn’t
be a better time to get on-board in the identity industry.

You can send
resumes to me personally, and I’ll forward them to the appropriate
individual here in Ping.


October 15, 2006 By: Andre Category: Life

Six months ago, I sat across from Pekka Ala-Pietila in a hotel in New York. Five days earlier, Pekka had announced his retirement as President of Nokia Worldwide, and was in NY for his last official board meeting. I had met Pekka several times as an advisor to one of the Nokia ventures groups, and had the opportunity to witness firsthand what worldclass leadership actually looked like. We were there to discuss his possible involvement in a spin-off from Ping Identity. As we sat down to talk, he looked at me, and politely and in a quiet voice asked, what’s the meaning of life?

Four weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet another worldclass entrepreneur, Tom Bogan, former President of Rational Software, where he grew it to nearly a billion dollars before selling to IBM. As we sat down to dinner discussing his relationship to Dean Leffingwell, a Ping board member, he looked at me and asked, What are your values?

Last week, I had the opportunity to hear Jeff Taylor, Founder and former CEO of, now a billion dollar company, speak about the 12 lessons he’s learned in the past 12 years as an entrepreneur. While I didn’t count, much of his lessons had to do with the importance of culture and commitment to people.

Understand, I spend most my time talking to people who want to know my strategy and tactics, or judge me by way of my experience, appearance or age. These three encounters were different. In fact, they were so different; I simply could not normalize them with most of my other business interactions. They represented a puzzle for me, and it was clear that these individuals, unlike most, simply operated on a different plane than my normal reality.

It was as if they had created some new business version of Maslow’s Hierarchy where self-actualization was not the top, but instead some wisdom or secret which could unleash greatness within people and companies.

While I’ve read many of the great business texts of our time, such as Good to Great, it became clear to me that reading about F5 leaders and principally oriented being had a very different feel when one was actually in the presence of an F5 leader. I found myself still ill-equipped and lacking personal perspective until I started to ask myself the very questions to which only one answer sufficed.

What did I want to achieve in business? What was worth the price, the sacrifice and the opportunity cost? What was my purpose? These are all questions I’ve found myself asking in recent times. I could not have predicted the answer, and still do not fully comprehend what I *think* I’ve learned.


What comes first, a great company that then affords a grear culture or great purpose that results in a great company?

Cause or Effect?

Before Google became the company it is today, endowing blogable luxuries upon its employees, reminiscent only of what I had heard of Microsoft in the mid 1980’s, had it actually already discovered greatness?   

I feel like one attempting to comprehend the expansiveness of the universe through a p air binoculars pointed at the sand.  

So, with my tiny binoculars (and my wife asking me to get off the computer and come help with the kids), I’ve come to believe that notwithstanding great intelligence combined with a great deal luck, enduring companies are more predictably shaped from the will of great purpose combined with a complete and total commitment to values and people. Under this definition, it is no wonder few ever achieve greatness.   

“Life is a journey. My mission is to travel as far along this journey as I have the opportunity.” Pekka Ala-Pietila.

I have no doubt Pekka found himself closer to the finish upon entry
than myself, but at least I now know in which direction to point my

Ping Identity Secures $13 Million

October 11, 2006 By: Andre Category: Life

We’re announcing today the completion of our Series C – $13M. Coming off a record month and quarter for sales, it’s exciting to be part of the progress.

This is all the capital required to take Ping Identity to profitability and beyond. We intend to carefully invest in our product roadmap, and I believe this financing to be sufficient to secure a leadership position in identity federation as it matures and collides with new technologies heading into the future.

Likely most exciting to me personally is the fact that we can now execute against some of the original ideas which attracted me to the identity market in the first place several years ago. Here’s the release.


Investment In Federated Identity And Web Single Sign-On Underscores Market Demand For Secure Business Collaboration

DENVER, CO Oct. 11, 2006 — Ping Identity Corporation, a provider of internet-scale identity technology for enabling secure business collaboration, having just completed a record quarter in sales and new customer wins, today announced the completion of a $13 million Series C financing. Appian Ventures of Denver, Colorado lead the round, with full participation from existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, General Catalyst Partners, Fidelity Ventures, SAP Ventures and I-Vent.

“After five years of incubation, application outsourcing and the need to secure cross-company interactions are driving federated identity and cross-company single sign-on into significant mainstream adoption. Ping Identity is leading that charge,” said Mark Soane, managing director, Appian Ventures. “We rarely come across a company that has established such a dominant position in an emerging market and combined it with such a well-articulated plan to execute against the larger vision. We’re pleased to participate in helping Ping Identity accelerate the evolution of the truly secure global enterprise and business as we know it.”

“2006 is an exciting time to be involved in the identity industry. Enterprise identity, end-user identity and open source identity technologies are colliding; the outcome of this collision will no doubt give rise to the identity and security infrastructure required to move beyond today’s Internet security challenges,” said Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity. “For five years, Ping Identity has helped enterprises extend internally focused identity management systems to the Internet. You can expect to see Internet identity technologies from Ping Identity transform how we interact both with each other and with business over the internet.”

“Ping Identity is an innovative, growth-oriented company that strives to build an enduring business in the identity market,” added David Orfao, managing director, General Catalyst Partners. “Ping Identity’s foothold in the enterprise market for federated single sign-on, experience in open source and visions to build the first internet-scale identity platform puts it in an enviable position of being one of the few companies that now has the wherewithal to accelerate the markets’ convergence.”

“Securing and personalizing our interactions with each other and between businesses over the Internet is critical as business becomes more collaborative,” said Raj Atluru, managing director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “Federated identity and Single Sign-on deliver Internet-scale security to businesses around the world.”

“Federated identity is all about enabling stronger, smarter security for interactions between users and businesses,” said Dave Power, partner, Fidelity Ventures. “Ping Identity is one of the few companies that customers feel they can collaborate with to solve some of the most challenging aspects of their quest to interact with customers and partners over the Internet.”

About Ping Identity Corporation
Ping Identity is uniquely dedicated to delivering Internet-scale Identity software and services that are transforming how organizations work with employees, customers and business partners. Our open and flexible approach offers best-of-breed software complemented with best-in-class service that exceeds the ever-expanding needs of customers like Boeing, Cisco, New York Life and Pulte Homes. Sign on to Ping Identity; sign on to what’s next. For more information, please visit

About Appian Ventures
Appian Ventures is a Denver, Colorado-based venture capital firm focused on Applied Connectivity technologies that enable timely, efficient, and useful access to enterprise information across a network of connected users. Appian Ventures targets investments in real-time enterprise applications and infrastructure management software companies. Additional information about Appian Ventures can be found at

About General Catalyst
General Catalyst Partners is a private equity firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs and technical founders who are building the software solution and technology platform companies that will lead innovation and transform industries. Founded in 2000, General Catalyst Partners leverages its principals’ extensive operational, business development and technological expertise to provide portfolio companies with a catalyst for success through business building and partnership development assistance. General Catalyst is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.

About Fidelity Ventures
For over 35 years, Fidelity Ventures has played a vital role in the development of more than 100 information technology and communications companies including GeoTel Communications, Teleport, COLT Telecom, ONI Systems, WaveSmith, Connected and Airespace. Fidelity Ventures is able to leverage a unique combination of resources, including a global network of CIOs and IT executives, to help portfolio companies accelerate their market entrance at one of the most critical times in a company’s life cycle: the Go-to-MarketSM stage. Fidelity Ventures currently manages more than $800 million in venture capital, and invests in U.S.-based companies out of its Boston office, and in European companies out of its London office. For more information, visit

About Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Draper Fisher Jurvetson is the only venture capital firm with global presence through a network of affiliated funds, with offices in more than 30 cities around the world and more than $3 billion in capital commitments. DFJ’s mission is to identify, provide capital for, and serve extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who want to change the world. Over the past twenty years, DFJ has been proud to back approximately 300 companies across a myriad of sectors including such industry changing catalysts as Hotmail (acquired by MFST), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Interwoven (IWOV), 411 (acquired by YHOO), Parametric (PMTC), and Digidesign (acquired by AVID). For more information visit

The Networking of Identity — A One Way Street

October 05, 2006 By: Andre Category: Life

I recently sat down with Tim Cole of Kuppingercole (Germany) for an interview. The following is a transcript.

KCP: Ping isn’t quite as visible in the identity space as a couple of others.

Durand: Those couple of others being…?

KCP: …well, the regular suspects like Sun, Oracle or IBM, I guess.

Durand: That’s alright, it’s understandable.

KCP: I had you plugged as the federation people, but in your presentations you talk a lot about of things and products that I, quite frankly, knew nothing about. So what does Ping really do?

Durand: It all falls under the federation umbrella. Our mission in life was to facilitate identity portability, and our long-term goal is to figure out how to monetize those transactions. Of course we realise that the community ecosystems didn’t yet exist to create transaction services with the industry, so we have to help create them. By definition, we’re an enterprise security software company that provides federation middleware.

KCP: Recently you’ve branched out into adjacent fields, though, haven’t you? For instance you announced products like Ping Login and Ping Trust, which would seem to come either before or after federation takes place.

Durand: Not really – it’s all federation. Ping Trust is federation for Web services. It enables things like SAML assertions being included in web service requests for identity portability in Web services. Ping Login is really kind of a step backwards, because before you can federate you have to authenticate.

Entire Transcript:

Let’s Hope Lawyers Stay out of Identity

October 04, 2006 By: Andre Category: Life

Phil Becker once told me everything was a negotiation, including giving up personal information. Paul Madison  takes it to the max. Hilarious!

Lawyer 1: My client is willing to provide first

Lawyer 2: C’mon, that would be like milking the horse before the cow,
my client absolutely needs email address.

Lawyer 1: What if we threw in
postal code?

Lawyer 2: For home address? or shipping address?

Lawyer 1: My
client would be willing to give both if you got rid of the ridiculous request
for their sexual preference.

Lawyer 2: It’s not ridiculous, my client needs
that information before deciding whether or not to proceed with this

Lawyer 1: C’mon, we’re in a gay bar, get it from the

Lawyer 2: Ok, ok, we can bend on this. But not on email address –
that’s a must have.

Lawyer 1: (after whispering with client) Ok, here you

Lawyer 2: What the &$%@# is this? I said we wanted an email

Lawyer 1: It’s a URI. It’s like an email address but protects my
client’s privacy. Your client would go that web page and leave a

Lawyer 2: Where did you learn your law? I didn’t say we wanted
something ‘like’ an email address. I said we needed ‘an’ email

Lawyer 1: Ok, relax. My client will provide her real address on the
condition that it not be shared with anybody else and thrown away after a week
(whispering with client) Oh, wait, clarification, not shared with anybody

Lawyer 2: (after whispering with client) Would writing it on the
bathroom wall be considered acceptable usage?

Lawyer 1: (more whispering) My
client says yes, but only in a small font. <o:p></o:p>