Archive for March, 2013
Here is the story of how Ping got it’s name.
The original name of the company was NEXT IDENTITY. When I couldn’t get the right combination of domains and trademarks (Apple wouldn’t sell them – go figure) I went back to the drawing board. I was looking for a four letter, single syllable name and had some 25 or so candidates. If you haven’t noticed, some of the worlds largest brands are just this — COKE, FORD, NIKE.
PING was perhaps #10 on my unordered list of possibilities. In talking to an old friend (Steve Bonser) about it, he mentioned the notion of ‘Ping my identity.’ Used in a similar manner to the network utility “Ping IP address.” At the time it was contemplated that if we ever became an identity provider (I hardly knew what that meant back in 2002), people would use the term ‘Ping Me’, which would translate into, ‘query my identity’.
So we created the original company name as PingID, and the logo was created on the first day of Ping, around January 4th 2002. I modeled the look of the logo after PLUS, CIRRUS, STAR, VISA. The reason being, we figured that at some future point, people would ‘select’ the identity they wanted to use, in much the same way that if you go up to an ATM, you make sure that your ‘network’ is supported. We actually see this playing out today in the ‘Login using Facebook, or Twitter or Linkedin’ links on websites.
Only a bit later did we realize the world wasn’t ready for an identity network, when there were no identity transactions and no one could actually convey identity. Daa…. they didn’t have the software to do so.
So we created Ping Identity the software company, to implement the emerging standards of federated identity, and help to enable the networking of identity, hopefully so that one day we could come full circle to the identity network. 11 years later, we’re building PingOne, the next-gen IAM platform which in combination with PingFederate and PingAccess, provides all the functional pieces of the original vision and the foundation of an identity network.
Just give it another 10 years. You’ll see.