Andre Durand

Discovering life, one mistake at a time.
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Family to Family

February 02, 2009 By: Andre Category: Life

I was looking for a simple way for our family to help a family in need, and Google led me to this little non-profit that helps families in rural areas that are not supported by a food pantry. Fedex donates delivery services, and the program is designed to make up food shortages at the end of the month when food stamps run out.

The program is called Family to Family, and if by chance you are not able to package up food items every month, you can simply donate $25 per month, and the local food bank will ensure that the family receives the food.

It’s a simple program with a simple mission. If everyone just helped one family, we’d go a long ways towards making some lives a lot better. My heart goes out to the children of these families. They didn’t have a choice. Providing them any hope or security is a real gift.

Wandering is Important

January 28, 2009 By: Andre Category: Entrepreneurism, Life, Musings

I meet with a number of entrepreneurs who struggle with the uncertainty that’s natural in any new business. In their anxiety to land their business, they sometimes sacrifice a better future trajectory by committing to early to a certain path. Wandering in business, especially in the early days is important. Many great businesses sort of wandered into their situation. Google is no exception with their advertising business. The lesson is, don’t set up camp at an oasis when the promise land might be just beyond the horizon. But you have to be willing to be a bit patient.

Unless you know exactly what you are doing (perhaps you’ve built a similar business before), take your time in making sure you understand your market, what’s unique about your approach, where the competition is going, what sorts of macro-trends are driving your opportunity and how you can reach your market effectively.

Every business, over time, develops a sort of DNA. This DNA, once set, is very hard to change. So make your decisions on where and how to play wisely. Seek expert assistance during this phase if you can. Experience has a lot to do with eliminating the wrong choices. Realize also that decisions made early have more weight on your success or failure. Even small mistakes, made too early, can kill a venture. Over time, if you survive, you will build up the strength and defenses to mitigate the impact of a mistake to the organization, but early, there is little room for error.

So, the point of all of this is that choices made early are very important, and in your rush to get a business off the ground, make sure the cement of you business DNA does not dry too quickly, because speed and scale of where you will ultimately go is largely dependent upon the fundamental characteristics of the space you choose to operate in, the timing, your approach to the market, etc. etc. All things that can be considered the genetics of your business and having very little to do with how well you execute.

In the end, serendipity and following the money trail will have a lot to do with landing your business, but just be aware that once you lock and load and begin down a path, it’s very difficult to change that path without significant cost and loss of time. Cherish the time you have to experiment and wander and hopefully you will avoid the mirages.

Beyond Tragic

January 28, 2009 By: Andre Category: Life

This story is beyond tragic. How could it be that this family felt there was no other option than to kill themselves and their children?

We MUST do more for one another as a community to help each other through rough times. I have not done my share. I have not been pro-active. Our family has been given a gift with Kim’s recent accident. We’ve been shown the gift of help by friends and family. We’re going to find ways to pass that forward.

Electric Revolution

January 26, 2009 By: Andre Category: Musings

Many disruptive new markets emerge as cottage industries. The early PC market, prior to DELL, the home video market prior to Blockbuster and the corner coffee shop prior to Starbucks.

Seeing those industries emerge, and witnessing what happened to RC when Lithium Polymer Batteries and Brushless Motors hit that market, I predict a cottage industry will emerge around the conversion of gas powered cars to electric. Things like this are going to accelerate that trend.

Proud to be American

January 20, 2009 By: Andre Category: Life

Today I am proud to be an American. But we have a lot to live up to, and a lot of work to do.

SSO Wars

January 09, 2009 By: Andre Category: Identity, Ping Identity

Over the holidays, our very own Mark Viens and Jeremy Hudson, when not running client services and IT, whippped up the following video. Epic.

SSO Wars

A return to what counts…

December 15, 2008 By: Andre Category: Life

According to a recent government study, time fathers spend with their children in Japan has been decreasing since the 70’s. Some estimates say that up to 25% of fathers in Japan never see their children awake during the week.

The world is a tough place, but at some point, it will be better to live with less than live without our children.

View Full CNN Report

Whitney Scale

December 05, 2008 By: Andre Category: Ping Identity

Estimating software delivery dates is always challenging when you’re trying to factor in complexity, experience and dependencies among other things. At Ping, our very own Brian Whitney has developed what is now affectionately referred to as a “The Whitney Scale.” Shared below for your software development pleasure.


Top 10 things IT does during tough times

December 02, 2008 By: Andre Category: Identity, Musings, Ping Identity

1. Look at open-source alternatives.

2. Figure out how to consolidate vendors at a lower unit cost.

3. Replace manual effort with automation that can be achieved with a 3m payback.

4. Invest in new technologies that will lower cost by an order of magnitude.

5. Break down myths that an application can’t be hosted externally.

6. Challenge costly, incumbent technologies with new upstarts.

7. Look for short-term projects that can delivery value quickly.

8. Attempt to put new products on existing IT infrastructure.

9. Not start any long-term, strategic projects.

10. Hit up your local sales rep for freebies (e.g. tickets to the Broncos)

Contributed by one of Ping’s advisors

SSO for Salesforce

December 02, 2008 By: Andre Category: Identity, Ping Identity

When we started Ping, I had no idea how specific SSO solutions could or would become. While we’ve made a lot of progress with standards such as SAML, there’s still a number of things which have to be done to manage users in remote SaaS applications. One of the common requests we get from enterprises is to SSO with Salesforce. It’s one of the reasons we acquired SXIP Access from SXIP Identity, and why we now spend so much time in this space.

Now we’ve joined up with Salesforce Sr. Product Manager Peter Dapkus in an upcoming Webinar describing what’s required to secure Salesforce with your existing identity management system. If you have a Salesforce integration issue, this is a must attend event. Event Details